Assignment 3: Chiaroscuro: Beginning

I haven’t completed Assignment 2 yet, although my landscape morphed into abstraction.  I will revisit.

Why chiaroscuro? Because printing is all about getting blacks black and whites white. And the interesting thing is how to achieve the effects in between.

Why now? Because I visited the Prado for the first time this summer, and am in a Renaissance frame of mind, and you can’t say “chiaroscuro” without thinking of Caravaggio, of whom I think the PM 2 course designer is a fan. I’m also finding myself interested in science, or at least the history of it, in particular how “artistic” thinking and “scientific” thinking relate to one another. And I’m having to deal with the chemistry of etching. My son says it “sounds like Breaking Bad over there.”

Secondly, I have taken part in a non-toxic Intaglio workshop in Capileira, where I learned about both etching in ferric chloride, and the technique of photopolymer intaglio- the latter is a real challenge in terms of creating blacks.

Reference texts:

Kemp, M. (2000) Visualisations: The Nature Book of Art and Science. OUP, Oxford, UK.

(History of Science)

Honour H. and Fleming J. (2009) A World History of Art (Revised). Laurence King, London, UK.

Wallace, R. (1971) The World of Leonardo. Time Inc., NY,  USA.

Coughlan, R. (1971) The World of Michaelangelo. Time Inc., NY,  USA.

Jimenez-Blanco, M.D. (ed.) (2014) The Prado Guide. Museo Nacional del Prado Difusion, Madrid, Spain.

Boegh, H. (2007) Handbook of Non-toxic Intaglio.

Hoskins, S and Pearce, R. The Chemistry of Ferric Chloride. Printmaking Today Vol. 4, no. 2.  Accessed via www.





Author: chrisocaprintingblog

Studying visual arts part-time with the Open College of the Arts

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