Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Creating an Engraving/Etching without a Press

Well sort of, this does give you an idea of what your finished engraving/etching will look like and you can print prints of it, but if you want a print right from the plate, and don't have a press you need a lot of elbow grease and a metal spoon. But here is how I get images from my plates right now, (I will build a press still, just really need a bottle jack and a few thick sheets of metal to finish it).

This is done with Photoshop, but I would think it would work with most editing software.

1. Scan your plate (mine is clear perspex, clear works best for this). Place a dark or black sheet of paper behind the plate so that your etched lines will show up when scanned, make sure the paper is not on the scanner bed or you will just end up with a black image. You should end up with a scanned image that resembles this:

2. In Photoshop go to Image-Mode-Greyscale. I find that if you don't do this, the background colour tends to get really muddy and almost yellow in further steps, looks very odd :p Image should resemble this (only a small difference):

3.Then go to Image-Adjustments-Invert for this step. Creats an image with faint lines:

4. To darken the lines go to Image-Adjusments-Levels. I tend to only use the slider on the left and move it to the right. Its not really an exact science at this stage, just move the slider until you like the way it looks. Experiment with all of the sliders to see what they do and see if you can come up with an image you really like.

And thats it :) Quick and easy way to get a print from a plate without a press. Hopefully helpful and not confusing. If you have any questions, please ask :)


Rolina said...

That is really good, I thought you were making test prints at home!

Rose Welty said...

Aren't you clever? Well done - and very clearly explained. Looks great, BTW.

Jennifer Rose Phillip said...

oh gods, the amount of work that would take lol for all of these. nope I cheat :D

Jennifer Rose Phillip said...

Thanks Rose :D Glad it is clear :)