Silk Aquatint: Cat in the Lap

 Cat in the Lap – 6.75 x 5.5 Silk Aquatint with Colored Pencil
Available on Etsy
This aquatint was made the same day as the previous post (Reflecting), with the same materials, and I got the same result. I reworked the print with some colored pencil (see before & after below) and prepped new plates (using mat board and plexiglass as a base), so I’m looking forward to the results of my next aquatint experiments.

Fixing the print; after the ink dried, I added colored pencil to enhance the details I lost in the printmaking process. 

 Pulling the print on the press bed; As you can see above, I lost a lot of details, just like the first plate I pulled earlier that day, but I have some ideas for adjustments in the next batch of silk aquatints, and I’m hopeful for better results.

These hiccups are one of the great things about art, because they push my brain out of the comfortable and familiar zone, and challenge me to think through problem solving. Getting comfortable in art-making can be seductive, whether it’s in the rendering of a subject, or the process used to create the art. Its probably a bit more relaxing to approach it that way, but I find it more stimulating to keep trying new things, and with each failure, my commitment to practice my craft gets a shot of conviction and resolve to think it through, and try again. And then there’s the reward of a big hooray and a studio happy dance when repeated attempts finally come to fruition. 🙂

 Inking the plate with a scrap of mat board and my groovy new Akua Intaglio ink (Paynes Gray) and Transparent Medium.

 After sealing a scrap of mat board with acrylic gel, I laid a piece of polyester mesh/silk on the plate, and adhered the fabric to the plate with with a diluted mix of black acrylic pain. After that dried, I painted an image with white acrylic paint and acrylic gel mixed in a 1 to 5 ratio.  The instructions for the process can be found on the Akua Inks web site.If you try this printmaking method, please share your results in the comments section. I’d love to see what you came up with!


Art Quote
If the face were an entirely flat surface, in which the features occasioned neither projections nor depressions, nothing more would be necessary in painting a representation of it, than to cover it with a uniform flat tint of flesh color. But as there is scarcely any part of it which is perfectly flat, the gradations of light and shade claim the earnest attention of the student, and are, perhaps, best learned from a plaster cast, where they are separated from color. (It is a good plan always to keep a white bust at hand as a guide to light and shadow.)

Practical Directions for Portrait Painting in Watercolor ~ by Mrs. Merrifield  1850

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2 Responses to Silk Aquatint: Cat in the Lap

  1. Barbara M. January 16, 2012 at 1:03 pm #

    This is a beauty Belinda and the quote was super. Funny
    too, as another blogger said recently that actually most faces do not line up properly. What a plaster bust can’t give us is mood. You are a magical creator of mood.

    xoxoxoxoxoxoxox Barbara

  2. Kara K. Bigda January 15, 2012 at 4:52 am #

    I love reading your posts, Belinda. These Akua aquatints are so interesting and inspiring. I’d love to try this someday. And your step-by-step process photos and explanations are terrific. You are an inspiration! Good luck with the next batch of prints. I’ll be anxiously awaiting the results! 🙂

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