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AQUATINT (Lat. aqua, water, and tincta, dyed), a kind of
etching (q.v.) which imitates washes with a brush. There are
many ways of preparing a plate for aquatint, the following being
recommended by P.G. Hamerton. Have three different solutions
of rosin in rectified alcohol, making them of various degrees
of strength, but always thin enough to be quite fluid, the weakest
solution being almost colourless. First pour the strongest
solution on the plate. When it dries it will produce a granulation;
and you may now bite as in ordinary etching for your
darker tones, stopping out what the acid is not to operate upon,
or you may use a brush charged with acid, perchloride of iron
being a very good mordant for the purpose. After cleaning the
plate, you proceed with the weaker solutions in the same way,
the weakest giving the finest granulation for skies, distances, &c.
The process requires a good deal of stopping-out, and some
burnishing, scraping, &c., at last. Aquatint may be effectively
used in combination with line etching, and still more harmoniously
with soft ground etching in which the line imitates that of
the lead pencil.
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