Turpentine touche wash

Niezbędne materiały:

  • Lithographic touche or lithographic crayon
  • turpentine
  • asphalt (optional)
  • arabic gum
  • nitric acid
  • rosin
  • talc
Similar techniques

The wash with turpentine ink is different than the classic water lithographic ink. Instead of characteristic veins, something like “streaks” appears.

Turpentine touche can be made by yourself using lithographic crayons (e.g. short crayons no longer suitable for drawing or sharpening leftovers) or touche in paste or a block. Put crayon or touche in a cup or a bowl, add turpentine, leave for a while (under cover) and gently grind.


The ink wash should be made of on finely grinded lithographic stone. In contrast to water-based ink that dissolves gum arabic, when working with turpentine-based touche, it is possible to mask the edges with gum arabic only (without the protection of foil adhesive tape). The turpentine touche will not dissolve the gum. The wash shapes differently than water-based ones. It flows much more rapidly and it is more difficult to control its shape.


When the wash dries (one day) the stone should be dusted with rosin and talc and then etched with a strong etching solution. Turpentine based touche gives a stronger blackening, it is relatively easy to destroy details during printing, so a strong first etching is necessary. There should be a minimum of 15-20 drops of nitric acid per 30 milliliters of gum arabic. During the etching process a strong reaction should be visible (gas bubbles emitted) on bright veins.


When gum dries, you have to wash the drawing with turpentine.


It’s not necessary to rub asphalt into the surface of the stone before washing it with water and rolling up. Without asphalt the wash will take the ink slower but more precisely. You have to remember not to overdo it with the amount of ink on the roller otherwise there is a risk of loss of details of the wash. Better a longer rolling with less paint (more precise) than an invasive one.