Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Sketch an Etch(er)

Today Ruth was busy working on her etching, which gave me time to be busy sketching her while she did so. 

Traditional etching is a pretty complicated task, which from my point of view is wonderful, there is nothing more interesting to try to draw than someone immersed in something interesting. And when they are constantly in movement - which one is, while one works up drawings, grounds the plates, transfers the drawings, patiently etches them in the acid bath, prints the results, reworks the plates, etc. etc. - it makes my job even more interesting. One gets poses and gestures that just don't happen in a regular life drawing session. And the positions never get held, so there's lots of room for memory, guess work, and interpretation.

A amusing artifact was that as I was working in black and white (so I couldn't do justice her red top and orange short skirt or her black leggings or her grey and white tuque or the dark blue apron) the whole exercise comes out looking somewhat medieval. Or rather Reformation era, since etching didn't really get going till then. Which is suitable, traditional etching really hasn't changed much in 400 years...

Ruth Laying Paper on the Press

Drawing the Plate 

 More Work on the Plate

For this one I had a little time to play around with tone

 More Work on the Plate

 Feathering the Plate While It Etches

And my last, which I really quite like.
More Work on the Plate

FWIW, for these pictures Ruth really wasn't floating in the air. I just get bored drawing the stool she was sitting on; it's still sitting quietly waiting for it's turn.

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