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THE

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LIBRARY OF THE

UNIVERSITY OF CAL

ETCHING
AND OTHER GRAPHIC ARTS AN ILLUSTRATED TREATISE
BY

GEORGE

T.

PLOWMAN
U

WITH

AN ORIGINAL ETCHING

FRONTISPIECE

AND TWENTY-SIX ILLUSTRATIONS

NEW YORK: JOHN LANE COMPANY


LONDON: JOHN LANE, THE BODLEY HEAD TORONTO: BELL & COCKBURN MCMXIV
:

V*'

Y9

Copyright, 1914,

By

JOHN LANE COMPANY

PUBLISHERS PRINTING COMPANY 207-217 West Twenty-fifth Street. New York

TO
SIR

FRANK SHORT,

R.A., P.R.E.

WHOSE KINDLY GUIDANCE HAS LED SO MANY BEGINNERS THROUGH THE FIRST STEPS OF ETCHING

ACKNOWLEDGMENT
The author
desires

to

acknowledge

his indebtedness to the various artists

who have

kindly allowed their etchings

to be reproduced in this work.


to the Berlin Photographic

Also

Company
use of

of

New York

City

for

the

prints,

for permission to reproduce prints


his private collection.

and to Martin Birnbaum, Esq., from

FOREWORD

THE
A
number

awakening

interest in the

Arts

now

evident in America

Graphic is most

apparent

when we

consider Etching.

of our large cities already have

flourishing Etching societies

and more are

being organised.

There

is

an increasing num-

ber of successful exhibitions of the works of

American Etchers
matter of attendance
tant, in the

successful

both in the

and, quite as impor-

number

of prints sold.

Our

dis-

criminating collectors are showing more interest in the

work

of living Artists, while the

numerous Art Clubs throughout the country,


after years of delving into art history,

are

coming to realise the interest and worth of modern reproductive Art. Many of the most useful books on etching
are published abroad and are either out of

FOREWORD
print or expensive.

In addition none of the

practical manuals are written for use in this

country, with the possible exception of Lalanne's "Treatise

translation of this

on Etching/' An English book was published in Bosand


is

ton

some

thirty years ago

now

out of

print.

The

first

part of the present volume

is

de-

voted to the subjects which are necessary to


a complete understanding of etching.

They

will also serve as a guide to the beginner in


his preliminary

work.

The

point cannot be

too strongly emphasised that etching should

not be attempted until one has a thorough

knowledge of drawing.
In the second or technical part of the book
I

have endeavoured

to

omit nothing, no matassist the be-

ter

how

elementary, that might

ginner.

Even

the

more experienced may

find

these chapters of use, at least in saving themselves the trouble of consulting various

works
al-

for

some needed formula.

Those who

ready enjoy the Graphic Arts will appreciate

FOREWORD
them more
intelligently

and derive additional

pleasure from them by knowing something


of the technical side.

The

fact that

most etchings do not

tell

story, lack the assistance of colour, are not

concerned with the mere copying of


leaving

facts,

thus

much

to

the imagination,

tends to

make

this art less easily

understood by the
the conventions

amateur.

The more numerous


is

the greater
telligent

knowledge required for inunderstanding. "Scorn for limited


the
in art arises
finest

means of expression
perfect culture."

from im-

The

thoughts of the

great Masters have often been expressed by a

few

and with the cheapest materials. While naturally placing great stress on the
lines

manual and technical part of Black and


White,
an
it is

hardly necessary for


is

me

to point
is

that all this


artist.

of no avail if one

not

It

is

true that

manual dexterity
it is

never kout made

an

artist,

and

also true that

no work of art has been injured by being


well presented.
I

am

not forgetting that

FOREWORD
there are
ings

many most charming

little

etch-

which are crude

in execution.

To do
it

thing thoroughly well one must do


ease.

with

An

artist

should be sufficiently master

of methods not to be hindered in working

out his design.

Working methods

in etching

are greatly influenced by the individuality

Every etcher has his own way of working which he considers, and which
of the
artist.

usually

is,

the best for him.

Much

of the contents of this

book

is

de-

rived from notes

made during

the last three

years in England, and on the Continent.


a student in the

As

Engraving Department of the Royal College of Art at South Kensington, it was my great privilege to be initiated
into the mysteries of acids

and grounds by the master craftsman, Sir Frank Short George T. Plowman.

CONTENTS
PART ONE
CHAPTER
I.

PAGE

Pencil

Drawing and Composition

19

II.

Pen Drawing

28
38

III.

Wood Engraving
Lithography
Line Engraving

IV.

42

V.
VI.
VII.

48
53
. .

Etching
Dry-Point, Soft Ground, Etc.

65

PART
VIII.

TWO
.

List of Materials for Etching

73

IX.

Preparing the Plate for Acid

88

X.
XI.
XII.
XIII.

Drawing on the

Plate, Etc.

...

93

Biting the Plate, Etc

98
108 Ill
. . .

Reworking Ground, Etc

Other Methods
For a First Experiment
Printing

XIV.

.117
122

XV.

Bibliography
Index

141

149

ILLUSTRATIONS
Original Etching
George T.

In

Rome

Frontispiece
FACING PAGE

Plowman

Pencil

Drawing
Plowman

Naples
Florence

20

George T.

Pencil

Drawing
Plowman

22

George T.

Silver Point
George T.

24
Plowman
. .

Charcoal Drawing. .Woolworth Building, N. Y.. George T. Plowman

26

Pen Drawing
George T.

Santa Monica, California. ... 32


Plowman
38

Woodcut
Albrecht Diirer

Wood

Engraving
John P. Davis

40

Woodcut
Leonard W. Pike

42

Lithograph
George T.

Rome from
Plowman

Villa Aurelia ....

44

Lithograph
George T.

Rue Boutebrea,
Plowman
Portrait of

Paris

46
after

Steel

Engraving

Washington

Stuart by Halpin

50

ILLUSTRATIONS
FACING PAGE

Etching

Dutch Greengrocerie

54

Sir Frank Short, R.A., P.R.E.

Etching Maxime Lalanne

Street Scene

58

Drypoint Hermann
Aquatint

The Talmudist
Struck

64
68

The Dark Tower


Landscape

Vojtech Preissig

Mezzotint

70

E. Marsden Wilson, A.R.E.

Etching Etching
Marcus Behmen

Landscape

74
84

Sir Frank Short, R.A., P.R.E.

The Watchman
Self Portrait

Etching

92

Max Liebermann

Woodcut

in Color. Emit Orlik

.The Leafless Tree

98
108

Etching Anne
Soft

The Dancer
Goldthwaite

Ground Max Slevogt

D'Andrade

as

Don Juan

112

Etching from Don Juan Portfolio Hans Meid


Etching

116

Richmond Castle

122

Percival Gaskell, R.E.

Etching Tools
Etching Tools

Plate

140 140

Plate II

PART ONE

CHAPTER
"Go
slowly at
first in

PENCIL DRAWING AND COMPOSITION


order that you

may go

fast in

the end/'

AS
cil

a preliminary to the

making

of pen

and ink drawings or etchings, many pencil drawings should be made. The
an

pencil employed for this purpose should be rather hard

H
the

or

HB.
is

The hard
of

penpen.

approaches

directness
best,

the

rather smooth paper

and the same

kind should be used


ferent technique
is

all

the time, as a dif-

required
Soft

when drawing
and rough

on rough paper.

pencils

paper are usually employed when making


pencil drawings

which are not intended for

use in etching.

Often pencils of varying degrees of hardness are used in the same drawing.

The

usual practise

is

to

employ those

grading from 3 or

4B
19

to

H, although every

20
artist

ETCHING AND
has his
is

own way

of working.

The

pencil

not so black as the chalk or pen.

and looks grey when placed beside ink drawings. In good


It has a disagreeable shine,

pencil

work black
of the

is

used sparingly.

Exces-

sive blacks

and a high degree of


amateur.

finish are

signs

The
first

sketch should
slightly indi-

be drawn with decision,


cating the
tion will

main contours and

masses.

Selec-

come with
much.

practise.

At

first

you

will do too

Local colour should be


or

sparingly

suggested

omitted

altogether.

Bear

in

mind

that the fewer facts consistent

with completeness the better the sketch.


long as a drawing
not be carried far."
to feel
select
is

"So
need

harmonious,

it

In time you will learn your drawing, and without thinking


assist

only what will

the effect desired.

It
ies

is

good sometimes

to

make

careful stud-

of trees, for instance

carrying the

work

and trying to learn something of the way in which trees grow. Anas far as possible

other good exercise

is

to

make

fifteen-minute

NAPLES
Pencil

Drawing by

GEORGE

T.

PLOWMAN

OTHER GRAPHIC ARTS


sketches.

21
time,

Stop

at

the
is

end

of

the

whether the sketch


this regularly for a

finished or not.

Do

much

month, and you will find Do not be too worimprovement.

ried if your

work

has not the looseness or

freedom of handling you could wish. This most desirable quality will come in its own
time,

and should not be forced.

One who

strives too

much

for looseness in the begin-

ning loses in

solidity.

There

is

no pleasure equal

to the ability,

acquired after long practise, to express with

you may select. This is the only way by which quality of line may be developed and improved; and
quality of line
ing.
is

ease on paper any subject

of vital importance in etch-

Draw from
all
is

nature

every

day.

Be

composing

the time.

Constant practise

with the pencil

most important for the

beginner in etching.
scales

The musician
employ

practises

and exercises every day.

In the same

way

the etcher should

his sketch

book

constantly.

The

ability to

make good

pencil

22
drawings
is

ETCHING AND
surprisingly rare
of

Most
rough

them are content

among artists. to jot down a


it
is

memorandum with
an
effect.

a very soft pencil.


to get

The
some

softer the pencil the easier


sort of

For the rapid sketch


soft

from nature, no medium equals the


pencil.

"Koh-i-noor" or Faber drawing pencils, 3-ply smooth, or Strathmore or Harding's

drawing papers, are


the

all that is

necessary in

way

of materials.

Many

valuable hints
in

for pencil sketching will be found

Sir

Alfred East's "Landscape Painting."


Silver Point.

silver point

is

a drawing

on prepared paper with a silver pencil or The paper is usually prepared with stylus.
a coating of Chinese white.
of

This method

drawing was employed before lead pencils came into use. It was a favourite medium
with the Old Masters, especially in the Florentine school of the fifteenth century. In appearance silver point
lead pencil drawing.
is

not unlike a hard


is

It

characterised by

^%r^

8.

FLORENCE
Soft'Pencil

Drawing by

GEORGE

T.

PLOWMAN

OTHER GRAPHIC ARTS


precision of line and delicacy of tone.

23

The

point gives a beautiful

grey line of even

width.

Mistakes are not easily corrected,


lines
is

and the only way to erase brush with Chinese white.

to use a

Tinted papers

were sometimes used by the old Masters, the The light being brought out with white.
silver point
is

best adapted to figure drawing.

Legros' beautiful portraits done in this me-

dium
points
fine,

are examples of

modern work.
Robertson

The
Co.,

come

in various sizes, usually three


thick.

medium and

&

of Piccadilly, London, supply the materials


for this work.

Chalk Drawings.
grees of

Chalks of different de-

hardness and various colours are

used on tinted papers with interesting results.


is

Black and white chalk on grey paper very effective. Black, white and sanguin
Rubens' drawings

are used for figure work.

are examples.
in

Landscapes are best rendered

Nature may be suggested by more limited means with coloured chalks


chalk.

brown

24

ETCHING AND
Interesting examples

than in any other way.


of chalk drawings are

shown

in the Studio

Special

Number on

"Pen, Pencil and Chalk."

Charcoal Drawing.

Charcoal

is

employed
on the

by the painter
canvas.
It
it
is

in outlining his subject

only in comparatively recent

times that

has been used as an independent


it
is

medium, when

chiefly

landscapes and the figure.

employed for The coal comes


and

in sticks of .various degrees of hardness,


is

used upon a grained paper.

The

facility

with which the work can be removed from


the paper by dusting with a cloth or rub-

bing with

bread allows of great changes, so that one can compose and rebits of stale

arrange the design with ease.


teristic
is

This characthe greatest


against

also

a difficulty,
to

as

care

must be exercised
the drawing.

guard

damaging

The

slightest

touch

may
the

spoil the

work

of hours.

When

finished

drawing should be fixed on the paper by Charcoal is using a blower and fixative.

employed for tone rather than

line,

although

p^-

^*v*x^

SILVER POINT
By

GEORGE

T.

PLOWMAN

OTHER GRAPHIC ARTS


a combination of the two
is

25

common.

The

rapidity with

which one
is

gets

an effect in

sketching from nature


tages of this
to

one of the advanit is

medium, but

more adapted

making large drawings than small ones. While sometimes employed with crayon or
pen,
it is

at its best

when used

alone.

Rus-

compressed charcoal and rough note paper have been used by Mr. Joseph Pennell with interesting results in a series of drawsian or

ings of

New

York

City.

Composition. In making pictures, it is found that some arrangements of form and values please the eye and others do not. The
conventions of composition are employed to

bring about pleasing pictures.


parts, simplicity
lection,

Balance of

and restfulness through seand what Ruskin calls the laws of

principality and repetition, all tend toward

good composition.
best illustrated

The

balance of parts

is

the steelyards.

by the familiar example of With two pounds of lead the


if

bulk will be the same, but

pound of

26
feathers
is

ETCHING AND

balanced with a pound of lead, the unequal bulk excites the curiosity and

makes the pivotal point


In a composition
blind spot, and
is

a matter of interest.
is

this

point

known

as the

the proper place to put the

principal accent, such as a group of figures.

Equal dark areas or equal light areas should be avoided. Ruskin's law is: a principal
dark value with
its

repetitions or echoes, or
its

a principal light value with


echoes.

repetitions or

Simplicity and restfulness are best

by employing few values simply arranged and broadly treated. Three values are the least that one can use successfully
attained
black, grey

and white.

Black values
as

attract

the eye

first

and should be treated


and be placed
restfulness.

broadly

as possible
as

in such a

manner
black

to

insure
is,

The more
number

there

the greater the

of values

which can be employed. These arrangements will help to indicate the "centre of interest,'' which should be at
or near the centre of the picture.

The

lines

WOOLWORTH

NEW
GEORGE

BUILDING, YORK,

AT NIGHT
Charcoal Drawing by
T.

PLOWMAN

OTHER GRAPHIC ARTS


of

27
to

the composition should

lead

up

the

"centre of interest" in graceful curves.

