Creating an Acrylic Spray Aquatint Test 8

November 20, 2014 (printed 12/2)
Researchers: Audrey Blood / Jenny Gover
Room Temperature: 65 degrees F
Humidity: dry
Materials: Future floor wax, Golden GAC-100, Golden GAC-200, Akua monotype ink lamp black PBLK7, Golden airbrush medium, Golden flow release
Abstract: Attempting a spray aquatint mixture given to us by the Edinburgh Printmakers. The original recipe included a product called Carefree Emulsion, which is not available in the United States, so we decided to begin with two mixtures using GAC-100 and GAC-200, omitting the Carefree Emulsion.


Edinburgh Mix #1 (plate 10):
10 tsp Future floor wax
1.5 tsp Golden GAC-100
3 drops Golden flow release
3 drops Golden airbrush medium
1 tsp Akua Lamp Black PBLK7 monotype ink

Edinburgh Mix #2:
10 tsp Future floor wax
1.5 tsp Golden GAC-200
3 drops Golden flow release
3 drops Golden airbrush medium
1 tsp Akua Lamp Black PBLK7 monotype ink

We began by setting up two containers with 10 tsp Future floor wax in each. We then added 1.5 tsp of GAC-100 to mix #1 and 1.5 tsp of GAC-200 to mix #2. The Future floor wax and GAC-100 mixed easily and appeared more diluted than the mix with GAC-200. The GAC-200 did not mix well with the Future floor wax and began to create little clumps immediately. After 5 minutes, we noticed that the bottom of the GAC-100 mixture had a few clumps as well, but they were small and didn’t seem to be floating in the liquid. We finished adding all of the other ingredients to both mixtures, but decided only to spray mix #1 because of the clumps in mix #2. We sprayed mix #1 through the Badger airbrush on finest possible setting onto newsprint. The plate was sprayed at a distance of approximately 6-8 inches with approximately 15 passes. It was set to dry in the drying box for 20 minutes, then removed and sat grounded in our drawer for one week before etching. It was then step-etched in 37 degree baume ferric chloride. The plate was stripped first with the stripper bath and finished with SoySolv II spray. It was then printed two times.

clumps visibile in mix 1 

more clumps visible in mix 2

draw down of mix 1 and mix 2

spray of mix 1 onto newsprint


The Mixture
After the mixture sat for 5 minutes, we noticed that the bottom of mix 1’s container had some small clumps. However, the mixed liquid and the spatula when dipped in the mixture seemed very smooth and integrated. The viscosity of the mixture resembled Z-Acryl. It sprayed a fine, clear aquatint on the newsprint, but we found that our plate had a few large dots when we took a close look at it. We had not noticed any sputtering from the airbrush, which would indicate that it was not due to a clog.

This plate was reasonably easy to strip. It sat in the stripper bath for approximately 15 minutes, and no SoySolv II was needed.

We printed on a Takach press using 2 sizing catchers at 5.5 pressure. Ink: Charbonnel #55981 oil-based etching ink with 2 drops 00 plate oil. Paper: Hahnemuhle copperplate white. Even thought the aquatint was somewhat difficult to see when sprayed, it showed up well on the plate during the etching process. The prints had a dense fine tone, despite a few larger white dots that we knew had occurred from the airbrush spray. Overall, this mixture seems like it could be comparable to our earlier Speedball screen filler mixture (plate #3), and also to Z-Acryl.

print of plate 10

Creating an Acrylic Spray Aquatint Test 9 >