Magical Secrets about Aquatint: Spit Bite, Sugar Lift and Other Etched Tones Step-by-Step Magical Secrets are quickly grasped. They open doors to fresh ways of seeing and understanding. Artists use aquatint, a form of etching, to create delicate washes, velvety blacks, and intricate layers of color impossible in other art media. In this book, the third in the Magical Secrets series about etchings, Crown Point master printer Emily York discusses 46 aquatints by 32 artists, with special attention to fascinating sequential works by Richard Diebenkorn and Al Held. Emily York is a master printer at Crown Point Press, a publishing workshop where artists have been creating etchings since 1962. She ties process directly to art, and with clear writing and abundant illustrations explains the aquatint processes of spit bite, sugar lift, soap ground, and water bite. She also details steel-facing and multiple-plate printing, and gives step-by-step instructions for making you own aquatints.
The book has two appendices: Printing the Crown Point Way by Kathan Brown and Using Acid to Bite Plates by Catherine Brooks. The included DVD demonstrates the processes. Published by Crown Point Press, 2008. 360 pages, full color illustrations.
"The third in crown Point Press's series on printmaking, this book does exactly what it says on the cover. Its meticulous, step-by-step approach means that even printmakers who are confident with aquatint will find it helpful.
The book is like a Russian doll in its presentation of the technique-each chapter revealing a different aspect of the process. While it can sometimes seem a little short of illustrations, the excellent text more than compensates. The 'how to' descriptions are also richly supported by the masterful images that the author has chosen to exemplify particular effects. Many are the work of some very famous artists: Al Held, Ed Ruscha, Tony Cragg, Elaine De Kooning and Francesco Clemente among them. Crown Point Press is, after all, among the most celebrated of all American print studios.
Whether you are a lover of aquatint or among those who have often found themselves frustrated by it, this is the book for you. The accompanying CD is 2 1/2 hours long (as long as it took me to read the book!) but being able to see the master printmaker at work, as described in the book, is a huge bonus." Megan Fishpool, Printmaking Today, 2009
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