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Silk Aquatint Printmaking

Continuing with Aquatint printmaking experiments here, I’ve painted another little plate with a blended 1/5 ratio of white acrylic paint and acrylic medium.

The reference is based loosely on a photo I snapped of my sister, when she was visiting from Alaska.

The process images are below, but I’ve already altered the plate with more layers of paint/gel. You can see from the print that it needs adjustments. Experiments continue! Here’s are some more details on how to make a silk aquatint print. Have you tried this printmaking method yet?

silk aquatint plate in process
Painting the plate with acrylic medium and white acrylic paint in a 5/1 ratio
silk aquatint print
After the plate was dry, getting ready to apply Akua Intaglio ink in Graphite color, cut 50/50 with transparent base.
Wiping the plate with tarlatan cloth, intaglio style to get it ready for the press
silk aquatint
After a trip through the press, I’m pulling a silk aquatint print from my mat board and screen silk plate
I rubbed a thin layer of transparent base on the plate, and pulled a ghost to see how the values would read. After this was dry, I added watercolor to get the little proof at the top of this post.

Silk Aquatint Experiments

This method of printmaking is loaded with potential. I think the building of the plate (choice of screen fabric, and base) as well as the painted image ratios (white acrylic and gloss medium blends) all take some testing and trying to get it where you want it.

I also think it helps to have a sense for value range, since that’s all you’re working with on the white against black. Adjusting brush marks to achieve lots of grays in between bright white and dark black will be key to a successful, compelling image.

And it sure is fun! What say you on this approach? Have you tried silk aquatint printmaking? Let its know in the comments –

Thanks for stopping by and I’ll see you in the next post!


P.S. The silk screen mesh I used for this test is available on Amazon here.

Art Quote

David Kiekl, Curator of Prints, Whitney Museum of American Art, lamented at his recent lecture at the Huntington Library in pasadena, California, Printmaking Now; Cycles of Tradition, Innovation and Change,”We know far too little of the printmaking which occurred west of the Mississppi between the two world wars. These stories need to be told before we can piece together the quilt of printmaking in America.

Susan Futterman
A little red tabby cat asking if you’d like to make art more often
Visit (click the kitty) to take a free mini course….

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