Mezzotint or black style (method)
We know metzzotint a printmaking technique in Fine art. A kind of engraving on metal. We have invented this method in Germany by Ludwig von Siegen (1609-1676). In this process of printmaking one creates an art image by taking it from dark to light. The word mezzotint comes from italian word mezzo-tinto (mezzo ‘half’ and tinto ‘color’, ‘coloring’, ‘nuance’). It means ‘half-colored. Mezzotint is very rare. Also it is hadr-working process. It takes a lot of time and effort. At the same time it is very interesting way of representing kind of etching technique. However metal board can get quickly worn out. Therefore it allows relatively small number of prints. This is also the very reason why so small number of artists want to deal with mezzotinit.
Series “Seven deadly sins” is available as a whole,
and the individual parts
Price $268, shipping $35
Before start printing process one engraves a copper plate (or zinc or aluminum) by a rocker tool ( smore even call it ‘rocking chair’). A solid metal plate tool with an arched sharp tooth edge. So that the plate acquires evenly performing roughness (surface reminding fine sandpaper). If you apply the metal plate with printmaking ink and print it image performed have a velvety appearance with soft colorfully balanced image. An image (or white parts of print) can appear by polishing this sandpaper-like surface. An artist can do it by special printmaking polishing tool. Obviously the most white parts has to be polished as you look yourself in a mirror. Darkest parts you must leave engraved as in the very beginning. A particular characteristic of mezzotint is a huge richness of all kinds of half-tones and shades, going from very dark to blazing white.
Main characteristics of mezzotint printmaking technique
In addition the most important feature of the mezzotin printmaking technique is that an image is not printed ‘from white to black’ (when the paint fills chiselled grooves or engraving by another method) and ‘from black to white.’
As a result the main difference between meszotin and other engraving techniques is that an artist does not work with a dark line or point on a light background, but goes from dark to light, working only with lights and shadows.
All image forms and light gradually appear from the black ground surface, creating extraordinary tonal gradations.
Therefore lack of lines tenderness of the image, velvety texture. All that allows the engraver to convey the softness of grading all tones. Indeed also to subtle nuances. Since the mid-18th century Metzzotint has become even more popular in England. This is why they sometimes call the Metzzotint English method.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me!
©All images are copyright of Alexandra Duhlinska. They may not be downloaded, modified, altered or sold without the express written permission of the artist.