Tavik Franti
šek Šimon

On this page drawings and some prints by the artist, showing the process of making prints.
The artist published two books on printing-technique:
1. Dřevoryt druhá přiručka umĕlce-grafika. Prague 1927. (Handbook of Artist-Woodengraver).
Přiručka umêlce-grafika. Prague 1921. (Handbook of Artist-Etcher).


7,5x7,5cm. pencil and ink. 19,5x18cm.

11x10cm. pencil and ink. 19x18. 12,5x10cm. pencil and ink. 20x17cm 10x10cm. pencil and ink. 20,5x17,5cm. 9x9cm. pencil and ink. 19x19,5cm.

7x13cm. pencil and ink. 16x18cm.

Handbook of Artist-Woodengraver 1927
Sketches in pencil and ink


















Hokusai (reproduction).
Published in Handbook of Artist-Woodengraver, page 93.



Emil Orlik
(original woodcut in colour)

Published in black- and white in the Handbook of Artist-Woodengraver, p. 97.

Handbook of Artist-Etcher 1921
Sketches and chemical proofs

Original chemical proof by the artist. 10x10cm. 26,2x16cm.
Published in Handbook of Artist-Etcher, page 55.
enlarge image

This technique is used to create tone and texture in a print. The plate is sprinkled with a powdered resin, heated so the resin melts and clings, then given an acid bath to bit the areas not covered by the resin, creating a porous ground. Aquatint is rarely employed by itself, but rather in combination with other intaglio methods.
Aquatint is in fact a monochrome process and consists of etching rather than engraving. Acid, aqua Fortis, not hard tools, creates hollows in the metal plate. It is only less texturally rich than the mezzotint and it suggests a far greater extent a freedom of tone akin to the limpid brushwork of water colour.
Aquatint is a complicated process and involves dissolving resin in spirits of wine and pouring the liquid over a highly polished copper plate. The plate is warmed and the spirit evaporates, leaving a granulated surface on the plate, known as the ground. Usually the outline of the subject is etched onto the plate, before ground is applied and the etched lines filled with ink. Sometime the subject was traced or drawn onto the plate.
When it is ready the plate is exposed to acid which bites around the resin granules. As each required tone is reached, the plate is withdrawn and the area of tone covered with a stepping-out varnish. This continues until the darkest tones are obtained, possibly eight or twelve "bites" being required.
Aquatints could be printed uncoloured or in one or two coloured inks, olive, brown, green or red were used in England. Coloured aquatints were finished by hand and the best examples are difficult to distinguish from water colour. The main disadvantage of the coloured aquatint was the cost of production, long print runs were impractical and it almost ceased to be used in England by the mid-nineteenth century.
In an aquatint one is aware of a surface grain of varying depth and opacity covering almost every part of the print. This may be coarse or fine but is usually consistent texture. It is never a smooth blur but appears as lighter and darker areas of speckled powdery tone rather than the engraver's multitudinous individual lines. A magnifying glass makes this clear.







Original proof by the artist:

Original proof by the artist:

Original proof by the artist:

original final print in yellow.
Published in: Handbook of Artist-Etcher, page 69.
10,5x10,5cm.  27x21cm




reproduction final print
In contrast to the mezzotint, the aquatint was worked from light tones into ever increasing darkness. The shadows never acquired the intense velvet texture of the mezzotint but the light has a limpid brilliance. 
Pencil in color. 10,3x11cm. 18x14,7cm
Original proof 10,5x10,5cm. 27x21cm
  Original Final print in blue. 27x21cm

The artist (photo)

April 14, 1922

The artist (photo)

Drawings in pencil


With special thanks to Mr. D.C. Karl.
Last Update June 2016