The

remainder of the picture should be given


only enough expression so that the eye will
instinctively seek this point. Whistler's

meththe

od, or "secret of drawing,"

was

to

"draw
it.

centre of interest

first

and

finish

Then
all

draw

in

the

surroundings.

Keep

the

composition well within the frame."

28

ETCHING AND

CHAPTER
"Art
<(
is

II

PEN DRAWING
Emphasis"

THE
treatise

pen

is

the piccolo flute of the

artistic

orchestra," as C.
calls
it

D.

Ma-

ginnis

in

his

delightful

on "Pen Drawing." While the pen has not the perfect freedom of the etching
point,
it is

very near

to

it

in this

respect.

The

limitations of the

medium
is

are not unlike

those of etching.

There

the

same convenexist in

tion of the outline

which does not

same disregard for colour, except by suggestion. Economy and individuality of line, combined with a proper
nature, and the

regard for the limitations of the medium, are

found in the work of the best pen draughtsmen. Individuality should be as pronounced
in

pen work

as in one's

handwriting.

OTHER GRAPHIC ARTS


The

29

technique of pen drawing has under-

gone great changes in comparatively recent times, largely on account of the employment
of photo-chemical processes.

The
artist's

"process"

block has almost entirely superseded the old

method of interpreting the


by a wood engraving.
of

drawing
is

This change

re-

sponsible for the limitations in the technique

pen drawing

as practised to-day.

Briefly,

making the lines clear and distinct, keeping the work open, avoiding involved passages which might become
a blotch in

these limitations are:

reproduction,
;

especially

if

the

drawing is much reduced keeping the values as few and simple as possible, and using
only black ink on white paper.

The im-

provements in mechanical reproduction have been so rapid of late that these limitations
have not the force that they formerly had.

However, they all tend to good, clear technique, and should be considered for that, if
nothing
else.

Almost any drawing can now

be satisfactorily reproduced.

compara-

30
tively

ETCHING AND
new method,
called
collotype,

gives

facsimile reproductions of the most delicate

work.

The
ings

first

method

of reproducing pen draw-

was

to trace

them on a block of wood.

The engraver
tween the
print the

then cut

away

the

wood

be-

lines of the design,

which would

same

as type.

Later photography
to the

was employed

to transfer the

block or metal plate,

drawing which had still

to

be

worked over by
the material

the engraver,

who

cut

away
best

between the

lines.

The

engravers, notably those working in


in the 8o's, did

America
in their

most wonderful work


the
artist's

close imitation of
last stage

design.

The

was the discovery of a method of cutting away the metal in the space between the lines by means of acid. The metal plate
thus treated
the

was fastened

to a

block of
as

wood
is

height of type.
has

"Process,"

this

called,

many

advantages over the old

method, not the


ness.

least of

which

is

its

cheapis

The

fact that the artist's

work

re-

OTHER GRAPHIC ARTS


produced in facsimile instead of being
preted
is

31
inter-

a great step forward.


is

"process" block

made
is

in the follow-

ing manner:

The drawing

photographed
jtrr*

and the glass negative is placed over a metal plate coated with a gelatine and bicarbonate
of potassium composition,
light.

and exposed
a

to the

When

placed

in

bath

of

warm

water the unexposed gelatine will dissolve,


leaving the drawing as gelatine lines on a

metal surface.

lowered by placing the plate in an acid bath. Another


is

This surface

method

photograph the drawing directly onto a zinc plate and then roll preis

to

pared ink over


the lines

it;

the ink adheres only to

which

are then brought into relief


as before.

by employing acid
the

We

now have

drawing in raised lines on a metal plate which can be printed from the same as type.

You

will note that this

is

the opposite of

etching,

where the

lines of the

drawing are

eaten into the plate by the acid.

variation of the above method,

known

32

ETCHING AND

employed more especially for the reproduction of wash drawings or


as "half tone," is

paintings.

In

this
is

a screen of varying de-

grees of fineness

placed in front of the

drawing
the
tones

to

be photographed, thus dividing


dots

into

or squares, which

are

treated just as the lines are in the "process"

method.

The

screen

causes
this

the

values

to

lose in strength,

and

should be consid-

ered in the drawing.

In photographing the drawing the size can be changed at will. In most cases the drawing is reduced in size.
this affects the

As

technique the draughtsman

should

know beforehand how much the drawing is to be changed and work accordA photogravure is made by photoingly.
graphing the drawing onto a copper plate and then biting the lines into the copper as
in

etching.

The work can


if

over with a graver,

gone and must necessary,

then be

be printed in an etching press.

The

photo-

gravure

is

more

like

an etching than the


is

other photo mechanical methods, and

of

OTHER GRAPHIC ARTS


course
rate

33

more

expensive, as

it

requires sepaof
illustration

printing.

The

history

has been a striving after better and cheaper

methods of reproduction.
lithography,

wood

Line engraving, engraving and process

each show an advance in ease and cheapness.

The

successful

illustrator

must know

all

about process and keep informed as to the

improvements which are being made from


time to time.

Some
between

confusion exists as to the difference


etching

and

pen

and

ink

work.

The pen and

ink reproductions, which are

familiar to us in prints, are usually

made by

means of the "process" method described above, while etching is seldom seen in illustrated magazines except in reproduction, as
its

cost

is

practically prohibitive outside of

very expensive art publications.

Some

years

few etchings and lithographs, and issued them as a part of the


ago the "Studio" printed a
magazine.

Owing

to the great pressure

em-

ployed in printing an etching, the edge of

34

ETCHING AND
mark on
the paper.

the plate leaves a decided

This plate mark and the moulded ridges of ink, which can be felt by passing the fingers
lightly over the darker parts of an etching,

are

means

of distinguishing an etching

from

a reproduction of a pen drawing or of an


etching.

The

etched line having depth as

well as width, contains more ink than the

pen

line.

The gamut
less

of

pen and ink

is

therefore

than that of etching, where

one finds deeper and more velvety blacks, and, at the other end of the scale, more delicate greys.

The

blacks of the pen are

much

deeper than those of the pencil, and do not

have their unpleasant shine.

The
ferent

technique of the pen

is

entirely dif-

from

that

of

the

etching

needle.
in

Changing pressure with the pen giving lines of varying width and
Sometimes pens of different
sizes

results

intensity.

and strength are employed, but usually with a loss of As the etching needle must be simplicity.
used with the same pressure in
all

parts, a

OTHER GRAPHIC ARTS


beautiful

35

grey in the distance

is

attained

by drawing many lines close together and biting lightly. Should the pen draughtsman work in the same way, not having the advantage of the light biting, he would probably have to call for "first aid" from the

photo-engraver to get a

result.

Simplicity and variety of line are to be

kept constantly in mind by the beginner.

very careful pencil drawing should be


first,

made

and over

this the

ink lines should

be drawn.

The

pencil drawing

may

then

be erased with a soft rubber.


tell as

much with

the pen as

Don't try to with the pencil.

Be
to

with a partial expression. Strive make each line valuable, telling as much
satisfied

as possible of
is

shade and form.

good plan
directly

to

make numerous pen drawings


nature

from

without

preparatory

pencil

work; then do the same subject carefully


and compare the
retain the strength
results.

The

ideal

is

to

and freshness of the quick

sketch in the finished drawing.

Pen and ink

36

ETCHING AND
is

drawing

kind of shorthand.
light

Always
are

remember

that

and shade

most

important in pen and ink, and that colour


is

only to be suggested, and even

may
It

be

entirely disregarded.
lines,

There should be few

but each should be

made

to tell.

is

not easy to
yet that
is

make

the result look easy, and

an important requisite.

should be few and simply treated.


blot
sents
as the
is

The values The black


It repre-

most

effective in

pen work.

all

values below a certain level, just

white paper represents those above a


Indicate as

certain level.
in the

much

as possible as possible

dark values and

as little

in the light.

Pen drawing
light
areas,

by large, and has therefore few values.


is

characterised

Employing three values, the following are some of the most useful arrangements Black
:

area against white surrounded by grey.


area
against

Black
white.

grey

surrounded

by

Black, grey and white from edge of picture


to centre.

Grey

at top or

bottom, dark in

OTHER GRAPHIC ARTS


centre,

37

and then white.


to

A
light
all

gradation from
is

dark through grey


therefore good.
fects.

simple, and
ef-

Avoid

complicated

The method
in etching.

of

printing determines

the

technique in pen drawing as

much

as

it

does

The

ink should be very black

and each line

distinct,

with an extra allow-

ance of space between to allow for the thick-

ening in reproduction.

As

to materials, the

requirements are simple:

Gillott

No. 303

and a Crow-quill pen, a bottle of Higgins' waterproof ink, and for paper Bristol board,

Whatman's Hot Press or Strathmore.


treatise

on "Pen Drawing," by C. ginnis, mentioned above, and the large volume, "Pen Drawing and Pen Draughtsmen,"

The D. Ma-

by Joseph Pennell, may be consulted by those who wish to learn more of the technique
of this most fascinating art.

38

ETCHING AND

CHAPTER III WOOD ENGRAVING


or wood-engrava ing, process. WOOD-CUTTING,
is

relief

The

det(

sign
a block of
to cut

is

drawn on or

transferred
is

wood and

a knife

employed

away
lines
left

the surface of the block between

the lines.

The wood-engraver
of the design;

does not
is

work

on the
that the
is

it

the

wood
is

untouched which

prints.

This

older method,

but later an engraver's

burin was used as well as a knife.

The

oldest

woodcut

is

dated 1423.

Block books were

made

before the invention of movable type,


letters

both the illustrations and the


cut in the block.
this

being
in

Many
Germany

artists

worked

medium

in

in

the sixteenth

development was the white method, where the design was cut into the wood, so that the print therefrom showed
century.
later

OTHER GRAPHIC ARTS


as

39

white lines on a black ground.

Thomas

Bewick (1753- 1828) introduced many new methods into the art. In the old method
pear-wood was cut with the grain.

He

used

boxwood
the
to
first

cut across the grain.

Bewick was
than

to interpret the design rather


lines.

follow slavishly the

To

illustrate:

the

shadow

side of a rock

would be made,
all

in the first method,

by digging out

the

space between the

artist's lines.

In the later

method

the effect
lines

would be

attained by run-

ning white
a

through the shadow in such

way

as to get the

proper tone and charac-

ter.

This required

much more

skill

on the

part of the engraver.

A further change in the character of woodengraving came about through the use of

photography in transferring the design to the block. This brought about the subordination of line to tone and texture, giving
results not unlike line engraving.

It

became

a reproductive
in

art.

Artists

were employed

reproducing painting.

Timothy

Cole's

40

ETCHING AND
Old Masters
in

beautiful woodcuts of the

the "Century" are examples.

At
is

present a

return
the
as

to

the
of
if

earlier

method

shown

in

work
great,

Lepere,

whose woodcuts are

not greater, than his etchings.


is

The
It

influence of the Japanese

seen in this

revival.

should be noted that woodcut

is

the

opposite of engraving.

In the former the

lines are in relief as the space

between

is

cut

away, while in the latter the lines are cut


into the surface.
It

was the

art of the people

until superseded

by "process." The woodcut can be printed with the letterpress, and is


therefore a cheap

method

of

reproduction.

As
as

would wear away in time, an electrotype is made which can be renewed


the cut

often

as

desired.

Different values

are

obtained by varying the width of the

lines.

Boxwood
blocks,

is

now
is

generally
the

used

for

the

and

cut across

grain.

The

woodcut should not be made


line engraving.

to imitate the

The

artist

should work from

OTHER GRAPHIC ARTS


the black to the white,

41

white lines
hatching.
rect style,
ink.

showing a flat black, and white spaces, with no cross

If a
it

woodcut

is

made

in the cor-

cannot be copied with pen and

Colour prints are made with a separate


is

block for each colour, and one


the other.
liar

printed over

Japanese colour prints are famithis

examples of

method.

42

ETCHING AND

CHAPTER

IV

LITHOGRAPHY
(writing on stone)
a method of reproduction by which LITHOGRAPHY
is

drawing

is

printed from the surface

of a slab of limestone.
plates are

Aluminum or zinc sometimes used. The process was


Seneat

invented by Aloys Senef elder in 1796.


felder

was born
1771.

Prague, Bohemia, on

No-

vember 6,

It was

while living in Munich,


livelihood by writing
this

making

a precarious

plays, that

he stumbled upon

method

of

getting impressions
cost

from

stone.

of printing his

plays

led

The great him to try

reproducing the copy, written in reverse, on

copper by the etching process.

He

could

not afford a separate copper for every page,

and

so

was compelled
this

to repolish the plate

after each printing.

The

great

amount of
to experi-

labour involved in

caused him

OTHER GRAPHIC ARTS

43

ment with a fine-grained limestone much used in Munich for floor-paving. His first
trials

were not very

successful.

The

neces-

sity for

quickly jotting

washing list forced stone and some ink


lampblack.
the idea
sion on

down the items of a him one day to use a made of soap, wax and
to

As he was about
to

erase this

came

him

to try to get
first

an impres-

dampened paper,

treating the
his suclist,

surface of the stone with acid.

From

making he worked out


raphy
as

cess

in

prints of this

washing

the

whole process of

lithog-

used to-day.

The
other

fact that grease


is

and water repel each


limestone

taken advantage of in lithographic

printing.

The

calcareous

em-

ployed has an equal


grease.

affinity for

water and
with

A drawing

is

made on

this stone

a greased chalk and chemically fixed with a

weak
roller

solution of nitric acid.


is

After

this the

surface

moistened and gone over with a

charged with greasy ink which will

adhere only where the lines have been drawn.

44

ETCHING AND
print can then be

made from

the stone

by using dampened paper. The artist nowadays seldom works directly on the stone,
but makes his drawing on transfer paper.

This drawing is transferred to the stone by the printer and reproduced in the usual way.
It
is
is

generally conceded

that

this

method

as

legitimate as working directly on the

stone,

and

it

is

naturally

much more
artists

con-

venient.

However, some
the stone.
in

in the

meis

dium prefer
sometimes
chalk.

Lithographic ink
place
of
a

employed
stone

greased

The

should

have

smooth
of

surface for ink work.

The combination
mezzotints
for

ink and chalk gives an effect that might be

compared

to

Turner's

the

Liber Studiorum, the ink corresponding to Ink may also be used as a the etched line.

wash and stumping may be employed in same manner as in a charcoal drawing.

the

Owing

to

the facility with

which reprois

ductions can be made, lithography


sively used in

exten-

commercial work.

In recent

'

z <
"OB

OTHER GRAPHIC ARTS


years this art has been brought back to
legitimate sphere, chiefly through the

45
its

work

of

Whistler and of

Way
Club

the printer.

