Creating an Acrylic Spray Aquatint Test 1

October 7, 2014 (printed 10/10)
Researchers: Audrey Blood / Jenny Gover
Room Temperature: 68 degrees F
Humidity: mildly humid
Materials: Speedball Screen Filler, Future Floor Wax, Golden Airbrush Medium, Speedball India Ink
Abstract: Finding a replacement for Z-Acryl spray aquatint mixture using Speedball screen filler. In our research, we found several recipes using Speedball screen filler as a base for an acrylic spray aquatint. In their blog, Non-toxic Intaglio (nontoxicintaglio.tumblr.com), Tracy Hill and Emma Gregory reference a mixture given to them by Alfons Bytautas of the Edinburgh Printmakers that combined 1 part Speedball screen filler with 4 parts Future floor wax. We decided to begin with this mixture.

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Mix 1: (Plate 1)
1 oz. Speedball Screen Filler
4 oz. Future Floorwax
3 drops Golden Airbrush Medium

Procedure:
We stirred Speedball screen filler until thoroughly mixed. We measured and poured 1 oz of the Speedball screen filler into a mixing container. We then measured 4 oz. Future floor wax, and added it to the Speedball and stirred until mixed thoroughly. We added 3 drops Golden Airbrush Medium to the mixture. The mixture was sprayed evenly onto the plate, using BADGER airbrush, at a distance of 6-8 inches from the plate with approximately five passes.

We set the plate in the drying box for 20 minutes and etched it in 36 degree baume ferric chloride. The ground was cleaned off by soaking in a stripper solution of 3 cups washing soda and 12 liters warm water for 20 minutes. We then mixed a small quantity of 00 plate oil with Charbonel 55981 oil-based etching ink for printing.

experiment1_01
measuring the screen filler

experiment1_02
measuring the future floor wax

experiment1_03
adding airbrush medium to screen filler and floor wax mixture

experiment1_05
spraying mix 1 onto plate 1

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drying box with plate

Conclusions:
The mixture was a very thin, watery, loose liquid andy the color was the same as Speedball Screen Filler. It was difficult to see the aquatint spray on the plate; the color was too similar to that of copper. We found that the dot was large in spots, but overall the spray gave a fine tone. The airbrush was cleaned with a solution of dish soap and water.

In the future, we need to spray more aquatint onto the plate. The print was grainy, but likely due to not enough spray. Otherwise, the spray held up for 20 minutes in ferric chloride, and seemed capable of producing a dark black tone. The mixture also could use some color in order to see when sprayed onto copper plate.

experiment1_11
mix 1

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mix 1 in the airbrush

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mix 1 sprayed on a copper plate

plate_01
print of plate 1

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Mix 2: (Plate 2)
1 oz. Speedball Screen Filler
4 oz. Future Floorwax
3 drops Golden Airbrush Medium
25 drops Speedball India Ink

Procedure:
We stirred Speedball screen filler until thoroughly mixed. We measured and poured 1 oz of the Speedball screen filler into a mixing container. We then measured 4 oz. Future floor wax, and added it to the Speedball and stirred until mixed thoroughly. We added 3 drops Golden Airbrush Medium to the mixture. To color the mixture, we added 25 drops Speedball India Ink and stirred until evenly mixed. The mixture was sprayed evenly onto the plate, using BADGER airbrush, at a distance of 6-8 inches from the plate with approximately five passes.

We set the plate in the drying box for 20 minutes and etched it in 36 degree baume ferric chloride. The ground was cleaned off by soaking in a stripper solution of 3 cups washing fluid and 12 liters warm water for 20 minutes. We then mixed a small quantity of 00 plate oil with Charbonel 55981 oil-based etching ink for printing.

experiment1_07
adding india ink to tint mix 2

experiment1_08
stirring mix 2

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mix 2

experiment1_09
mix 2 in the airbrush

experiment1_10
spraying mix 2 onto plate 2

plate_02_spray
mix 2 spray on newsprint

plate_02
print of plate 2

Conclusions:
The visibility of this mix was better than mix 1, but still not dark enough on the copper plate. The spray seemed to be more even on the plate and it produced a finer tone aquatint when printed. The spray held up for 20 minutes in ferric chloride, and seemed capable of producing a dark black tone. Other than the tone of the spray not being dark enough on plate, this mix could be a good substitute for Z-Acryl.  In the future we need to add more India Ink in order to create a darker spray.

Creating an Acrylic Spray Aquatint Test 2 >