- What is an Aquatint Print / Mezzotint / Stipple engraving?

Description: An aquatint is a print that was made using a printing plate on which the image is etched by a combination of acid and etching tools. It produces prints with many delightful variations of shading.
Aquatinting is related to engraving and etching and uses acid to make marks in metal printing plates.
An aquatint begins with a copper or zinc plate covered in powdered resin. The artist heats the plate gently to melt the resin, which forms a fine very slightly bumpy coating. Next the artist dips the the plate in acid. The acid eats through the resin most where the resin is thinnest and then erodes the printing plate. This produces an even, speckled appearance to the plate giving aquatint prints their characteristic look.
The artist then etches the outline of his picture, and may also cover some parts of the plate with wax so they do not hold ink (and leave the paper white). The artist then puts the plate in the acid bath again, progressively stopping out (protecting from acid) any areas that have achieved the designed tonality. These tones, combined with the limited line elements, give aquatints a distinctive, watery look - hence the name "aquatint". The artist the washes and dries the plate and is ready to use it for printing.
Aquatint prints are relatively rare compared to prints made by engravings,etchings or lithography, as the process was relatively difficult and time consuming.

Mezzotint is an intaglio printmaking process that typically yields prints characterized by soft tonal gradations and rich, luscious blacks.
The technique generally involves first covering the surface of a metal plate (typically copper) with a dense texture of indentations using a tool called a rocker. The rocker has a flat, curved, fine-toothed steel blade, and a handle.

Stipple engraving is a technique used to create tone in an intaglio print by distributing a pattern of dots of various sizes and densities across the image. The pattern is created on the printing plate either by gouging out the dots, or through an etching process.[1] Stippling was used as an adjunct to line engraving for many years, before being developed as an art in itself in the mid-18th century.[2]
The technique allows for subtle tonal variations and is especially suitable for reproducing chalk drawings
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  • Dealer: Speculum Orbis Nauticum

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