SOFT GROUND NUDES
Soft ground etching differs from mainstream etching in that the wax resist rolled over the copper plate to protect it from the acid never sets. Hard ground has to be removed with a fine point or needle and the print is characterised by fine lines; tones are conveyed by a parallel or criss crossing lines (hatching) and depth (controlled by the length of time the plate is bitten).
Soft ground is far closer to the natural action of drawing with a pencil. Thin paper or tissue is laid over the wax ground and the image is drawn with a pencil - the texture of the paper presses into the wax and when it is removed the wax will stick to the paper leaving the drawn lines on the plate exposed to the acid. A limited amount of tonal control can be achieved by the pressure of drawing and this can then be overdrawn and bitten further.
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One of the foremost figurative artists working today, Lucian Freud (British, born Germany 1922) has redefined portraiture and the nude through his unblinking scrutiny of the human form. Although best known as a painter, etching has become integral to his practice.  Freud is not a traditional printmaker. He treats the etching plate like a canvas, standing the copper upright on an easel. He typically depicts the same sitters in etching as in painting.
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COLIN BAILEY
ARTIST & PRINTMAKER
NUDES
Soft Ground etchings
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WATCHING PAINT DRY
Limited edition soft ground etching hand printed from copper
WATCHING PAINT DRY
Limited edition Soft ground etching  
7.2” x 7.2” Edition of 50
Unframed: £85
Etching  (7.2” x 7.2”) edition of 50
Unframed: £85
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