Sunday, April 11, 2010

How to Get Started in Printmaking: Choosing the Right Etching Ink

Welcome and thank you for joining me in my blog about printmaking.

Choosing the right etching ink for a particular printmaking process can make all the difference to a successful print edition. I choose to use the French ink Charbonnel , established in 1862 which is  of the highest quality etching ink available and world wide renowned for the range of blacks and colours. The pigments are chosen for their low acidity and outstanding light-fastness.

Student quality inks are fine to use if you are on a budget and are a great way to proof your plates until you are ready to edition.

When choosing an ink reference this little guide below to make sure you are buying the right ink for either Etching, Aquatint, Drypoint, Engraving and Collagraph.

Charbonel Black Inks;
  • Soft Black (Doux) Is the easiest wiping of the Charbonnel blacks, I recomend this for line etching only. 
  • RSR Black Is a Lamp black pigment base; deepest black great for use with fine lines, engraving or drypoint. 
  • 71303 Warm black is made from organic Frankfurt black pigment. 
  • Black Luxe C  is a black that is midway between 55985 and Doux. The ink is a combination of ease of wiping with dense black on aquatint.
  • Black 55985 is a beautiful full Aquatint black. It is a very stiff black which gives mottle-free blacks under all conditions. 
  • Black F66 Easy wiping ink for line etchings and aquatint. 
  • Black 55981 Aquatint black, this ink is not quite as sticky as 55985, making for easier wiping of large aquatinted plates.
Happy printing!
P.S for more detailed information on Etching Inks visit my website

Jo Lankester

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
Mark Twain
Inks (Printmaking Handbooks)Inks (Printmaking Handbooks)

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