The
a

best

traditions of the art are being conserved

by

the

Senefelder
for

of

London

club

formed

"the

advancement of
first

artistic

lithography."
club,

The
J.

president
is

of

the

Mr. Joseph

Pennell,

distin-

guished exponent of this fascinating art. Almost all of the world's supply of lithographic
stone

comes from the Solenhofen quarries in There are some good French Bavaria. market
also.

6tones on the
in

The

chalk used
tallow,

drawing

is

castile soap,

composed of beeswax, shellac and Paris black.


are
is

More
and

wax and
shellac.

tallow

used

than

soap

The
It

black
is

added that the work

put up in convenient sticks and pencils of several grades of hardness by Korn, of Cedar Street, New York. The

may

show.

ink for drawing on the stone


of equal portions of the

composed same materials as


is

the chalk.

It

comes

in the

form of

sticks,

46

ETCHING AND
and
is

like India ink,

ground

in the
It
is

same

manner, using

distilled water.

put on

with a pen or brush.


ing
is

The

ink used in printlin-

composed of Frankfort black and

seed varnish.

A
other
is

lithographic press

is

quite
press.

unlike

any

form of printing

The

impression

obtained by carrying the

stone on

which

placed on a
as

dampened paper has been movable bed under a bar known


a

a scraper.

This scraping motion

is

en-

tirely different

from the

roller

motion of an
of
artistic

etching press.

The

possibilities

printing of lithographs are being

much

de-

veloped of

late,

and many methods are emresult.

ployed to vary the


prints

The number

of

possible

is

an etched plate.
ing blacker until
of

much greater than from The work fails by becomit

finally clogs

up

instead

becoming weaker
all

as in etching.

As compared with
lack relief, as
It
is

etchings,

lithographs
black.

lines

show equally

an autographic art and

this is its chief

merit.

In looking

at a

lithograph you

may

RUE BOUTEBREA, PARIS


Lithograph with Crayon and Ink by

GEORGE

T.

PLOWMAN

OTHER GRAPHIC ARTS


note white lines running through
it.

47

These
of
the

are

made by scraping

the

surface

stone with the point of a sharp knife.


artists

Some

others.

employ the knife much more than Of late colour lithography is comIn
a separate stone for each

ing into favour, especially in Germany.


this

method there

is

colour.

48

ETCHING AND

CHAPTER V
LINE ENGRAVING
(gravure
en
intaglio
is

taillei.e.,

douce) drawing ENGRAVING


is

in
It

with incised
oldest

lines.

perhaps the

known form

of drawing, for even the

pre-historic races have left records scratched

on the surface of bone.


tian hieroglyphics

In

this sense

Egypmeth-

might be called engraving.


sense
it

In

its

more general

covers
lines,

all

ods of drawing by incised

and there-

fore includes etching and dry point.


restricted

The
the

and

more common use

of

term

is

to limit it to a design cut

on a metal

plate with an instrument called a burin, the


resulting impression constituting a line en-

graving.

Vasari relates

how

printing from

engraved plates was discovered about 1460 by Maso da Finiguerra, a Florentine silver-

OTHER GRAPHIC ARTS


smith.

49

Having filled the lines of a plate on which he was engraving some ornaments with
lamp black and
his
oil,

the

more

readily to see

work, he happened to lay the plate face downward on a sheet of paper, and thus
first

produced the

line engraving.

The GerSo

mans, however, practised the art some years


before,
far as

and

it

probably originated there.


is

the student

concerned, engraving

may be said to begin with Albrecht Durer. The instrument used in line engraving
tion,

is

the burin, a steel rod, lozenge-shaped in sec-

sharpened by being cut obliquely at the end. The handle is shaped to fit the palm

and the instrument, held between the thumb and second finger, is used
of

the hand,

by pushing

it

forward, thus cutting a clear,

sharp V-shaped furrow in the metal.

This

furrow

may vary

in

width from the moment


it

the point digs into the metal until


It
is

leaves.
result-

a most laborious method,


is

and the

ing line

naturally
It
is

more formal than

the

etched

line.

this

absence of spontaneity,

50

ETCHING AND
which
distinguishes line engraving

together with the varying thickness of the


line,

from

etching.

The

burin leaves very

little

burr, as

the metal forced above the surface of the

copper by the instrument is called, since most of the metal comes up as a shaving. This burr is removed with a scraper. All engraving is based on the are no lines in nature,
line,

and

as

there

artistic

convention

plays a most important part, tones and tex-

by the line. Stipple engraving is a form of engraving where dots are employed instead of lines; it
if

tures being translated

often used

in

parts of

line

engravings.
bite

To

save

labour
in

engravers

sometimes

their

lines

with acid,

afterward going

over them with the burin.


is

Line engraving

chiefly

into

employed in translating painting black and white; that is, the colour and
by the
occur
en-

tones of the painting are interpreted


lines

on the
to-day.

plate.

It

is

practically a lost

art

Some

confusion

may

through the misuse of the term

"steel

PORTRAIT OF

GEORGE WASHINGTON
AFTER STUART
Steel Engraving

by

HALPIN

OTHER GRAPHIC ARTS


graving." ing"
is

51

As used nowadays,

"steel engrav-

nearly always a misnomer.

All work

previous to 1820 was on copper,


plates
to

when

steel

were

first

used to enable the printer

get

more impressions from the harder


However,
since the invention of steel
steel
is

metal.

facing of copper,

seldom used on
its

account of the difficulties in

manipulation.
less,

We

are all collectors,

more or

of

mod-

ern steel engravings, as


are engraved on steel.
real "steel

American bank-notes

They

are the only

engravings" of the present day.


in

There are three kinds of printing used


the

graphic

arts

relief

printing,

surface

In relief and intaglio printing. printing the ink is taken from a raised surface, as exemplified in woodcuts, wood-enprinting,

graving and process.


the ink
flat
is

In surface printing,

transferred to the paper

from a

surface, as in lithography.
is

In intaglio

printing the ink

taken by great pressure


plate,
as in

from below the surface of the


line

engraving and etching.

In

relief print-

52

ETCHING AND
is

ing the process


printing
taglio
it
is

flat

squeeze, in surface

a scraping motion,

and

in in-

it is

a roller motion.

OTHER GRAPHIC ARTS

53

CHAPTER
ETCHING

VI

"// you cannot sketch you cannot etch."

Hamerton.

ETCHING
with acid.
i

(from the Dutch "etsen," to eat) is a form of engraving where the lines are bitten into the metal plate

An

etching

is

a print

made from

plate in

which

the design has been bitten

with acid.
etching,

Usage includes dry point with


is

employed, the design being cut into the plate with sharp steel needles. In section the bitten line is
U-shaped, while the dry point and engraved
ines

although no acid

are V-shaped.

It

is

not unusual for

jven cultured people to use the

word

etch-

ng when they refer

to

pen drawing.

The
:

etched line

is

characterised by great

reedom, the steel point gliding with ease n all directions over the metal plate. Etch-

54
ing
is

ETCHING AND
the only

form of engraving

in

which

an
ing

artist
is

can sketch.

The

technique of etchthat of

quite different

from

pen or

pencil.

The vigour and

delicacy possible in
art.

the biting serve to differentiate this


artist

The

who draws on copper

just as

he would

draw with
stand the
in

the pen or pencil does not under-

the

medium and will be disappointed The artist who draws on result.


and does not himself
is

the copper

bite

the

plate with the acid

not an etcher.
less

This
re-

should also be true to a

degree with

gard
bites

to the printing.

The

true etcher draws,

and prints the plate himself. Briefly, the methods employed

in

making
copper

an etching are
plate
is

as follows: a polished

covered with a kind of varnish called

an etching ground.

The ground

is

smoked

with
his

wax
work.

tapers to assist the artist in seeing

On
steel

this

he draws his design,

employing a

needle which cuts through

the varnish and exposes the copper.


plate
is

The

then covered on the back and edges

m * ig U cs 5 as S B 3 * * w

? Q O " S * d I z * 2 3 2 z < M w

as

OTHER GRAPHIC ARTS


I

55

with some varnish impervious to acid and

immersed
I

in an acid bath.

The

acid will
artist

attack the copper only

where the

has

drawn with
[sufficiently
[j

the needle.

When
is

the acid has

eaten the lines of the distance or

the lightest part, the plate


the

removed from

bath and washed in water.

brush

charged with stopping-out varnish is used to cover over these lines. The plate is again

iput into the acid,


|

which again

attacks all the


out, as
it is

remaining

lines.

This stopping

[called, is
to
j,

repeated until

all parts

are bitten
is

the required depth.

The ground

then

{[removed with turpentine and a trial proof 'taken on an etching press.

The
his

artist

has

many ways
this

of correcting
as
is

work, should
case,

print,

usually

the

Another prove unsatisfactory. ground can be put on, new work added, and
the

plate

bitten

as

before.

The

lines

al-

ready on the plate can be enlarged by putting

on a rebiting ground, which covers the surface of the plate but leaves the lines

56
exposed.

ETCHING AND
Lines which are too deep can be

reduced by using a tool called a burnisher or by a scraper. Or charcoal may be employed


plate
to

bring

down

the

surface

of

the

by rubbing, thus making the


In etching
it is

lines shal-

low.

more
still
it is
is

possible to

make

sweeping changes and


ness of the

retain the freshin

work than

whole foreground

pen or pencil. sometimes scraped


Sir

out, the

copper pounded up from the back,

and new work added.


puts
it,

As

Frank Short
is

"While there

is

copper there

hope."
is

press used in printing etchings unlike an ordinary washing mangle.


rollers are usually of steel
is

The

not

The

and between them

movable metal plank on which the plate

is

placed.

The warmed
is

plate

is first

covered

with ink, which

then carefully wiped off

the surface, leaving the lines full.


a thin film of ink
is

Sometimes

left

on the surface of

the plate as well.


plate
across
is

To

get a richer print the


a soft rag flicked
of

again
the

warmed and

lines,

pulling some

the

ink

OTHER GRAPHIC ARTS


over their edges.
or stumping.

57

This

is

called retroussage,

dampened

piece of etching

paper and it

is is

then placed over the inked plate,

passed between the steel rollers unSeveral thicknesses

der a heavy pressure.

of blanketing are placed between the rollers


to equalise this

pressure,

which

is

so great

that the edges of the plate

make

a distinct

mark on
in the

the paper,
is

and the ink from the


in relief.
felt

darkest lines

moulded

This

relief

dark

lines

can be

by passing the

fingers lightly over an etching.

The

plate

mark and
taglio

the relief help to distinguish in-

printing.

The
is

absence of the plate


not a proof that they

mark

in old prints

are not etchings because the paper

may have
Al-

been cut in the margin between the plate

mark and
most
all

the edge of the etched work.

old etchings had these margins, and

they were sometimes quite wide.

Printing of etchings

is

unlike the printing

of other forms of black


that
it is

and white work in

an important part of the process

58

ETCHING AND
Pen-and-ink

of attaining the desired result.

reproductions by the process block, or halftone method, go through the press with very
little

more care than


is

type,
if

but in etching

the printing

almost,

not quite, as im-

portant as the drawing and the biting.

good etching

is

a combination of a successful

drawing, a successful biting and a successful


printing.

If the etcher delegates the printis

ing to another, he should be sure that he

placing his plate in experienced hands, and


in addition should give his personal super-

vision to the prints; at least until one


to his satisfaction

comes
guide

which can serve

as a

for future impressions.

varied in

many

ways.

The result may be The kind of ink, the


have their influence.

way

it is

put on, the different papers, and the


all

printing in the press

From

the beginning one should have in

mind

the kind of printing to be employed.

"Is this an original or a copy?"

is

a com-

mon

question.

Every impression made from


is

a copper plate

an original print.

In etch-

From a print in

the possession of George T.

Plowman

AN ETCHING
By

MAXIME LALANNE

OTHER GRAPHIC ARTS


ing, a design

59
be
the

can be duplicated and

still

an original.

There are no copies


means
to

in

usual sense of the word.


is

The copper
is

plate

merely a

an end, and

of no

value in

itself.

It is destroyed as soon as it

shows signs of wear. trial proof is a print made before an etching is finished to
prove or try the condition of the plate. There may be a number of these, but none
are signed

by the

artist

until

the plate
artist's

is

finished to his satisfaction.


is

An

proof

a print signed

by the
not

artist,

and therefore
signed
his su-

satisfactory to him.

by the

artist

may

The prints not be made under


to

pervision,

and are likely

be poor.

They

are always of less value than artist's proofs.

The "Remarque," which


of

is

a characteristic

some of the old work, is not possible in most modern work because the margin on which these little sketches were drawn does
not exist, the artist working
of the plate.

up

to the

edge

Proofs before and after

letter-

ing are also terms

which seldom have a

sig-

60

ETCHING AND
No
two proofs are or should

nificance now.

be exactly alike.
not interpret the
the

The
work

great musician does


of the master exactly

same each time.


strives.

He

has an ideal toward

which he
printer

In the same

way

the artist
to

manipulates his materials


that

bring

about
print.

most elusive

result

perfect

The number
plate will yield
a
delicate
one.

of prints

made from

a plate

depends on many things.

deeply bitten

more good impressions than

Much
of

dry point will cut

down

good proofs obtainable. Dry points with the burr on print only a few satisfactory proofs because the projecting

the

number

burr soon breaks down under the pressure of


the
press.

The number,
to

therefore,
in

varies

from eight
points to

ten

prints

delicate

dry

fifty,

one hundred or more in strong


steel

work.

By employing
is

facing the

numThis

ber of prints
is

materially increased.

a process for depositing a thin film of steel


electrolysis over the surface of the copper.

by

OTHER GRAPHIC ARTS


Copper thus protected
proofs without wear.
will give

61

many more
steel

Should the

facing

some parts it can all be removed by a moment's immersion in a weak solution of nitric acid and another put on.
in

wear away

The

plate prints the

same when

steeled as

before.

Steel plates should be protected

from

by a coating of beeswax. Sir Seymour Haden's qualifications for a printer


rusting
of

etchings

are:

"A

finely

organised

man
great-

with the palm of a duchess."


est

The two

printers were Delatre in France and

Goulding in England. Should the artist decide,

after

number

of prints, to change the

making a work in any


after
this

way

for example, by taking out or adding the


prints

another figure

made
are

change become another "state of the plate."

With some
states,

artists

there

innumerable
Naturally the

with others very few.

fewer prints there are for a given state the more valuable they are to the collector.

However, an early

state

is

not necessarily

62

ETCHING AND
made
are in-

the best, because the changes

tended to and usually do improve the work.

