Beginning to Etch

etching of ship by Eoin Mac Lochlainn










I’ve been doing an etching course for the last while and I’m beginning to get the hang of it at this stage.  There’s an awful lot to learn – about soft ground, hard ground, aquatint, spitbite, sugar lift and goodness knows what – but gradually it’s beginning to make sense.  It is amazing that I am learning to use the same techniques that were used by artists like Rembrandt in the 17th century.  Nothing about it has changed since then ( except we now work under electric lights, I suppose ).  The course is run by Niamh Flanagan and Clare Henderson of Graphic Studio Dublin and I would definitely recommend it.  The image above is made using a soft ground on a copper plate.  ( ‘Soft ground’ is a type of wax ). I placed a sheet of newsprint over the plate and drew on it with a pencil.   The ground underneath the drawing came away from the copper plate and when the plate was then put into an acid bath, the original image was etched into the copper.   Anyway, there’s a lot more information at:


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