Page images
PDF
EPUB
[merged small][merged small][graphic][ocr errors][merged small]

act on such portions as are still unpro- and the plate, with a sheet of paper laid tected. The process can be repeated un- over it, is made to travel between the two til the last biting, which adds the finishing rollers of a copperplate press. The great touch to the portions which are to appear pressure draws the ink out of the lines darkest, and which have been subjected to bitten into the copper and transfers it to

[graphic]

"Nocturne — Salute,” by Whistler There are very few lines, the effect being produced by manipulation of the ink on the surface of the plate

[graphic][merged small]

[ocr errors]

the paper. The ink thus lies on the sur- the hand of the etcher plays freely over face of the paper in ridges that, where the the plate, and to the resultant freedom lines have been very deeply bitten, -as in and spontaneity is added the effect of the Haden's "Calais Pier" or in some plates irregular action of the acid, which adds a of Turner's “Liber Studiorum,”—are of further quivering vivacity to the line. a very appreciable thickness.

But the artist's possibilities extend even Now, in the process itself are to be to the inking. Before attempting to print, found the reasons why etching has served the ink that has been applied to a plate preëminently as a means for original ex- must obviously be removed from the surpression as a painter art. We speak of face, leaving only that which has lodged "painter" or "original" etching, the direct in the bitten lines that form the printing product of the artist's intent, as distin- medium. There is a difference, however, guished from reproductive etching, in in the manner of removing the ink. It which the works of other artists are re- may be taken off cleanly, so that the lines produced by the etcher. The needle in print almost as sharply as those of a name

a

[graphic]

Old Mills, Coast of Virginia," soft-ground etching by James D. Smillie

[graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]
[graphic]

“Le repos,” by Charles Jacque. Fifth state
Between the first and the fifth states the herdsman has wandered about on the plate,

and the sheep have been changed into cattle

etchers to be their own printers. Whis

Whis- between an etching by Meryon printed on tler was photographed at the press, and white paper and one on the greenish paper many of his prints bear in pencil, after the that he favored, or run through some signature, the letters "imp."

portfolios of the work of Buhot and mark The texture, quality, and color of the how he experimented with various kinds paper used are also factors in printing. of paper. Happy is the etcher who lights Note, for example, the difference in effect on a supply of old hand-made paper, or

« PreviousContinue »