Provided there have not been too many impressions made, and the plate is therefore
in a

good condition, the

later "states"

may
is

be better than the

earlier.

To
tler

tell

much

in as

few

lines as possible

the ideal of etching.

Rembrandt and Whisfor


their

should be studied

masterly

suggestion, and for their omission of nonessentials, leaving

much

to the imagination.
lies in this

The
tion

pleasure of etching

sugges-

which appeals
Ruskin,
it

to the intelligence of the

beholder.

who

did not understand

etching, called

the "art of scratch."

On

the contrary, each line should be considered

and nothing
In

left to

chance.

There are two

kinds of etching, reproductive and original.

reproductive
is

etching

the

work of

the

painter
inal

translated into etching.

In orig-

etching the artist translates nature di-

rectly,

and he

is

then

known

as a painter-

etcher.

OTHER GRAPHIC ARTS


The
which etchers have
tive process
is

63

following are some of the difficulties


to

contend with

nega-

always more

difficult

than a

drawing showing light golden on a black ground. All line work must lines be done with a view to the future action of
the acid

positive, the

and of the printing.

The

requireis

ment of even

pressure in all passages

an-

other difficulty.

The

biting

is

very uncertain.

One never knows

surely

what the acid has


is it

done until a proof is made. "Etching While always a chemical experiment." may be true that you can learn all there
to

is

be learned about the technique in a half

day, as I have been informed

by a

distin-

guished

artist,

it

is

possibly wise for ordia


art.

nary mortals

to

take

bit

more time

in

learning the "teasing''

The

possibilities

medium you know your


of the of years.

are not fully realised until

copper, and that

is

a matter
will

To

quote Hamerton:

"You

have

many

a hard battle,

many an hour
tell

of
all

mortification,

but

let

me

you that

64

ETCHING AND
oroil

good etchers have passed through these deals and been dirty with charcoal and

and printing ink, and burnt their skin with acid, and spent hours and days in rubbing

and scraping and correcting, often with no immediate result except utter disappointment."

OTHER GRAPHIC ARTS

65

CHAPTER

VII

DRY-POINT, SOFT GROUND, ETC.


(pointe-seche)
is

a meth-

od of engraving DRY-POINT
though
no acid
it is
is

on copper with a hard and very sharp steel point. Ala

misnomer

to call

it

etching, as

employed, yet custom sanctions In etching, the copper the use of the word.
is it

dissolved to
is

make

the line; in dry-point


steel

dug

out.

The
is

point in cutting
as the

the copper turns


burr. If this

up a furrow known
left

on

it

catches the ink

and gives that velvety richness and softness which we associate with dry-point. The burr

may be partly cut off with a sharp scraper, or it may be entirely removed, as is generally the case when dry-point is used in connection with etching.

Dry-point needles
extra hard
steel

are

usually

made

of

and are of varying

sizes.

66

ETCHING AND
needle should have a shorter cone than

The

the etching needle and a sharp point.

Diatheir

monds

are

often

used

in

dry-point,

great advantage lying in their always being

However, they have this objection, that they are brittle, and should not be used
sharp.
in

the

heavier

passages.

The

dry-point

needle can

make very

faint lines,

and

it

is

therefore good for putting in the delicate

Light dry-point lines harmonise well with etched lines, whereas deep ones do not. It is wise therefore to add drylines of sky.

point only in the distant or the lighter parts


of an etching.

Much

dry-point added to an

etching decreases materially the


satisfactory prints.

number

of

The

needle

when held

upright throws up an equal burr on both


sides

of

the line.

When
more

held slanting

it

throws up a
pressure,

much
so
is

heavier burr for a given


effective.

and

To

see

your work, rub some lampblack mixed with oil into the lines and wipe off with a rag.
Dry-point
is

much

simpler than etching

OTHER GRAPHIC ARTS


acid
seen.
is
is

67

proper, as the uncertainty of the biting with

avoided and the work can be easily

The

play of the needle on the plate

less

free in this

method than

in etching,
to

on account of the pressure required


into the copper.

cut

To sum
of line,

up, the distinctive

characteristics of dry-point are: velvety rich-

ness

and

softness

arising

from the

action of the ink on the burr,

and lack of
to

perfect freedom in the line,


resistance of the

owing
that

the

copper

to

the point.

Sir

Seymour Haden discovered


of

Remfirst

brandt's etchings could be divided into three

periods

about ten years each

the

period, pure etching; second period, etching

mixed with dry-point; third period, pure


dry-point.

Soft Ground.
ing on
a

This

is

method

of draw-

plate with

lead

pencil.

The

ordinary etching ground mixed with tallow


to soften it is

put on the plate in the usual


grained tissue paper
is is

way.

sheet of

stretched over this ground.

The

design

68
then

ETCHING AND
drawn on
is

the tissue with a pencil.


it

When

the paper

removed,

will be found that

the ground has adhered to the paper wher-

ever the pencil has been.


left

The
in

lines

thus

on the copper are bitten

the usual

way.

The

resulting print resembles a soft

pencil drawing or a lithograph.

Aquatint
lines.

is

engraving with tones instead of


is

plate

covered with finely pow-

dered resin and the tones are produced by the stopping out method. Sand grain is a kind
of aquatint

where the grain

is

produced by

running a plate, covered with an ordinary

ground and on which


Mezzotint
It has

a piece of sand

paper

has been placed, through an etching press.


is

means of engraving
lines
is

in tone.

been

much

used for the reproduction

of painting.

Neither

nor acid are em-

ployed.

copper plate
it

uniformly roughdifferent direc-

ened by going over


tions
er.

in

many

with a toothed instrument called a rock-

black.

rocked plate would print a uniform steel tool called a mezzotint scraper

Permission of Berlin Photographic Co.

THE DARK TOWER


Aquatint in Color by

VOJTEGH PREISSIG

OTHER GRAPHIC ARTS


is

69

used to reduce the roughness and get the

various tones, working


light.

from the dark

to the

An
is

outline of the organic parts of the

design

sometimes rather deeply bitten on the

plate before rocking.

Most

interesting

exam-

ples of this are Turner's beautiful outlines for

the plates of the Liber Studiorum.


tint is

Mezzo-

much
it

richer than charcoal drawing,

which

somewhat resembles.
it is

On

account of

the burr in mezzotints, get a comparatively

only possible to

few good impressions;


all

twenty or

thirty

are

that

are

usually

printed without

steel facing.
is

Monotype.

If a picture

painted on a

polished copper plate and the plate, covered

with a dampened piece of etching paper,

is

run through an etching press, or even through


an ordinary washing mangle, the resulting

In monotype. theory only one print can be taken, but in practise a second or even a third are often
impression
is

known

as

more

interesting than the

first. it is

Some amusnot a

ing results are attained, but

method

70
to

ETCHING. AND
It
is

employ for serious work. plaything and the effects

an

artistic

are

accidental.

Colour may be used, but more often the drawing is made with black ink.
Glass Prints.

This

is

another process with

which

artists

have amused themselves.


is

sheet of glass

covered with an opaque var-

nish on

which a drawing

etching needle.

print

made with an can be made by exis

posing sensitized paper to the light behind


this plate

the Barbizon painters

made many

Neither glass prints nor monotypes are in any sense engravings or etchings.
glass prints.

H
H O
N N
2

2
CQ

(d

PART TWO

GRAPHIC ARTS

73

CHAPTER
LIST
Plate
File
Vise, with handle

VIII

OF MATERIALS FOR ETCHING


Scraper Burnisher

Olive Oil

Turpentine

Charcoal

Whiting (Blanc d'Espagne)

Ammonia
Dabber
Ball of Etching ground

Dry-Point Needles Oil Rubber

Graver or Burin
Roller

Wax tapers

(Rat de cave)

Chamois

skin

Etching needles

Oil Stone

Varnish for back of plate

Snake Stone

Tray
Acid

for acid

Emery Paper

Lamp
Anvil

Black

Blotting paper Stopping-out varnish

Hammer
Callipers.

Water-colour brushes

addition one should be provided with

I
rags.

feathers,

running
heating

water

if

possible,

means

of

and

clean

cotton

The

Plate as

it

comes

to the etcher

is

pol-

ished but needs to be bevelled on the edges and

74

ETCHING AND
it

corners so that
printing.

will not cut the paper

when

Use 18-gauge American etching copper for ordinary work. For mezzotints
or large etchings use 16 gauge.

English cop-

per

is

preferred by some and

may

be had in
is

New

York.

Old hand-hammered copper


than copper.

desirable but very difficult to procure.


plates are

Zinc

much cheaper

They

require

different proportion in the acid.

The beginner would do well to use copper. The File is used to bevel the edges and corners of the plate.

The Vise should have

wooden handle and

one of the jaws should be covered with a piece of an old kid glove to protect the surface of
the plate.

Turpentine
finished.

is

used to clean the plate and


is

for removing the ground after the biting

Whiting

softened with

Ammonia

is

rubbed

over the plate with printing muslin for further cleaning.

Electro Silicon or Gilder's


this

Whitening are good for

purpose.

If the

'

g t

Z *

OTHER GRAPHIC ARTS


plate
is

75

tarnished vinegar and salt are some-

times used.

The Dabber
a disk of stiff

is

easily

made

as follows

Cut

cardboard about three inches in


a piece of silk, twelve inches
table.

diameter.
across, flat

Lay
on a

On

this,

make

a pile

of cotton

wool and horse-hair, on top of which


cardboard.
tie

place

the

Draw up
with a
string.

the

silk

around the disk and

Cut

off

the ends of the silk,

leaving enough for a

handle.
is

Sometimes

fine

kid or chamois skin

used instead of the

silk.

Etching Ground.
should
It

A good

etching ground
acid perfectly.
it

resist the action of the

should adhere to the plate so well that

will hold

up even when a small amount between closely drawn lines. The


should be clear cut with perfect edges.

is left

lines

The

ground should not be

so

hard that the needle

will not expose the copper


pressure.

under ordinary

In other words, the ground should


it

be so good that the etcher need not give


thought.

76

ETCHING AND

COMPOSITION OF ETCHING GROUND


Bees-wax (pure)
Syrian Asphaltum

2j^ ounces 2
2 y 2 y

Burgundy

pitch

ounce

Black pitch

GROUND KNOWN
White

AS REMBRANDT'S
30 grains
15 15
"

Wax

Gum

Mastic

Asphaltum or Amber

"

BOSSE'S

GROUND

AS USED BY

HAMERTON
5 3
2 \y

Bees-wax (pure) Gum Mastic

ounces
"

Bitumen

(in

powder)
is

This ground

used for the Dutch mordant.

MODIFICATION OF BOSSE'S GROUND USED BY PATON FOR NITRIC BATH


Bees-wax (pure) Gum Mastic
3
1

ounces

ounce

Burgundy pitch Bitumen (in powder)

Increase the amount of Asphaltum in the

Rembrandt Ground

to

30 grains for summer

OTHER GRAPHIC ARTS


use.

77

Some

etchers

add
of

a small ball of con-

:entrated
:

solution

rubber to the above

ormulas.

Making Etching Ground from formula


given
first.

First

powder
is

the pitch and the


is

asphaltum.
colour only.

The

black pitch

added for

If this

omitted, twice as

much

Burgundy

pitch must be used.

Put the beesand melt over

wax
stir

into a glazed double boiler

a slow fire.

Add

the Syrian asphaltum and

with a glass rod. Next add the pitch, making sure that each ingredient is melted
before the next
the fire
is

added.

Take

the pot off


it

when

putting in asphaltum, as

is

liable to ignite.

good plan

is

to

keep

at

hand

a copper plate larger than the dish to

put over the boiler in case the asphaltum does catch on fire.

Let the mixture simmer for


stirring all the time.

fifteen

minutes

Pour

into a pail of

warm
balls

water and when cool enough form into

squeezing out the water.

Cover with a

bit of silk cloth

and

it is

ready for use.

78

ETCHING AND Wax Tapers. A twisted bundle


known
as the

of

wax

tapers,

"Rat de Cave," is used for smoking the plate. These may be had

of any dealer in Etching supplies.

Etching Needles are usually made with wooden handles. Sometimes the handle is
adjustable so that a

number

of points of dif-

ferent sizes can be set in as required.

The

disadvantage of these
loose in time.

is

that they

may work

Good

etching needles are also

made

of one piece of steel.

The

extra weight

helps in cutting through the ground.

Needles

sharpened

at

both ends are to be avoided as


if

they are somewhat dangerous


used.

carelessly

Large sewing or darning needles


points,
I

make

good etching

provided a firm wooden

handle can be devised.

have a number of

very successful etching needles made from

broken

dental

tools.

An

etching

needle

should be sharpened
blunted.
It

to a conical point slightly

should not scratch the copper


all directions,

but go equally well in

gliding
it.

on the copper and not digging into

To

OTHER GRAPHIC ARTS


sharpen
the
needle,

79
the

place

it

between

palms of the hands and holding the point at an angle on the oilstone rub the hands toDescribe circles of varying sizes on a sheet of cardboard to polish the point. Do
gether.
this until the

point will glide on the thumb-

nail

without catching.
as

Dry-Point Needles are the same shape


etching needles, but are of

much harder

steel.

They

are

made very sharp

for cutting the

copper.

Asphaltum Varnish or French Polish


the plate to protect
it

is

used for painting over the back and sides of

from the

acid.

The Tray

for

Acid can be of porcelain,

enamel ware, or any flat-bottomed dish that is impervious to acid. In Paris, trays of papiermache, covered with
Black, are to be had.
as I

many coats They are


sorrow.

of

Brunswick

liable to leak,

have found

to

my

Acid.

The

principal acids used in etching

are nitric, hydrochloric


iron.

and perchloride of All acids should be kept in bottles, with

80

ETCHING AND
glass stoppers, in a safe place.

ground

Work

before an open
as the gas

window when
is

using nitric acid

given off

injurious to the throat

and

eyes.

skin a

Acid will turn the clothing or the Some etchers add a bright yellow.

small piece of sal-ammoniac to the bath before biting, to

make

it

work more smoothly.


is

Use

a piece the size of a hazel-nut to a pint

of acid.

The

colour of the acid

clear

and
it,

slightly yellow until the

copper

is

laid in

when

it

becomes green.
is

For copper,
and

the pro-

portion

three parts of pure nitric acid of a


5 parts of water.

specific gravity of 1.42

Many

use distilled water.

