I worked on No. 38 this afternoon, which felt easy and great the whole time. The work I did with the etching ink stage was really solid; the forms and structures were already in place and I didn’t need to reorganize anything. The work I did with the exacto knife and lithographic crayon felt like dusting a cupcake with sprinkles: the process was straightforward, and I got great visual results at the end with minimal effort on my part. I wish that every portrait I worked on was this fluid.
I’m waiting for my next shipment of Dura-Lar to arrive, and when it does, I’ll be able to start several portraits with the etching ink. I’m a little nervous because I know now how important it is that the etching ink stage goes well with each portrait. If the etching ink isn’t solid, I know from experience that there’s almost no chance that I can salvage a piece with the exacto knife and lithographic crayon. I think with these last eleven portraits, I’m going to ask much more of myself and demand that the etching ink work be strong before moving on. If the etching ink work isn’t up to where I want it to be, I’m thinking now that I won’t bother to continue the piece.