I have started work on some smaller etchings, it seems to make sense to have something to do while the big plates are biting or drying!
I decided to work on this one without the benefit of pre-drawing. I wanted to get the freshness of mark that is usually only achieved in sketchbooks.
'the far end'
This little plate was successful in maintaining a fresh feel to the marks. The broken effect of the bare branches of the tree against the sky was achieved by painting white spirit onto an area of stopped out sky. The area where the spirit had been left was then blotted off to reveal the tree shape. I was pleased with the way that it came out - not entirely predictable, but a good distance effect.
'from the pond'
The second plate had been pre-used as a test plate for open bite and aquatint times. I had placed the test areas to create an attractive design but the plate wasn't worth keeping as it was. The image drawn over the top in sugar lift was taken directly from the sketchbook, no planning drawing and no tracing paper. I also decided to go with the reversed image. The underlying texture creates a bit more intrigue, and I don’t think it spoils the image.
I like these fresh more spontaneous little images, and I have a few more sketchbook pages that may be worth translating onto the plate...