For zinc or

steel

one part of acid


be used.

to seven parts of

water should

Never use

the

same acid for zinc

and copper.
In mixing, always remember
acid to the water.
It
is

to

add the
to

dangerous

pour

water into acid.


erates heat the

As

the chemical action gento

mixture should be allowed


It
is

stand for several hours.

good plan

to

put a strip of copper or a copper coin into

OTHER GRAPHIC ARTS


the acid before using.
better.

81

This makes

it

work

of
to

Always have beside the bath a basin clean water to wash the plate in and also
off

wash

any acid from the

fingers.

Have
and not
latter

a bottle of

on the

ammonia handy, in clothes. Be sure to get

case acid gets


nitric

nitrous acid, for the

fumes from the

are
is

much more

disagreeable, and, as the acid


as
nitric,

not as strong

the proportions
uses

given will not hold.


acetic acid instead of

Sir

Frank Short

water in the nitric bath.

DUTCH BATH
The Formula
Hydrochloric acid
Chlorate of Potash

for

Dutch Bath

is

10 parts by weight " " "

Water

88

"

"

"

Take
potash.

half of the water hot and dissolve the

When

cold add remainder of water

and hydrochloric acid. The chemical action The proporwill heat the mixture again.
tions of the

Dutch bath may be

varied.

82

ETCHING AND
Smillie used
:

Muriatic acid
Chlorate of Potash

1
*.

ounce

Water

ounces

The Dutch Bath


plate as
it

is

useful for starting a

attacks all the lines evenly, whereas

nitric acid

sometimes plays tricks by starting

some
it
is

lines before others.

With some
in the nitric.

plates

good plan Dutch and the remainder

to bite the distance in the

When
all

you are doing the whole plate


it is

in the Dutch,

good idea

to give it

one bubbling

over in the nitric before removing ground.

For extremely fine, use the Dutch bath


slow
bites
in action

close
cold.

and delicate work


This bath
is

very

compared with

the nitric and

deeper into the plate for a given width of surface. The bath should be heated to

from 70 to 90 about 8o. Use


same degree

The
a

usual temperature
to

is

thermometer

keep the
with

as the rate of biting varies

the temperature.

The above

is

the

mordant used for working

OTHER GRAPHIC ARTS


directly in the bath.

83
this

When

employing

method, begin by drawing the lines of your


subject

which are
light.

to

be the darkest and work


is

toward the
the

It

more

difficult to see

work than with

nitric because the

Dutch

turns the lines nearly as black as the ground.

time-gauge can be

made

in the following
it

manner:

strip of

copper having on

series of lines

can be bitten

i,

2, 5, 10,

15,

20, 30, 40, and 60 minutes to use as a guide, noting the temperature and employing the

same when biting the


ant and injurious

plate.
is

One

of the ad-

vantages of the Dutch bath

that no unpleas-

fumes are given off. Perchloride of Iron is used pure as a mor-

dant.
it

When

the plate

is

taken from this bath

should be washed in water and then in a


solution of nitric acid.

weak

Wash

again in

water before putting back in the perchloride.

This method will give the best


of the advantages of this acid
is

results.

One

that there are

no injurious fumes.
bles the

The

resulting line resem-

Dutch.

84

ETCHING AND
Kind
Line resulting from different Nitric line is wide with a ragged
of

baths.

edge and more V-shaped. The Dutch mordant bites deeper and afterward sidewise.

At
ish

first it is like
it

a shallow

"IF and

in deeper

biting

takes the

form of an inverted Moor-

Deep lines therefore hold more ink than would appear from the width of line
arch.

on the surface.

Stopping Out Varnish. Japan Black thinned with turpentine is a good stopping out
varnish, but takes too long to dry.

Hamerton

recommends a saturated
in ether,

solution of white

wax

adding % part of Japan varnish. Chloroform can be used instead of ether.

Another good mixture is of Asphaltum varnish mixed with some old etching ground.
Sir

Frank Short recommends etching ground


in

dissolved

chloroform
to

or

benzol.

The

above formulas are

be used when you

may

wish

to

draw over

the ground.

For ordinary
is

stopping out use any varnish that


vious
to

imperRhind's

acid

and quick drying.

OTHER GRAPHIC ARTS


quick drying stopping out varnish
lent.
is

85
excel-

Penrose

Mogul Varnish

is

quick dry-

ing, acid resisting and not brittle.

Scraper.

This triangular tool has three

cutting edges

which must be kept sharp

all
is

the time or they will scratch the plate.

It

used for scraping the surface of the plate

to

reduce over-bitten

lines.

The

scraper

is

also

used to remove dry point burr.

It should be

very sharp for this purpose as sometimes one


wishes to remove only the top of the burr.

Should the scraper be used too


one part of the plate
it

much on any

will cause a depression

which will hold

ink.

Hammer, Anvil and


sion
is

Callipers.

depres-

remedied by knocking up the plate from the back by means of a hammer and pol-

ished anvil.

A map

of the depression can be

drawn on the back of the copper by using a


pair of long-armed callipers, one prong of

which
plate.

is

sharpened

to scratch the

back of the

Be

careful not to knock


it

up the plate

too

much

or

may

buckle.

86

ETCHING AND
This
is

Burnisher.

also

used to reduce

over-bitten passages.

It consists of

an oval-

shaped piece of highly polished


a

steel set in
is

wooden handle.

The

tapering point
lines.

the

part used in reducing the

It

is

held at

an angle

to the plate

and passed diagonally

across the lines, thus partly closing

them

so

that they hold less ink and will print lighter.

The

burnisher

is

a most useful tool, and in

the hands of an expert can be

made

to

perform

wonders.

Some

etchers over-bite certain pas-

sages purposely to get the exact tones with the

burnisher.

To
it

condition rub
in a piece of

keep the burnisher in good back and forth along a groove


in

wood

which some emery powTripoli powder and

der has been placed.


olive oil are also
nisher.

good for polishing the burThis


a tool
It

Graver or Burin.

is

which
is

must be sparingly used


ful to strengthen a

in etching.
line,

use-

weak

following each

irregularity.

To

slightly rebite lines

which

have been gone over with the burin

restores

OTHER GRAPHIC ARTS


the quality of the etched line.

87

ing the burin in the


graver.

stiff

Avoid employmanner of the en-

Charcoal.

Willow Charcoal
It
is

in sticks

is

used to polish the plate and reduce over-bitten passages.

comes

in varying degrees of

hardness and
olive oil.

used with water as well as

Oil Rubber.

An
is

Oil Rubber

is

made by
%"-

binding tightly a
ing.

roll of old

printing blanket-

The

roll

usually about 6" long by


is

in diameter.

The end

used with

oil for

polishing the plate.

88

ETCHING AND

CHAPTER

IX

PREPARING THE PLATE FOR ACID

F
zine

IRST make

sure

that

there

are

no

scratches on the surface of the plate.

Remove any you may


some
olive

find

with the

burnisher and

oil.

Clean the
Ben-

plate with turpentine and a soft rag.


is

also

sometimes used.

Use

salt

and

vinegar to remove tarnish.


a mixture of

Afterward use

ammonia and

whiting.

Wash

off

the whiting with water and dry the plate, after

which

it is

ready for the ground.

Warm
just

the

plate until the ball of

ground will

melt

through the

silk

when

passed over the surface.

Be

careful not to have the plate too hot or

the ground will be burned.

Rub

over the sur-

face evenly with a bit of printing muslin to


distribute the ground; then, using the dabber,

tap

first

vigorously
it

all

over the plate; then

softly,

as

cools.

The ground should be

OTHER GRAPHIC ARTS


and yet
resist the acid.

89

evenly distributed and as thin as possible,

The

plate should not

be heated too quickly or too much.


it

Keep

just hot

the silk.
too hot.

melt the ground through If bubbles come on the plate, it is

enough

to

Should you have too much ground,


first

remove the surplus by

cleaning the dab-

ber on another plate or a sheet of tissue paper,

warmed on

the heater.

With

this

cleaned

dabber take up the extra ground from the The two things to guard against in plate. putting on the ground are grease and dust on
the plate.

To smoke
wax
tapers.

the plate use a bundle of twisted

Let the plate get cold before

smoking on account of the danger of burning In smoking, hold the plate face the ground.

downward by
head.
the

the hand-vise high above the

Pass quickly backward and forward


tapers.

lighted
edges.
in

Be
centre
the

careful
will
edges.

to

smoke
enough

the

The
to

get

smoke
careful

covering

Be

very
either

not

burn

the

ground

90

ETCHING AND
stopping
too

by

long

in

one

place

or

getting the taper too near the plate.


flame,

The

but not the wick, should touch the

ground.

little

practise will enable the be-

ginner to get a beautiful, dull black surface,


like polished ebony,
all

over the plate.

If

you find any parts that are not smooth and are grey and shiny, the ground has been
burned, and you must wash
it all

off

with

tur-

pentine and begin again, since burned ground


will not resist the acid.

Roller Ground.

Use equal

parts of etchoil of

ing ground broken into bits and spike


lavender,
i

oz.

by weight

to 2 oz.

Warm
rod.

until dissolved, stirring

by measure. with a glass

Place in a wide-mouthed bottle and keep

corked.

Use

this paste

ground with

a leather-

covered

roller.

Spread the ground with a

palette knife on a piece of plate-glass or an-

other plate and charge the roller evenly with


this paste.

Roll the plate


it is

many

times in vari-

ous directions until

covered with a thin

even film of the ground.

Heat

the plate to

OTHER GRAPHIC ARTS


expel the oil of lavender.

91

This

is

shown
as

by a slight change in colour.


usual.

Smoke

Liquid Method.

Dissolve etching ground

in spike oil of lavender,

chloroform or men-

tholated ether in the following

manner:

small piece of ground


tle

is

put into a 6 oz. bot-

filled

with the liquid.


so.

Shake well and


off the liquid a

leave for a day or

Pour

couple of times to get rid of the sediment.

Level the plate with a small spirit level and pour the liquid ground on until it just covers
all

the surface and

fills all

the corners.

Put

surplus back into bottle and allow plate to


dry.

Smoke

as before.

To

polish the plate after

working on

it

with

the scraper, use the materials in the follow-

ing order:
charcoal,

Arkansas
oil
r

stone,

snake stone, water

charcoal,
oil

emery with

w ater,

and powdered rubber, and putty powfelt

der with a bit of old blanketing.

All of the
the
oil

above are seldom needed

usually

charcoal and oil rubber are enough.

The bur-

92
nisher

ETCHING AND
may be
used
to take out scratches

which

have a mysterious way of appearing on the plate no matter how careful you are.

Permission of Berlin Photographic Co.

SELF-PORTRAIT
Etching by

MAX LIEBERMANN

OTHER GRAPHIC ARTS

93

CHAPTER X
DRAWING ON THE PLATE
line of the

drawing should be

made, EVERY bearing and


the acid

in

mind

the effect of

printing.

Different acids

iring different results.


tirely different

The

technique

is

en-

from pen or pencil drawings


is:

the fewer lines for a given effect the better.

Lalanne's rule for drawing

"The breadth
That
for

of the space between lines should be in pro-

portion to the depth of biting."

is,

shallow biting keep the lines close together,

and for deep biting wide apart.


allows for the action of the acid
sidewise as well as down.

This rule

which

bites

Etching is an interpretation of nature, and no attempt should be made to conceal the line which is the most
vital fact of this

medium.

The

needle should be held as near upright

94

ETCHING AND
At
first

as possible to get the best results.

you will get the

lines in the distance too far

apart, because they will look closer than they

really are on account of the shining of the

copper on the black ground.

Using a reading
paper over
real state of the
all

glass or placing a piece of tracing

the plate will


lines.

show you the

Draw
The

with evenness of pressure

over and with enough firmness to expose the


copper.

temptation

is

strong to press

lightly in the fainter parts.

The copper may


left to

be exposed so that

it

shines through and yet

enough
the acid

of the

ground will be
biting.

prevent

from

To

put on extra presis

sure in a place

where deep biting

required
it is

will assist the result, but in general


to leave the values to the acid.

best

Do

not cross
find

the lines at too acute an angle or the acid has

you will

made

a hole at the intersection.

The more

surface exposed in a given area the

faster the nitric will bite.

This should be

considered in the stopping out or you will find

some

parts too deeply bitten.

OTHER GRAPHIC ARTS


off the particles of

95

A soft-haired brush should be used to brush


ground which come up

from the needle.

Temperature

affects

the

work

of the needle as cold hardens the ground.

single needle

may

be used or a number of
finer for the

different sizes,
distance.

employing the

When
tracing
at

drawing indoors place a


paper stretched over a
in front of

screen

of

wooden frame
the

an angle of 45

window, and draw in the light which filThis makes the lines of gold ters through.
on the black ground very plain. At night a light can be placed back of the screen.
II

METHODS OF TRANSFER
Transfer Paper.
First a piece of black
is

or red transfer paper


plate.

cut the size of the

Over

this

is

stretched a tracing of the


if it is

subject, face

down
is

desirable that the

print

come

as it

in nature.

In any case
it

all

lettering

must be done

in the reverse or

will
is

be

wrong

in the print.

After the tracing

96

ETCHING AND
made
sure

stretched in place and you have

that the vertical and' horizontal lines corre-

spond

to the sides of the plate,

you draw over

the tracing with a hard pencil or blunt etching


needle.

In working out-of-doors,

it

is

diffi-

cult to start directly

liminary outlines.

on the plate without preThere are two ways of


is

overcoming

this.

One

to

place a transfer

paper over the plate and stretch drawing or


tracing paper over
this.

drawing on
to outline

this paper.

your outline Another method is

Make

your subject on the ground with a small brush dipped in Chinese White.

The

Gelatine

Method

is

as follows

Scratch

the outline

drawing with the etching needle

on a sheet of gelatine. Fill scratches with black lead. Put on plate face down and rub

back of gelatine with burnisher.


Transferring
tracing

through press.
using
a

paper

sharp

Draw on B pencil.

Dampen
blotters.

the paper by laying between moist

Place on plate, pencil side down,


press, first

and run through the

reducing the

OTHER GRAPHIC ARTS


pressure.

97
if

In working direct from nature

you sit with your back to the subject and draw what you see in a mirror, the result will be
right in the print.

There

is

a question

importance of

among etchers as to reversing. With Whistler


it

the the

subject, as such,

was secondary, and therefore


at
all

he did not consider

necessary to

bother about reversing his drawing on the


plate.

places,
tle

was not producing illustrations of but works of art. Others care so lit-

He

for this that they even letter correctly on

the plate, thus allowing the lettering to

come

reversed in the print.

familiar building,

such as Notre

Dame

in Paris, certainlv looks

odd when printed

in reverse.

