Etching is certainly the most complex printing technique for artists and offers the widest range of artistic expression in printing. The artist works on a metal plate, creating holes or furrows
using acid or mechanical instruments. Into these holes the color gets rubbed in before printing. Depending on the depth of the hole, the print shows a range of grey to black on the finished print. To
control the depth of the holes you vary the mechanical pressure, when you work with tools without using acid, using the latter you have to vary the exposure time in the acid bath for the various
areas of the motif.
After working with acid to create various greyshades a mechanical smoothening of the surface with a scraper produces continuous changes in tonality, in contrast to the hard edges the acid produces,
as the exposure times can only be varied in so many steps, meaning they produce for example 5 distinct greyshades, not a continuum.
For printing the color has to be applied for every print, gets rubbed into the furrows and the surplus on the surface gets wiped off. Then the print is made on a soft, watered paper. For coloring you
can print with several colors from one plate, or otherwise several plates for different colors are used and printed exactly over each other. Due to this process, being printed by hand with variations
from print to print being the rule, they count as "original prints" and should always be numbered and signed by hand below the motif.