I spent most of the morning being frustrated with the printmaking process, but believe the 'aha' moment has arrived and most of it is to do with paper choices. After yesterday's etching process, today was the printing. I do not have a printing press so need to use a baren/brayer to achieve a decent image.
I started out with Rives BFK paper. Its fairly thick and strong, even when well dampened. I perhaps overdampened and ended up with some blurred images. The inks I used were Graphic Chemical oil based inks and initial prints were with Intense Black, a commonly used ink for etching. I'm not sure if it was the ink or the paper or me, but the results were pale, the lines weak and soft. However, with initial prints, it is a bit of a test to see what works and what doesn't.
1st print on BFK Rives paper
After a coffee and a think, I had an interlude of printing a linocut that I had recarved and used a lighter Okawara Japanese paper, perhaps half the thickness of the original Rives, using a mix of the Intense Black and Phtalo Green Caligo inks. The lino print worked beautifully. Buoyed by success I tried another of the etching and am reasonably pleased with the result. The lines are crisper and the colour darker. It may be down to some more experimenting with other papers and inks.
2nd print on Okawara paper
From left to right: BFK Rives paper, 1st print on Okawara, 2nd print on Okawara
I've enjoyed the etching process and would like to continue. I would like to access zinc or copper plates and a decent etching needle as well. That will have to go onto the next mail order shopping list.