BALLERINA ETCHING

HARD GROUND ETCHING on COPPER PLATE

These editions of hard ground copper etchings depict a ballet dancer en pointe sitting on a wooden stool. Having grown up a competitive dancer, Erin has always been inspired by dance and movement as a form of visual communication, and she considers dance to be her first introduction to visual design. The delicate marks of her illustration style are combined in these prints with the soft intricacies of ballet's techniques, fabrics, and forms to produce a series of elegant etchings.

3.5" x 4" plate on 6" x 7.5" rag paper

Hard ground copper etching

Edition 1

The first edition of this plate was etched once then printed in black etching ink on rag paper. The texture of the plate was not fully removed before applying the hardground wax and beginning the etching process to create a beautiful, organic tone behind the figure.

3.5" x 4" plate on 6" x 7.5" rag paper

Hard ground copper etching, aquatint

Edition 3

The third edition of this plate was etched three times and aquatinted to create the variation in value of the background and shadow beneath the figure. These variations in value aimed to position the dancer in space and add context and dimension to the illustration.

3.5" x 4" plate on 6" x 7.5" rag paper

Hard ground copper etching on Asian paper

Chine-colle Edition 1

One chine-colle print was pulled on yellow and red Asian paper, printed in red ink. The red of the Asian paper matched the red etching ink, creating a cohesive image that makes it hard to determine where the paper stops and the print begins.

Hard ground wax on the copper plate with the outline of the illustration that Erin drew with blue transfer paper. She would then remove the wax with an etching tool everywhere she wanted to create a mark so it could be etched in acid.

Copper plate after the first round of etching! By submerging the plate in acid, the acid would eat away at the plate everywhere that she removed the wax, and the wax would protect the rest of the plate. She could then remove the rest of the wax, ink the plate, and the ink would get stuck down into all the places the acid etched into the plate so she could produce a print!

First proof on newsprint. After testing the print, she could pull prints on the rag paper she prepared.

Copper plate with hard ground wax painted over the parts that Erin wanted to remain white. This protected those parts from being etched when she resubmerged the plate in acid to create the value in the background for the second and third editions. Featuring very messy hands!

Washing the plate after removing all hard ground wax and aquatint.

Ready to print!

© 2019 by ERIN LEE CARMAN