The etching is to use acid to burn.
The etching is a technique of engraving where the image is carved on a metal plate with a chemical solution. In this technique, the plate is covered with a varnish, and the artist draws his motive to the metal tip. Then it is placed in an acid bath which “bites” in the open areas.
After cleaning of the varnish, the plate is inked and press.
Initially, the strong water was the name given to the nitric acid. Nowadays, it is replaced by less toxic mordants, such the perchlorure of iron. This technique of “intaglio“, is known as the ‘ indirect engraving”, as opposed to the”direct engraving” that is done with tools.
The name etching, commonly refers the process, the engraved metal plate and the print obtained by this engraving.
The different processes
The different processes of strong water, include:
- the engraving in the wash,
- the pencil mode.
The differences between these processes are essentially the tools or varnish used.
The favorite technique of Rembrandt for burning
The etched work of Rembrandt has 290 plates which 81 only survive. The etching was his favorite technique. However, he could on a same engraving also use the burin and line-engraving to make a more subtle chiaroscuro.
Great admirer of Rembrandt, Weisbuch also used this combination of techniques.