Working with washes

As lithography is quite a lengthy process I have gotten into the habit of working on a few stones at the same time so I don’t have to stare as much into space while waiting for my etches to process. Usually I have two stones going and this is the case at the moment. The other week I started two stones at the same time, one of them was the one I wrote about last week, and the other one I am going to tell you about now.


This is another Molotov cocktail image but the method and the outcome I was looking for was kind of the opposite of the other stone. I wanted to concentrate on the details of the drawing, using a variety of tusches to get a wide range of tones in the print, I wanted it to print very neat and nicely. For this drawing I used water diluted tusche, turps diluted tusche, Charbonnel litho writing ink and crayons. It can be quite hard to predict how much pigment is actually in the wash that you are using as you get a bit deceived because as the stone gets wet from the washes it looks like the wash is a bit darker then it really is. I test my washes on white paper before and let them dry completely before I move onto the stone. That way I can see how dark or light the washes are and can adjust them to how I want them.

Alright let’s have a little look at the stone and the inks here.


I used the Atzol etch for this stone again but changed the Atzol/Gum ratio to 20/80. I just put plain gum on my lightest water wash areas so I wouldn’t loose them. Repeated the same etching process again and then I started printing. The first prints came out beautifully but at number five or six my lightest areas got very dark and started filling in. I guess they could have done with a bit of etching instead of just gum, at least for the second etch. So I gave them a little etching straight away with a weak nitric acid etch I mixed. I printed again and the result was excellent (if I do say so myself).


I got completely black and very light grey and everything in between. Her is a close up:

L1020535-2 L1020538-3

I am very happy with the outcome, it is pretty much exactly what I was hoping for, yay!

Next up is printing this baby in a colour and seeing how well that will come out.


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