Mezzotint on stone (ossa sepia, manière noire)


Materials:

  • arabic gum
  • nitric acid
  • asphalt
  • lithographic ink
  • turpentine
  • shellac
  • rosin and talc
Similar techniques
1

Mezzotint on stone – ossa sepia – is a beautiful lithographic negative technique. The drawing is similar to the traditional intaglio mezzotint on metal plates; you can do it (the scraping) using the same materials. The velvet black background is done when grinding the stone.

1

The edges of a well-grained and dried lithographic stone should be covered with gum arabic for protection against blackening.

2

The stone should be leveled and covered with asphalt diluted with turpentine. The layer should be even and uniform. A glass or other turpentine evaporation slowing material may be placed just above the surface of the stone.
* Asphalt can also be evenly rubbed with a cloth, preferably by applying several subsequent layers.

3

After a day’s wait start drawing using scrapers, needles, sandpaper and other tools to scrape the surface.

4

Afterwards the drawing should be cleaned (if turpentine is not enough, use petroleum), wiped with talc and etched.

5

Asphalt is very hard and acid-resistant, however, delicate tones obtained during scraping should not be etched too rapidly. But all the scraped surfaces should be etched with quite a strong etching solution.

6

After the etching substance is removed and the stone is dried, the drawing should be washed away with turpentine and, if this is not be possible, with a different non water-based solvent.

7

Next, rub the asphalt again, wet the stone with water and roll it up.

8

The second etching depends on the drawing.