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Etching of DJCAD

Updated: Apr 25, 2022

I mostly worked on the DJCAD etching this week. I had to be more meticulous this time since, as I’m depicting a piece of architecture, any bleeding of the the stopper would be far more noticeable. The large blocks of shapes also made it a bit easier though - I would’ve had far harder a time depicting an older piece of architecture, for instance.

I went for a slightly more graphic look, by outlining the edges as opposed to crosshatching all the way to them. I also decided to outline with multiple strokes, which gave it a slightly cartoony feel. This reminded me of when I used to make cartoons when I was younger, where I would draw sharp edges in pencil using a ruler then freehand over the top in pen. The etching process is quite similar to that, as you can transfer the sketch using carbon paper before actually making your mark. I’m quite fond of the “wobbliness” I ended up getting with these kinds of line.

The process mostly went smoothly, though I finally made the cardinal mistake of forgetting to flip the image before transferring it to the plate….. I realised halfway through making the lines luckily, before I had etched anything, but that set me back the good part of a day….. You live and you learn I guess (I hope….).

I finished the aquatinting so, beside a few parts I want to tweak using burnishing I only have the sky left. I would quite like to utilise a sugar lift, which is a form of aquatinting in which you leave sugary water to dry over a layer of ground, the apply boiling water to lift the ground where the crystals have formed. The resulting effect is quite painterly and abstract. It's also quite unpredictable, which I think will give some more energy to the piece. Here are some of examples of what other people have done using the technique.


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