98

ETCHING AND

CHAPTER

XI

BITING THE PLATE


the plate has stood for

some time

after

IF being drawn
to

upon,

it

may

be necessary

wash

the

ground

in a solution of acetic

acid and salt in order that the acid

may

bite

more

evenly.

To

a half cupful of acetic acid,

of about the strength of ordinary vinegar,

add
re-

two teaspoonfuls of common

salt.

To

move any

grease that

may

be on the ground,
al-

brush with a piece of cotton dipped in


cohol before putting in
the
bath.

Cover

over the sides and back of the plate with

an acid-resisting varnish.
to

If nitric acid

is

be used, pour

it

into a porcelain dish to

and put the plate in, first having water handy to wash off the The plate and also any acid from the fingers.
a depth of about one inch

old

way

to

make

the dish for the acid

was

to

Permission of Berlin Photographic Co.

THE LEAFLESS TREE


Wood
cut in color by

EMIL ORLIK

OTHER GRAPHIC ARTS


build a wall of

99

wax around
to

the plate.
it

The

wax was made

by running a hot key around the inside of this wall. This method is rarely used now.
Soon
after the plate
is

adhere to

put into the nitric


lines, first

bath, bubbles of gas

form on the

on those which are drawn near together and This bubbling is last on the isolated lines.
one of the ways of gauging the biting.
If

some of the
sure that
to

lines refuse to

bubble you

may

be

you did not employ enough pressure remove all the ground. However, they
later.

may start
brushed

The

bubbles should be gently


soft feather.

off

with a

faint lines in the distance of


to three

For very your subject two

bubblings will be found to be enough.


the bubbles are allowed to accumuoff

That
late

is,

and are brushed

with the feather two

or three times.

You

will find that as the

biting progresses the acid tends to bite faster,

even

when

the temperature remains the same.


is

When

the distance

bitten enough, the plate

should be removed, washed in water and dried

100

ETCHING AND
blotters lightly over the surface.

by pressing

Be

careful not to let the blotters slip or the

ground will be damaged. There are several ways of

telling

how

deeply the lines are bitten. One way is to hold the plate up high and look across the
lines

toward the

light.

The amount

of shad-

ow

cast

their

by the lines will give you an idea of depth. Another way is to draw a needle
Still an-

over a line and gauge the depth by the drop


of the needle in crossing the line.

other

way

is

to select

some

line or set of lines


off

that are not important

and scrape

the

ground to look at them. They will of course have to be covered with stopping-out varnish
whether deep enough or not. When you have decided that the distance is bitten
enough, paint out carefully with a stoppingout varnish, taking great care not to run into
lines

you wish
less

to bite

more.

The

lines

must

look

heavy than they will be


is

in the print

because the ink

darker than the shadow.

You

can take the plate out of the acid with

OTHER GRAPHIC ARTS

101

your fingers if you wash your fingers at once, or you can use a piece of wood, with a chiselled

end

to press

for a lifter.
tect

under the edge of the plate Grease on the fingers will proacid.

them from the

If anything, over-bite the distance because


it is

easier to reduce than to


It
is

deepen shallow

lines.

wise to wear a blouse, similar to


in France,

the

workman's blouse

which will

entirely cover your clothes, as the acid has a

most mysterious way of making bright spots on clothing, no matter how careful you are.
It
is

best not to try to finish a plate in the first

biting.

Get the
etc.,

essential parts.

Leave the

large light,

for future biting

which you

can do so
I

much better with

a proof of the

work

before you.

Increasing the temperature of

the acid increases speed but decreases the vaI

riety.

Nitric acid bites quicker on a


day.

warm
is,

damp

Strong acid tends

to

roughen and
with

foul the plate.

An

old saying of etchers


is

"One day

of stopping-out

worth

five

the needle."

102

ETCHING AND
II

OTHER METHODS OF USING ACID


Etching in the bath. Place the grounded plate in the acid bath and begin by drawing
those lines

which are

to bite the

deepest and
a most
I
diffi-

work toward
cult

the lightest.

It

is

way

for a beginner to etch.


it

would not

advise trying

until

you have had a good

deal of experience with the stopping-out.

Of
a

course you will use this method some in the stopping-out process.

Use an old needle or

sewing needle in a wooden handle because the


acid will eat the needle as well as the copper.

However, it will last for some time. This method was invented by Sir Seymour Haden,
but
is

not used by
difficulties.

many

etchers.

It has too

many
first

Avoiding stopping-out.

In

this

method

draw

in only the parts that are to be

bitten the most.

Place the plate in acid until

these lines are bitten enough, and, on removing


it,

wash

in water

and draw

in the set of lines

OTHER GRAPHIC ARTS


that are the next grade lighter than the

103
first,

and

so

on

to the lightest.

Of

course at any

time between bitings you can

remove the

ground

in

order

to

make
of

a print

which will
of the adis

be a guide in further work.


vantages of this

One

way

working

that

can run lines across those already


instance, the lines of a sky

bitten.

you For

showing through

foliage

would require a
another method

lot of careful stop-

ping-out in the old method.


Still
is

to place the plate

bottom of the empty tray, pour the acid on the plate and manipuThe acid will stay late it with a feather.
on an inverted dish
in the

where wanted
This method

if
is

mixed with a
not as nice as

little
it is

saliva.

useful.

Start the acid


lines

where you want the darkest

and enlarge the space covered by the acid with the feather until you have the faintWhistler's

est lines bitten.

method

of biting a plate as deis

scribed by Otto Bacher

as follows:

"He

put the plate ready for biting on the corner of

104

ETCHING AND
mouth
of the bottle,
of the feather.

the table, then poured the acid slowly onto a


feather held against the

the acid dripping

from the end

By moving
The
feather

the bottle and feather back and

forth he covered the plate entirely with acid.

was employed

to

keep the plate

equally covered.

When

the biting

was finished

he would place the feather against the tilted edge of the plate and drain the acid back into
the bottle."
If
to

would be wise

you employ this method have plenty of water near


This
a

it

in

case of accident.

Hamerton's Positive Process.

is

method
ground.

of

working

in
is

black on

white
instead

The ground

made white
is

of black and the

Dutch bath

used, thus givlines.

ing a white surface and black


if this

doubt

method

is

much

used because in practo the

tise

lines of the

golden on the black ground. This copper process, and the one following are fully explained in Hamerton's Etcher's Handbook.

one soon becomes accustomed

Bracquemond drew with pen and ink on a

OTHER GRAPHIC ARTS


clean copper plate.
in the usual
in

105

He

then ground the plate


it

way and immediately immersed


and

water

the ink softens in the water

in

a quarter of an hour the

up where
flannel.

the ink lines

ground will come are if rubbed with a

Bite as usual and the result resem-

pen and ink drawing. Flour of sulphur and oil put onto a plate with a brush for The sulfive or ten minutes gives a flat tone.
bles a

phur makes the plate look darker than


prints.

it

In practise, the etcher usually employs a combination of several or all of the above
methods.

good general rule

in biting

i9

to err, if at all, in over-biting the distance

and

under-biting the foreground.

Ill

FOUL BITING
Should the ground be improperly laid the acid may find its way through in spots and

show what

is

known

as foul biting.

Some

of

106
this fouling

ETCHING AND
may come where
it

can remain
it

with advantage, but should any of


the delicate parts such as the sky,
it

come

in
re-

must be

with a scorper, a tool something like a burin, knock the plate up from the back and polish. This is tedious

moved.

Gouge

it

out

first

work, and

if

your plate

is

covered with a deep


easier to

fouling you
plate.

may

find

it

do a new

Sometimes fouling
there
is

is

purposely done.
a simple

If
is

not

much wanted,

way

to

take a coarse needle and tap or dot the ground

on the plate wherever you want the fouling. Another method is to lay a dusty ground. Work in a cool bath until the parts to be
kept clear are finished.

Paint these out and


the dust spots will

warm up

the bath

when

probably foul all you want. Or plate and touch ground with a

warm
fluffy

the

rag

where you want fouling. Put sandpaper on the ground and rub on with burnisher. This can
also be

done on the plate after the ground

is

removed, using more pressure with burnisher.

OTHER GRAPHIC ARTS


Warm
up
little salt.

107

the ground and sprinkle with a

Wash

off the salt

and

bite.

Foul-

ing will show wherever the salt has touched


the ground.

108

ETCHING AND

CHAPTER
I

XII

REWORKING GROUND

SHOULD work
more
effect,

you find, as is very probable, that some parts of the etching require
to

bring out the desired

proceed in one of two ways: either by

putting in dry-point or by re-etching, as fol-

lows

The

plate

is first

carefully cleaned with

ammonia, whiting and water. Then melt some of the etching ground and rub into the lines with a bit of printing musturpentine,
lin.

This protects the lines already bitten. Put on a ground with the dabber, or you can
it

go over

and remove any extra ground by passing the roller over another
with a
roller,

Go over the surface until the ground is even. Do not smoke. The old work
heated plate.
will

show through

this

ground.

Instead of using the roller with the hot

EGYPTIAN DANCER
From an
Original Etching by

ANNE GOLDTHWAITE

OTHER GRAPHIC ARTS


plate clean off as
sible

109

much

of the ground as pos-

rag,

from the surface with a pad of linen Let the plate cool and lightly folded.
This

put a roller ground on in the usual way.


is

the

method recommended by Sir Frank

Short
II

REBITING

The

rehiring

is

for the purpose of deepen-

ing any lines which


light.

Use

a paste

may have come out too ground made of the ordioil of

nary etching ground dissolved in spike


lavender.

Some of

this paste

should be spread

on a clean piece of plate glass or an extra plate and gone over many times with a leather
roller until the paste
is

evenly distributed on

the roller.
rebitten a

Then
number

roll

over the plate to be

of times in every direction,

employing no more pressure than the weight of the roller. The plate should now be in the

same condition

as before

removing the ground.


is

That

is,

the surface of the plate

covered

110

ETCHING AND
lines are free to receive

with a ground and the


further biting.
til it

You must

heat the plate un-

shines, to drive off the oil of lavender.

little

practise will enable

you

to get this
first

result.

Some

etchers
off

fill

the lines

with
is

whiting and rub

with chamois.

This

not necessary, however.

The most important

thing

is

to clean the

plate thoroughly before applying the

and have the plate and roller Don't smoke a rebiting ground, because the
heat

ground free from dust.

may

cause the shallow lines to


is

fill

up.

If the plate

irregular on the surface the


It is then necessary to
is

roller cannot be used.

use the dabber.

This

a very delicate operpractise to succeed.

ation and requires

much

OTHER GRAPHIC ARTS


CHAPTER

111

XIII

OTHER METHODS
I

SOFT GROUND

FOR
less,

ground etching melt together lard or tallow and an equal amount of


soft

etching ground.
tion for cold weather.

This
In

is

the propor-

warm

weather use

weather only one-half as much tallow or lard as ground. This ground is to

and

in hot

be put on in the usual way, using a separate dabber. The ground is tender and will not
bear touching with the hand.

paper or

tissue

paper

is

Thin-grained placed on a piece of


carefully place the

soft blotting paper.

Then

grounded plate face down on the paper and Someturn up the edges and paste on back.
times the paper
is

dampened and

stretched.
this

You now make your drawing on


using an

paper

or

pencil, being careful to sup-

112

ETCHING AND
it

port the hand on some kind of rest so that


will not touch the surface of the paper.

The
But

pencil
i.e.,

is

employed

as in

ordinary drawing,
to get values.

varying the pressure


is

there

not as

much

difference between pres-

sures as in ordinary drawing.

Remove

the

paper carefully from the plate and you will find that it has picked up the ground wherever

you have drawn with the

pencil.

Bite the

plate in the usual way, noting that the biting


is

somewhat quicker than


is

in ordinary etching.

Variety
pencils.

gotten by using different paper and

II

AQUATINT
In aquatint, spaces are bitten instead of
lines.

It

is

best to etch lightly the construction

lines

first.

The

plate
all

is

then

thoroughly

cleaned and dusted

over evenly with pow-

dered asphaltum placed in a muslin bag.


Strike the
ruler.

hand containing the bag against a


completely dusted

When

warm

the

Ifc Ik

Permission of Berlin Photographic Co.

D'ANDRADE AS DON JUAN


Soft

Ground Etching by

MAX SLEVOGT

OTHER GRAPHIC ARTS


plate moderately until there
colour.
is

113

a change in

the
less

Use stopping-out varnish and acid in usual way. Paton recommends a bottombox with
it.

a piece of fine muslin stretched


this,

over
ting

Place fine white resin on

put-

box over the plate on a table. Strike the box and the resin will sift evenly over the
plate.
tint

There are other methods


plate,

of getting a

on a

for instance, running a plate


it

with an ordinary ground on

and covered

with a piece of cloth through an etching press.

Sandpaper

is

sometimes used

in the

same way.

Salt sprinkled on a heated plate covered with

etching ground

is

also used.

The

print

from

an aquatint
Spirit

is

not unlike a

wash drawing.
up with
is

Ground.

Fill a bottle one-third full

with powdered
spirits of

resin,

and

fill

rectified

wine.

Be

sure

it

all

dissolved
it

before using.

Pour over

the plate and let

run evenly

all over.

bite as usual.

Let the plate dry and In the resin and spirit meth-

ods, the acid bites the spaces


ticles

of resin.

In the cloth,

around the parsalt and sandpaper

114

ETCHING AND
made by
these materials

methods, the dots


bite.

To

get a variety of tone in a sky, put


first,

the upper edge in the bath

lower until
will

all

the plate

is

and gradually in the bath. This

make

the top of the sky darker.

ill

MEZZOTINT
The mezzotint
rocker or cradle
is

shaped
It
is

like the rocker of a child's cradle.

piece of steel about 2^2 inches wide and y*

inch thick.

One end

is

rounded

to the seg-

ment

of a circle and shaped like a chisel.

On

the side corresponding to the back of the


chisel a

number

of parallel grooves are run

perpendicular to the chisel edge.

There are
an inch.

from 40

to 120 of these grooves to

The
The

intersections of these grooves

and the

chiselled edge

become

a series of sharp teeth. a

rocker

may have

wooden handle or

it

be clamped to a long rod not unlike a billiard cue and rocked by allowing the other

may

OTHER GRAPHIC ARTS


end of the rod
to

115

run in a groove

set per-

pendicular to the plate.

A small

rocker in a

go over a place where too much burr has been removed. Use a burhandle can be used
to

nisher to polish the surface for strong lights.

Olive

oil

and lamp black rubbed over the


be printed
to serve as a guide.

plate gives an idea of the plate's condition.

proof

may

By varying
the inch
is

the

number

of teeth in the rocker

you change the grain.


the usual

Seventy-two teeth to

number employed. The


Rocking

fewer teeth the coarser the grain.


costs

about ten cents a square inch.

