The technical aspects of etching and engraving are commonly regarded as complicated, mysterious processes, beset with treacherous difficulties and calling for extensive technological know-how. In this book, however, John Buckland-Wright, a renowned teacher and engraver, sets all such misconceptions at naught. The techniques, he says, are perfectly simple and straightforward and, once the minimum necessary equipment has been acquired, can be mastered in a very short time. Etching and Engraving is a complete and carefully planned companion to the endeavors of the beginning engraver, and will continue to serve as a reference work even for the confident practitioner.
As a practical course in each of the kinds of graphic art — line engraving, drypoint, and the tonal variations of mezzotint and stipple; etching and the tonal variations of soft ground, aquatint and sugar aquatint; relief prints and deep etch; woodcut, linocut and wood engraving — this is among the most thorough and up-to-date books available. With clear understanding of all the beginner's problems, the author attends to tools and materials and where to get them, how to hold the tools while working, laying the ground, remedying mistakes, transferring, scraping, kinds of acid, methods of biting, and all other aspects of the art. He explains the varieties of printing techniques: intaglio, wood block and lino printing, and the many methods of color printing. He is particularly strong on modern techniques developed along the borders of the classical skills.
Constantly referring to the numerous prints reproduced throughout the book, Mr. Buckland-Wright achieves a fine balance between technique and theory, technology and aesthetics. He always cites the best authorities: Blake, Dürer, Picasso, Goya, Rembrandt, Whistler, Rouault, Chagall, Matisse, Miro, and Gauguin, to mention but a few of the artists whose works are reproduced and whose techniques are analyzed. Considered simply as an anthology of prints, this volume, in its richness and variety, is one of the very best of its kind.
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