Aquatint etching:

No photographic aids are used in the etching progress. The artist scratches through a resin resist, which is impervious to acid, onto a copper plate with an etching needle; the plate is then immersed in ferric chloride acid so it is etched along the needle lines.

Tone is created by coating the plate with a fine resin which is melted into place on a hot plate. When immersed in acid the plate is left with a textured surface which will translate as tone when printed.  The process is usually repeated many times until a satisfactory result is achieved. In the case of Ingamells’ etchings, a second, back-up aquatint plate is used to emphasise shadow and tonal qualities.

The plates are then inked, using the ‘á la poupée’ method, and hand-printed onto acid-free paper in an intaglio press. Each print can take up to half an hour or more to produce. Once printed, the artist may add more detail using watercolour.


Line Plate etching:

An original pen and ink line drawing is made by the artist. The image is then transferred photographically onto a copper plate that has been coated with a light sensitive and acid resistant surface. The plate is then immersed in ferric chloride acid and becomes etched where the lines are exposed. Next the plate is coated with an acid resistant wax through which the artist will scratch more lines as required using a needle before being immersed once again in the acid. The plate is then inked and printed on an intaglio press.