The

teeth

of the rocker

make

a hole in the plate's sur-

face

and

also raise a burr.

The

greater the

amount

of burr

removed the
scraper
is

lighter the tone.

The mezzotint
like the
at the

shaped something
it is

blade of a knife, but

sharpened

end only.

To

transfer an outline to a

rocked plate, use red chalk transfer paper,


first

smoking the

plate.

A blunted

dry-point

needle

may

be used to

fix the outlines.

In

scraping, one should be careful to follow the

116
last stroke

ETCHING AND
or the

work

will be uneven.

Mez-

zotint

be combined with dry-point. Use a dull point in order that the work may be the

may

more harmonious.

Permission of Berlin Photographic Co.

ETCHING FROM THE DON JUAN PORTFOLIO


By

HANS MEID

OTHER GRAPHIC ARTS

117

CHAPTER XIV
FOR A FIRST EXPERIMENT

PROPOSE

to give here only the

most

I
The

necessary materials required to carry a


plate

through

to

the

printing stage.

cost of those I

purchased should be under


this limited

five dollars.

would not advise

equipment for more extensive work.

The

artist

should choose a simple subject

employing
possible.

as

few

positive values

and

lines as

sure to

with an even pressure, being expose the copper with each stroke.

Draw

Materials to Purchase.
Plate

118

ETCHING AND

get some old plates from a card engraver.

These must be cleaned and polished and the


edges
filed.

Ball of Etching Ground.

It will
to

probably

be found more convenient


tle of

purchase a bot-

the liquid etching

ground or a small
size of a walnut.

ball of the

ground about the

The

cost of the materials for

making
it

a larger

quantity will be about the same.

Acid should be pure.


gist.

Get

from the drug-

Nitric

is

best for the first trial.

Get asphaltum varnish or any good varnish that is impervious to acid and can be removed readily with turpentine.
Varnish.

One of medium size will do. Burnisher. The burnisher and scraper
Scraper.

can be purchased from any dealer in etching


supplies.

Charcoal.

One

stick

is

enough.
absolutely necesolive oil

Lampblack.
sary
it

While not

will be useful to

mix with

and rub on the plate


be seen.

so that the

work may

OTHER GRAPHIC ARTS


The
cured
following materials can
if

119
pro-

bF easily

you do not already have them:

File

120

ETCHING AND
Washing

Ammonia.
used.

ammonia
flame

can

be

Tapers.

Any smoky
For

may

take the

place of tapers.
spirit
is

instance: that

from

lamp.

As

the blackening of the

ground

only for seeing the


plate
it is

work more

clearly, in a

first

possible to omit

it.

Tray.

Photo developing trays are not ex-

pensive, but any flat-bottomed dish will do.


I

have known of a wash-basin being successLarge, soft sheets are

fully employed.

Blotting Paper.
quired.

re-

Dabber.

For making the dabber,

refer to

page

75-

Etching Needles.
sewing needle
in a

For

this

experiment
will do

handle of

wood

or get a couple of broken tools from a dentisl

and sharpen them.


Stopping-out Varnish.
Dissolve some of
the etching ground in chloroform or benzole.

Water-Colour Brushes.
of

You have

plenl

them no doubt.

OTHER GRAPHIC ARTS


Olive Oil.
Oil Stone.
ing a knife.

121

As used
Such

in the house

as is

used for sharpen-

Hammer and Wire


to

Nail.

These are used

knock up the plate from the back in case you have scraped a depression in the surface.
Place the plate face downward on a piece of

and mark the spot by measuring from two adjacent sides with a pencil.
soft blotting-paper

Feathers.

A couple of small

ones will do.


best.

Rags. Clean cotton rags are the Heater. A gas burner is best.
use a gas-jet
if

You

can

necessary.

122

ETCHING AND

CHAPTER XV
PRINTING

3 S

u ] 5 3 J * 1 S 4 u os ^ & H w as a Q O * C 5 Z > ?

SB

U 5

OTHER GRAPHIC ARTS


pressure
is

123

uneven, pieces of paper can be

put under the zinc plate.

To

pass this bed


at-

between the
tached to
its

rollers, the

upper wheel has

axis a

hub with

either long-han-

dled spokes or a geared wheel.


type
is

The former

known

as the Star press, the latter is

called a
to

Geared

press.

A rigid enough frame


com-

hold these parts in position and a couple of screws connected by grooves in the frame with
the

upper

roller to regulate the pressure,

plete the essential parts of an etching press.

Custom has sanctioned

the practise of putting

several thicknesses of cardboard between the


axis of the

presses

upper roller and the screw. All have this cushion, as it is called, but I
to find

have been unable


maintain that
as

any one

who would

good a print could not be made from a press in which these boards were
lacking.

However,

in

the

early

form of

presses, these bits of

cardboard were neces-

sary to regulate the pressure.

The

saying

still

exists in printing establishments,

"Take

a card

out,"

meaning

to

reduce the pressure.

As

the

124

ETCHING AND
is

pressure in printing etchings

very great,

all

parts of a press should be especially strong.

Some
to

beautiful examples of old presses are

be seen in the Plantin


Blanketing.

Museum
used

at

Antwerp.
printing

Blankets

in

are

of

two kinds, Swanskin and fronting.

Two

thicknesses of the fronting go next to the

plate and three thicknesses of the Swanskin

next to the top roller.


a

These blankets

act as

pad and help

to force the

paper into the

lines of the plate.

from time
papers.

to time,

They should be washed oftener when using sized

The

corners of the blankets should


off

be rounded

and the upper ones made

smaller than the lower.

The

blankets should

be a

wider than the plate to be printed. Etching Inks are made from the lees of the
little

grape after the wine has been pressed out. The inks most commonly used in printing are:
Frankfort Black

Winston Black
Michael Angelo Black Rembrandt Black

Forcing Black Heavy French


Light French

Burnt

Umber

is

used to

warm

the ink.

OTHER GRAPHIC ARTS


The
ferent

125

following formulas are good, but dif-

combinations

can

be

experimented

with.

STRONG
1
1
1

INK, NO.

part

Heavy French.

part Winston's Frankfort Black.


part Michael Angelo Black.

3 parts Light French.

Burnt Umber
in equal parts.

to

warm.

Use medium and

thin oils

INK FOR TRIAL PROOFS


Frankfort Black.

Burnt Umber

to

warm.

Medium

Oil.

STRONG
1
1

INK, NO. 2
thin
oil.

part

Heavy French mixed with

part Michael Angelo Black. part

H addon's

Forcing Black.

2 parts Light French.

Burnt Umber
Equal parts
possible.

to warm. medium and

thin

oil.

Grind

as stiff as

126

ETCHING AND
STRONG
INK, NO.
3
part

1 1

Heavy French.

part Forcing Black.

part Frankfort Black.


parts Light French.
to

Burnt Umber

warm. Use medium

oil.

INK FOR MEZZOTINTS


Frankfort Black.

Burnt Umber

to

warm.

Use

thick

oil.

Good
seed oil

inks are sold in cans ready for use.

Plate Oils.
thin,

Three grades of burned linmedium and thick are em-

ployed in printing.

Thin and medium


burned

oils

are used for etching, the thick for mezzotinting.

The

essential thing
is

is

to get

oil,

as boiling

not enough.
fires

The

oil is

placed in

caldrons under which


the boiling point
is

are lighted.

When
six to

reached red-hot pokers


It
is

are plunged into


ten hours.

it.

burned from

The

longer the burning the thickoil

er the

oil.

This burning of the

was one

of the most picturesque features of the old

printing establishments.

OTHER GRAPHIC ARTS


Palette Knife.
as

127

large size palette knife

used by painters will do.

Ink Dabbers.
ink dabber
is

The

best

to take as a

make an foundation a wooden

way

to

stocking darner shaped in the segment of a

sphere with a handle attached to the

flat side.

Cut old stocking them over one at

legs into sections

a time until

and pull you have made

a ball at least four inches in diameter.

Some

of them can be pulled over the handle.


finish

To

the dabber stretch over

it

a circular

piece of printer's blanketing and lace at the

handle with strong thread.

This handle can

be previously covered with a piece of kid from

an old glove.

The

blanketing

is

laced that

it

may

be easily renewed without making a

new

dabber.

Ink Roller.

good ink

roller

is

made by

using as a foundation a small size rolling-pin.

Proceed

as

with the dabber, covering tightly


at either end.

with blanketing laced


Slab.

smooth surface for grinding the

ink

may

be of polished marble, granite or

128

ETCHING AND
A
good shape
is

lithographic stone, in size from eighteen to

twenty-four inches square.

eighteen by twenty-four inches.

Muller.

piece of marble, polished on


to

one side and shaped so as grasped with both hands.


Heater.

be comfortably
a smooth sheet
a gas burner
this
is

The

best heater

is

of iron on legs under


placed.

which

Some

etchers

make

plate

so

large that by placing the burner at one end


the other remains cool thus doing the jigger.

away with
of the

Jigger.

jigger

is

wooden box

same height
it.

and placed beside The front of the box can be hinged and
as the heater

the interior utilised for keeping the printing

muslins.

Printing Muslin.
terial to use for

A very satisfactory ma-

removing the ink from the plate in printing is a kind of muslin known as
tarlatan.

For retroussage or stumping,


is

a fine

grade of cheesecloth

satisfactory.

Whiting (Blanc d'Espagne).

To

prevent

OTHER GRAPHIC ARTS

129

scratches on the plate, gritty particles should

be removed from ordinary whiting by precipitating in water.

Both Electro Silicon and

Gilder's whiting are good.

Sponge. and soft.


Brush.

The sponge should be very

fine

stiff

hat brush

is

used to bring

up

the pile on the surface of the paper just

before printing.

Grinding the Ink. The dry ink is ground on the slab with the muller. This takes some
time and
is

not easy work.

The

several inks

are placed on the slab and the

lumps crushed.

Then some

oil is
is

in both hands,

added and the muller, held passed many times forward


slab.

and back over the


only

Employ

pressure

when
it

pushing the muller

away; then

bring

back with the edge farthest away More oil is added from time slightly raised. The ink must be thoroughly ground to time.

or you will find scratches on your plate.

Over-grinding

is

as

bad

as

under-grinding.

Any

grit or dirt in the ink will

make

itself

130

ETCHING AND
in scratches.
it is

known

When

grinding a lot of
it

ink at once

wise to divide

into small

portions and grind each part separately, bring-

ing them

all

together at the last grinding.


oil.

For

thick ink use less

Take some up on your


it is

palette knife to see if


sistency

of the right conIt

and thoroughly ground.

should

feel like butter.

You
it is

will soon learn the look


It
is

of the ink

when

just right.

better to

grind the ink two or three days before using.


Inking.

The

ink

is

put on the plate in the


First,

following manner:

with a dabber.

Put some of the ink on the dabber with a


palette knife

and dab

it all

over the surface

of the

warmed

plate with a rocking motion,


to the

paying particular attention


to

deep

lines,

make

sure that they are full of ink.

For

the

first

proof, rub the ink well into the lines

with a bit of printing muslin. The dabber should never slide on the plate because of the

danger of scratching. have old ink taken off


it

The dabber
its

should

surface by working

on the heater.

Second, with a roller.

Take

OTHER GRAPHIC ARTS

131

up some of the ink from the slab on the roller and distribute it uniformly over the plate. For deeply bitten lines, the dabber is safer
than the roller.

Wiping the Plate. The whole surface of the plate is now covered with a layer of ink.

To remove
tarlatan
is

this ink, the printing

muslin or

used in the following manner.


is

piece of muslin about a yard square

made
easily

up

into a flattened ball

which can be

held.

The

outside should be smooth, with

no hard lumps beneath the surface. Printers have a way of folding the muslin by grasping two adjacent corners and tossing it in the air,
at the

same time passing

first

one hand and

then the other underneath toward the centre


of the square.

You

should have at least three

balls of this tarlatan.


off the

With

the

first

one take

bulk of the ink from the surface of

the plate,

which should be warm


is

at this stage.

This ball

passed across the plate exerting

the pressure with the

palm

of the hand, the

idea being to remove the surface ink without

132

ETCHING AND
lines.

disturbing any in the

It soon

becomes

"fat" rag is one with charged with ink. It is more symquite an amount of ink on it.

pathetic than a clean one.

Take another

ball

of muslin and with a twisting motion

work

over the surface of the plate, which by this time should be almost cool. You may finish
the wiping with this rag or use another for
the final work.

The

last

rag should be more

fat than the others or

weak.

This

is

your print will look the most important part of

the inking and the

method

is

varied according
book-plates, por-

to the effect desired.

For

traits, and work that needs clear printing, ink is put on the palm of the hand with the dabThe hand is drawn several times over ber.

a piece of whiting. together.

Mix by rubbing the hands


hand thus prepared, pass

With

the

over the plate with a caressing motion, cleaning

away

the surface ink

more or

less

without

disturbing the lines.

The

first

method

is

known

as rag- wipe

the

second as hand-wipe.

Thoroughly; clean the

OTHER GRAPHIC ARTS


whiting.

133

edges of the plate with a bit of rag dipped in

When
it

the plate

is

wiped

to

your

satisfaction,

is

again heated until quite


bit of loosely folded

warm.
wish
pulls
lines
is

Now

drag a

cheesecloth over the plate across the lines you


to print strong.

The

fluff

on the cloth

some of the ink over the edge of the and gives a rich effect in the print. This
It
is

called stumping or retroussage.

very

important but should be employed with judgment.


ing at
ance.

Over-stumping
all, as it

is

worse than no stump-

gives the print a


is

mussy appearIn the

The

plate

now

ready for the press.

Aquatints should never be stumped.

beginning one is tempted to depend too much on what Hamerton calls artificial printing.

In

this

method the printer


at

uses whiting to

paint out parts and get effects

which should

have been arrived


It
is

with the needle and acid.

much

the best to complete the effect on

the plate and print simply.

The

plate should

always be cleaned with turpentine after printing to get


all

the ink out of the lines.

Old

134

ETCHING AND
is

ink in the lines

hard

to

remove.

Use a

satu-

rated solution of potash to remove old ink.

Paper.

Etching paper

is

of various col-

ours and thicknesses, from the heaviest plate


to the thinnest Japanese.

Plate paper

is

of a
It

spongy nature not unlike blotting-paper.


is

used for proofs, but mezzotints are someit.

times printed on

It

is

also used as a back-

ing for very thin China paper.


is

The paper
it is

cut to the exact size of the copper plate,


is

flour paste

put on the back, and

then

run through the press with a sheet of plate paper to which


it

adheres.

