I’ve decided that I will need to make many 24″ x 36″ studies so that I’ve had the chance to think through the compositions before moving up to the final 6′ x 4′ scale. I’m finding now that the most challenging part of this process is gearing myself up mentally to work with the etching ink. The process involves drawing with and smearing the etching ink across the page with my hands in a loose and gestural manner. Before I start working with the etching ink, a lot of times I let my fear take over and it’s hard to for me to get started. The permanence of the etching ink combined with the bold drawing approach that I have to take intimidates me. I have to fight this and get myself into the right mindset: in the future I will need to do some “warm up” drawings in advance so that I’m ready to go.
Once the etching ink work has dried, the second part of the process involves removing the etching ink with an exacto knife, and adding passages with lithographic crayon. When the fundamentals have been blocked in with the etching ink and it becomes a matter of carving the form out of the drawing. Right now this is the part of the process that I enjoy the most; I can let myself get lost in the process of making marks and cross-hatching.
Below are three studies, each 24″ x 36″ which demonstrate the beginning of the process with etching ink.