Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Open Bite Nike

Ever since I saw the statue of the Nike of Samothrace I've identified with its elegance and personification of victory. Nike is someone who seems to come up frequently in my sketches and illustrations, however, one day I got a great idea for an image that I wanted to depict as a print.

I was so happy with the way this image came out. Simple, elegant, and a beautiful homage to the Greek art that I love so much. However, the perfectionist in me wanted to go back and make the lines on the landscape more detailed. 

So I went back and added more etching. I had to let it sit in the acid bath a few more minutes to eat away a bit more of the lines. Since it was only going to be in the acid for a short amount of time I didn't think it would be necessary to add a protective coating over the rest of the copper plate. I placed the unprotected plate in the acid (this type of process is referred to as "open bite" because you are allowing the acid to eat away at the entire image). 

After only a short amount of time I came back to retrieve my plate and do another test print.

Much to my surprise the acid had made large swirl patterns over the plate. At first I was upset, but the more I looked at the image the more I fell in love with it. Those swirl patterns were delicate and unique and gave the image a sense of romanticism. 

Sometimes, you just have to allow the artwork to take on a life of its own. 

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