Good

etching paper

should be soft or half-sized.

Japanese paper
just before
drier.

and plate paper can be wet down


printing.

The Japanese should be


a sponge the

Most papers except


dampened with

the Japanese should be

day before print-

ing and kept between blotters making sure


that the edges are wet.

The Japanese paper


All

can be dampened an hour or so before.


sized papers should be wet
fore printing.

down
to

the day be-

good way

dampen paper

OTHER GRAPHIC ARTS


is

135

to pass

each sheet through a tub of clean

water, and then place between wet blotters.

Thin

sheets of zinc are used to hold the

damp-

ened paper.

Thin Japanese paper should be


a sponge by tapping lightly

dampened with
on the back.

All paper should be limp but


Sized papers should

not wet on the surface.

be brushed on the right side before printing.

Old account books

of

hand-made French or
after

Dutch paper are much sought

by

etchers.

Dry
to

out any paper that


it

may

be

left after
it is

printing before putting

away, as

liable

mildew.
Printing the Plate.

To

test

the pressure

on the press pass a clean plate through with


a

piece

of

plate

paper.

Hold

the

paper

toward the light and looking across it, study the shine. This should be equal at both ends
of the plate
if

the pressure

is

even.

The

strong lines of the design will be embossed on


the paper.

In most cases the inked plate should be

warm

but not hot.

Make

sure that the zinc

136

ETCHING AND

on the bed of the press is perfectly clean. Use a rag with turpentine for this. Place the

warm

plate on the zinc with the long side

parallel to the rollers.

Over

this carefully

place the moistened paper and upon this place


a sheet of tissue paper

and pull the blankets

down.

These are already part way through

enough to hold them. Turn the press with a steady motion not stopping while the plate is between the rollers.
the rollers nipped in far

Lift the blankets and throw the free end over


the top roller.

Take

off the tissue paper, beroller.

ginning at a corner nearest

Now

lift

the print carefully by the two corners farthest

from the

rollers.

A couple of pieces
to grip the

of card-

board folded once

paper will pre-

vent black finger marks on the margin of the


print.

Treating a Fresh Print. The old etchers had wires stretched across the room and hung
their fresh prints

on them face up, for a numIt


is

ber of days to dry.

now more

usual to

place them between large sheets of blotting-

OTHER GRAPHIC ARTS


paper.

137

But

in

no case are they

to

be put un-

der pressure until the ink has had a chance


to

The ridges of ink would be crushed down under the pressure. Afterharden.
in fresh blotters

ward they should be put


dry perfectly smooth.
taking

and

subjected to pressure so that the paper will

A better way,

but one

more

time,

is

to stretch (or strain) the

etching, after

dampening

the back, on a draw-

ing board or academy board, pasting


the edges with photo paste.

down

When

perfectly

dry, cut the paper inside the pasted edge.

Some Suggestions for Inking and Printing.


If the plate
is

bitten lightly use strong ink.


tone.

Old ink gives more


For

A cold plate printed


and quickly with
so

slowly with heavy pressure leaves more tone.


a bright proof print hot

normal pressure. Do not leave on the plate that the line is lost.
a fat rag, then heat and

much ink To make a

strong print, hand-wipe cold, stump cold with

stump

in the usual

way.

For

plates with over-burnished lines,

ink hot, hand-wipe cold, and

warm up

well

138
to

ETCHING AND
For
over-bitten plate, use Frank-

stump.

burnt umber, rag-wipe and do not stump. Thick ink gives more brilliancy.
fort,

Greater pressure gives greater tone.


take out

To

some of the ink

in over-bitten lines,

wipe with stumping muslin. Passing the print back through the press a second time
gives additional strength.
a rather clean rag

Start

wiping with

and

finish

with a fat one.

Some

plates are

improved by going over them

with printing muslin after hand-wiping.


thinner the ink, the
has.

The

more mat tone


is

the print the deliis

The

hardest plate to print

cately bitten one.


best for dry-point.

Hand-wiping

usually

In retroussage or stumping, pull out the dark parts first.


If your proof
is

a failure, look

first to

the

pressure and then to the paper.


will not print well
too dry.
if it is

The paper
wet or

either too

The

ink

may not be just right. Often


you are through remove all ink from the

a beginner wipes the ink out of the lines, thus

giving a poor proof.


printing be sure to

When

OTHER GRAPHIC ARTS


plates

139

by warming them and going over them


If the plate
is

with turpentine.

steel

faced

it

must be covered with a coating of beeswax put on hot. This will prevent the steel from
rusting and you can

remove the beeswax with


to use the plate again.

benzine

when you wish

Clean everything which has ink on it with turpentine and leave all tools in good condition
for the next printing.

PLATE
tifrnGVL

No.

UUlU%.>,.

*
^*

UVvyww^v Gj

m
^..
..-

BQ
_JJLc

_>

VLUVHvyw.

*C
/0

s^
Z3
1.

Etching Needle in

Wooden Handle

2.
3.

Solid Steel Etching Needle

Burnisher with Blunt End


Burnisher with Sharp End
Scraper

4.

5.

and

7.

Top and Side View

of

Burin

8 and

9.

Two

Kinds

of

Mezzotint

Scrapers
10.
11. 12.

Plate Callipers

Anvil of Steel and Polished on

Top

Hammer

to

Knock Up

Plate

PLATE

No. 2

1.

Roller of

Rubber or Leather

2.

Dabber

for Putting on Ground, about

3 Inches
3. 4. 5.

Wide

Oil Rubber,

Made

of Blanketing

Twisted

Wax

Tapers

Ink Dabber, about 6 Inches Wide


Section of Etched Line

6.
7.

Section

through
is

When Needle
8. 9.

Dry Point Burr Held Slanting Dry


Point Burr Held Upright

Section of Engraved Line


Section

through
is

When Needle

BIBLIOGRAPHY

ADDRESSES FOR MATERIALS

NEW YORK,

N. Y.

Printing, plates, grounds, tools, etc.

Fred Reynolds, 53 Vesey


tispiece of this

Street.

book

is

an example of

(The fronMr. Rey-

nolds' printing.)

English plates,
J.

tools, etc.

W.

Sellers

&

Sons, 6 Murray Street.


Co., 108 Fulton Street. Co., 41 Barclay Street.

American

plates

Wm.
Steel

H. Snyder

Facing
F. A.

Ringler

&

Presses

Kelton &

Co., Lafayette Street.

Blanketing L. Gehlert, 204 East 18th Street.


Papers

Japan Paper Co., 109 East 31st Street. Millar & Wright, 65 Duane Street.
Lithographic crayons W. Korn, 120 Center Street.

BOSTON, MASS.
Plates, tools, etc.

Frost
Printing

& Adams

Co., Cornhill.

John H. Daniels &


Papers

Son, 232 Summer

Street.

Stone

& Andrews,
143

270 Congress

Street.

144

BIBLIOGRAPHY
Plates, tools, etc.

PHILADELPHIA, PA.
F.

Weber &

Co., 1125 Chestnut Street.

Lithographic printing

Ketterlinus Lithographic Manufacturing Co.

CHICAGO,

ILL.
oils

Inks and plate

Chas. Hellmuth, 355 South Clark

Street.

Wanner Machine
Street.

Co.,

215

W.

Congress

Plates

American Steel & Copper


Street.

Co., 114 Federal

Paper

The

Paper Mills

Co., 517 South 5th Avenue.

SAN FRANCISCO, CAL.


Plates, tools, etc.

Geo. Russell Reed Co., 345 Clay


Blanketing
E. L.

Street.

Shattuck

Co., 130

Fremont

Street.

Paper

Zollerbach Paper

Co.,

534 Battery

Street.

BIBLIOGRAPHY
LONDON, ENGLAND.
Tools, grounds, plates,
etc.

145

A.

W.

Penrose

&

Co., 109 Farringdon Road,

E.C.

Haddon &
E.C.

Co., Salisbury Square, Fleet Street,

Hughes & Kimber, West Harding


Fetter Lane, E.C.

Street,

W. W.
Park.
Plates
J. J.

Rhind, 69 Gloucester Road, Regent's

Griffin
Inn

&

Son, 20 Sardinia

Street, Lin-

coln's

Fields.

Inks

Winston &
Paper

Co., 100 Shoe Lane, E.C.

O.

W. Paper
Head &

Co.,

105 Grt. Russell Street,

W.C.
F. J.
Co., 15 Grt. Russell Street,

W.C.

Spalding
Printer

&

Co.,

Drury Lane,

W.C.

W.

Goulding, Ltd., Netherwood Place Road, Hammersmith. C. W. Welsch, Old Fields House, Brook Green Road, W.
F.
tools, papers, etc.

Lithographic supplies,

L. Cornelissen

&

Son, 22 Grt. Queen

Street,

Long Acre, W.C.

146

BIBLIOGRAPHY
Tools, plates,
J.
etc.

SHEFFIELD, ENGLAND.

W.

Sellers

&

Sons, 121 Arundel Street.

PARIS, FRANCE.
Plates, tools, presses, etc.

Paris American
Montparnasse.

Art

Co., 125 Boulevard du

H. Calmels, 150 Boulevard du Montparnasse. Petit Servant, 71 Rue Saint Louis-in-l'Ile.


Printer

Porcabeuf, 187 Rue

St.

Jacques.

LIST

OF IMPORTANT BOOKS ON THE GRAPHIC ARTS

A Treatise on
Modern
Art
of

Pen Drawing and Pen Draughtsmen Joseph Pennell. Pen Drawing C. D. Maginnis.
Illustration

Joseph Pennell.

Pen and Ink Drawing H. R. Robertson. Elements of Drawing John Ruskin. The Graphic Arts P. G. Hamerton. Hints to Art Students Chas. Lasar.
Landscape Painting
Composition
Sir Alfred East.

Dow.
Fatio.

Composi tion Poor e. Ouvrons les Yeux G.


Illustrations

by Robida. by Lalanne.

La Hollande

Vol d'Oiseau.

Illustrations

Pablo de Segovia.
Illustrations by Vierge. Die Marchen von Rubezahl.
Illustrations by Max Slevogt. Die Grimmchen Marchen. Illustrations by Otto Ubbelohde. Pen, Pencil and Chalk Special Number, International

Studio.

ETCHING
On
the

Making

of Etchings

Sir

Frank Short.

R. Dun-

thorn, London, 1888.

Etchings and Engravings

Sir

Frank Short.

Royal So-

ciety of Painter-Etchers, London, 1912. 147

148

BIBLIOGRAPHY
Macmillan

Etchings and Etchers P. G. Hamerton. Co., London, 1880.

&

The

Etcher's

Handbook

P.

G. Hamerton.

C. Robert-

son

&

Co.,

London, 1881.

Treatise on Etching Lalanne, translated by S. R. Koehler. Boston, 1880.


Etching, Engraving and Other Methods of Printing Pictures Singer and Strange. K. Paul Trench Triibner & Co., London, 1897.
Eau-forte,

pointe seche et vernis

mow

Delatre.

A.

Lanier, Paris, 1887.

Etching,

Dry Point, Mezzotint Hugh Paton. Raithby Lawrence & Co., London, 1895. Die Kunst des Radieren's Hermann Struck. Paul Cassirer, Berlin,

1912.

Short History of Engraving and Etching A. Hind. Houghton, Mifflin & Co., Boston, 1908.
F.

Etchings

Wedmore.

Methuen

&

Co.,

London, 1911.
Studio Spe-

Modern

Etchings and Engravings. Number. 1913.

1902.

Etchings,

Dry

Points and Mezzotints.

Studio Special

Number.

The Great

Pointer-Etchers from Rembrandt to Whistler.


1914.

Studio Special Number. Print Collector's Handbook.


Print Collector's Handbook.

Whitman

&

Salaman.

Issued Quarterly by the Print Department, Boston Museum of Fine Arts.


to Appreciate Prints

How

Frank Weitenkampf.
York, 1908.

MofHenry

fat,

Yard

&

Co.,

New

American Graphic Art Frank Weitenkampf. Holt & Co., New York, 1912.

INDEX

INDEX
PAGE

Acid
Anvil
Artists*

79
85
68, 112 59

Aquatint Proof

Avoiding Stopping-Out
Biting the Plate

102

98
124
49, 86

Blanketing

Burin
Burnisher

86
65
85

Burr
Callipers

Chalk Drawing
Charcoal Charcoal Drawing

23
87

Composition

24 25
75

Dabber

Drawing on
Dry-point

the Plate

93 65 79
81

Dry-point Needles

Dutch Bath
Etching Etching
in the

53

Bath

102
75
78, 120
151

Etching Ground Etching Needles

152
Foul Biting
Gelatine

INDEX
PAGE

105

Method

Glass Prints

Graver
Grinding the Ink

96 70 86
129

Half-Tone Hamerton's Positive Process

32
104
85
132 128 127
125 127

Hammer
Hand-wiping Heater
Ink Dabber
Ink Formulas

Ink Roller
Inking the Plate
Inks
Intaglio Printing

130

124
51

Jigger

128

Line Engraving
Liquid Method List of Materials for Etching

48
91

73

Lithography

42
77
68,

Making Etching Ground


Mezzotint
Mezzotint Ink

114
126

Monotype
Muller

69
128

INDEX
Oil Rubber
Original Etching
Painter-Etcher

153
PAGE

87

62 62
134

Paper

Pen Drawing Pencil Drawing


Perchloride of Iron

28
19

83

Photogravure
Plate Plate

32
73, 117

Mark

34, 57

Plate Oils

126
91

Polishing Plate Preparing Plate for Acid


Press

88
56, 122

Printing Printing Muslin Process

56, 122, 135

128

29
132

Rag-wiping
Rebiting
Relief Printing

109
51

Remarque
Reproductive Etching
Retroussage

59 62
57, 133

Reworking Ground Roller Ground


Scraper Silver Point
Slab

108

90
85

22
127

Smoking Plate

89

154
Ground Spirit Ground
Soft
States of the Plate
Steel
Steel

INDEX
PAGE

67, 111

113

61

Engraving
Facing

50

Stipple

Engraving

60 50
55, 100

Stopping-out

Method

Stopping-out Varnish

84
57, 133 137

Stumping
Suggestions for Inking and Printing Surface Printing

51

Transfer Paper
Transferring through Press Tray for Acid

Treating a Fresh Print Trial Proof


Whistler's

95 96 79 136 59
103
131

Method

of Biting

Wiping

the Plate

Wood

Engraving

38

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