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Thursday, December 11, 2008
Etching My Mother
Last night was another etching workshop. This time I worked on a doing an etching from a portrait I did of my mother. The image is from one of my test pulls from last night. I still plan to aquatint this image to create volume in the face. The original is an oil painting about 18inches by 24inches done on linen and the likeness is very good. I had attempted to capture my mother at least three over times through the years and always failed. She wasn't the best sitter in the world. She had a tendency to fidget and worry that I was making her look too old. This time she didn't worry and promised to sit still, but also I think it was better because I was really warmed up when I did this painting. It was in the middle of about twenty-five different portraits I did in six months. I don't work with sketches but use a live model, sketch onto the canvas in charcoal, and then start painting right on top of that.
For the etching I shrunk the image in Photoshop and then converted it to grey scale to simplify the line and the volume. I was still quite worried that it wouldn't translate or that my inexperience as an etcher would render the piece unrecognizable from either the original or the model, but I needn't have worried! Here is the original painting for some comparison. Once I do the aquatint next Wednesday I'll do an update on the process.