Etching at Royal Drawing School

Etching at Royal Drawing School

The last year has been particularly though on me. For some various little issues I wasn’t able to keep up with my studies the way I wanted to.

However I kept my passion alive by attending a printmaking course from September to December, at the Royal Drawing School in London. This short course touched 5 different techniques, mainly involving etching: hard and soft ground, aquatint, sugar lift and drypoint.

Here I share some of the works produced during these few lessons.

Soft ground etching on zinc



Drypoint on copper
Drypoint + hardground etching on copper
Sugar lift on aluminium

I was really amazed by the range of results achievable with printmaking and the idea of how many of them are yet to discover, is just the best motivation I could ever find.

Printmaking: Hard ground etching

Printmaking: Hard ground etching

At the end of the first printmaking session we have been given a zinc plate covered with hard ground. This is a mixture of beeswax, bitumen and resin which protects the metal from acid corrosion.

I had in fact, to produce a drawing scratching away the wax to expose the metal, allowing in this way the acid to work its way through the lines .

I bathed the plate in acid for about 5 minutes and then rinsed it in water. after drying it up, I checked that the lines were properly etched and the passed to the usual inking and pressing.

The result was a print with extremely crisp lines which I really enjoyed!

I managed to do in total four trials, visible in the image below from the first on the top left to the last on the bottom right.


At the end of the printing phase the tutor also taught me how to prepare the plate with a layer of hard ground.

I am literally falling in love with printmaking!