Wash Grounds with water-soluble ink and Lascaux wash ground

We began to design a series of experiments that applied a liquid wash ground to achieve the reticulated effects of watercolor in an Intaglio print. Our first experiments involved using combinations of aquatinted and non-aquatinted plates. Aquatints were applied using a standard single action Paasche airbrush. We chose two manufacturers whose products are used for wash grounds. Lascaux Wash Resist (part of their acrylic resist etching product line), and Graphic Chemical & Ink co. water soluble Block Print Ink (black NO. 1659C mixed at a ratio of six parts water and one part ink). The results of these first experiments answered which wash ground was more effective and if an aquatinted plate is necessary to achieve a reticulated effect in the final printed image. Our final experiments sought to solve the problem of open biting in non-aquatinted wash ground plates when they are placed in the Ferric Chloride bath. We explored the idea of layering wash grounds on previously etched plates and also reworking wash grounds that had either partially dried or completely dried on the plate.

Research Project Tests