Creating an Acrylic Spray Aquatint Test 9

December 16, 2014 (printed 12/18)
Researchers: Audrey Blood / Jenny Gover
Room Temperature: 67 degrees F
Humidity: dry
Materials: Speedball screen filler, Future floor wax, Golden airbrush medium, Golden flow release, Akua monotype ink jet black, Akua monotype ink lamp black, Golden GAC-100
Abstract: Re-spraying the two best mixtures so far: Speedball mix 3e from experiment 3, and Edinburgh mix from experiment 8 to determine the shelf life of the mixtures


Speedball Mix #3e from experiment 3 (plate 11)
1 oz Speedball screen filler
4 oz Future floor wax
3 drops Golden airbrush medium
0.5 oz Akua jet black monotype ink

Edinburgh Mix #1 from experiment 8 (plate 12)
10 tsp Future floor wax
1.5 tsp Golden GAC-100
3 crops Golden airbrush medium
3 drops Golden flow release
1 tsp Akua monotype ink lamb black


We observed both mixtures in their jars without shaking or disturbing. We did a smear test on copy paper for each mixture in order to see their consistency and whether either had separated over time. We then shook each of the jars in order to mix the ingredients well and did another smear test. Each mixture was then sprayed through the Badger airbrush on the finest setting onto newsprint. 4.5″ x 6″ copper plates were sprayed at a distance of 6 to 8 inches with approximately 15 passes. They were set in the drying box for 20 minutes and sat grounded in a drawer for 2 days before etching.

The plates were step-etched on 12/18 in 37 degree baume ferric chloride. They were placed in the stripper bath of 3 cups washing soda to 12 liters of warm water for 20 minutes, rinsed, dried, and printed.

smear tests

aquatint spray on plate 11


newsprint from aquatint spray on plate 11

aquatint spray on plate 12

newsprint from aquatint spray on plate 12


Speedball Mixture
This experiment is to determine the shelf life of our most promising mixtures. We made the Speedball mix 3e on 10/14. After opening the jar, we scraped a significant amount of goop from the bottom. The mixture seemed consistently thick and sludgy. The goop at the bottom was thicker than the goof formed from the india ink experiments. The rest of the mixture seemed well integrated and had not separated over time. Shaking the jar removed much of the goop from the bottom, however the mixture seemed much thicker than when it was first made and also thicker than before it was shaken. Smears of the mixture on copy paper were thick and textured, showing the goop before shaking and the thickness after shaking. The spray was fine and even, with a few larger dots due to clogging from the thicker mixture.

Edinburgh Mixture
We made the Edinburgh mix #1 on 11/20. After opening the jar, mixture looked milky like the ingredients had separated. There was a small amount of accumulation at the bottom of the jar, like sediment. Shaking the jar cleared the bottom and created soapy bubbles. The color of this mixture looked weak, and we decided that any revised mix would need more color. Smears of the mixture on copy paper were thin but well mixed before shaking and no darker, but very foamy after shaking. Spray was fine and even, maybe even better than the first time, but it was hard to see.

Both mixtures came off easily with 20 minutes in the stripper bath.

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. The Speedball print turned out as expected: a fine even tone despited a few large white dots that were the result of clogs in the airbrush. The Edinburgh plate was over-sprayed! Because it was so difficult to see when spraying, what we had thought was a good coating turned out to be too thick. This mixture still had promise, but it definitely needed more color.

plate 11 printed

plate 12 printed

Creating an Acrylic Spray Aquatint Test 10 >