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Morning Mist, aquatint

Morning Mist, aquatint

If you have ever wondered how the fine tonal areas are created in an etching, here is an example of a modern method.

The idea is to create a speckled pattern of an acid resistant material on the plate so the acid can eat around the speckles, leaving tiny raised metal points. When ink is applied and then wiped with rags, the depth of the etch determines how much ink remains on the plate, and therefore, how dark the printed tones.  In the example at left, the palest tones  resulted from a 10 second dip in the acid, while the darkest areas soaked in the acid about 15  minutes.


So what is thus mysterious speckled resist?  In modern times, we can use spray enamel paint for a quick and reliable method to cover the plate in a fine and even mist.

I have been invited by the President's photographer, Pete Souza to meet him today at the SW entrance to the Whitehouse to take photographs with him of Predident Obama and the World Series winners, the Boston Red Sox. To say that I am excited does not come close to my real feelings.

I bought a new Canon camera to come to Washington with and I used it a lot yesterday touring DC to make sure I know how to use everything on it.

Hello. I'm Jennifer Richards. I am an oil painter in sunny Southern California. I love to paint the peaceful, interesting and unique subjects that draw so many of us to this region, but you'll see in my portfolio that I enjoy painting anything that I feel a personal connection with. I enjoy the constant challenge of taking the everyday sights and objects in my life and portraying  them with my own personal vision.

Today I meet the President's photographer, Pete Souza at the Whitehouse.

He sent me an email from the President's motorcade when they arrived at Andrew's Air Force base yesterday to tell me what gate to meet him at to get get into the Whitehouse. I get a tour of the Oval Office and his office.

I will have the best stories to tell my grandmother when I see her next week. I also hope to have my best photographs to show her too .

Last time I wrote about preparing a zinc plate to begin the etching process – the work that needs to happen before image making even begins.

Grounded plate

Plate covered with ground

Today I’ll show how an image is etched into the plate. Since the etching literally occurs by soaking the metal plate in nitric acid (hence the term “etching’), the first order of business is to protect the plate from the acid. As my resist, I use a liquid ground made of asphaltum and wax, which dries hard and smooth.


Preliminary Sketch

Preliminary Sketch of MacKerricher Beach


Opening a letter that starts with the word, "Congratulations" has to be one of the best things in the universe. I received a letter this week from OSA ( Oakland School for the Arts) that started that way.  I was accepted into the School of Digital Media. I had to audition for a spot.  I had taken photographs of the homeless in Berkeley  on January 21, 2013 and turned it into a slideshow that I showed for my audtion.  I also had to bring a resume.  I am sure that they were impressed that I was a member of the Artist Guild.


Last year, when I started preparing plates for a new series of etchings for the “7 Printmakers” exhibit in San Diego in October, I wondered as I worked how many non-etchers know what goes into preparing metal plates to create an original etching?

Milled plate surface

Milled plate surface


Etchings are original prints, printed on paper from a plate that was created by the artist, and inked and  printed by hand by the artist or a master printer.  

Before the image-making work can even begin, there is work to prepare the plate for the process. I work on zinc, which is milled in such a way that the plate is smooth and flat, but it has a dull surface with a vague pattern from the milling. If inked and printed without any prep work, the plate would produce a uniform dirty grey tone.

"ONE" the movie is under production currently by Heartland Films, Inc. expected for release in 2014 -

HUMANITY the bronze sculpture to which I have been commissioned to create is currently at the Foundry under production with an estimated dedication mid-2014 - the location to be announced. Humanity is to relate our feeling as humans to our vision of the word "One", it encompasses our compassion as humans, and our striving to grasp the spirit of what makes us one.

So Who Won the Art Competition Gallery "Reflections" Art Competition...?!?!