Paint is filled in the recessed parts of the metal; the elevated parts are cleansed and transferred to paper by press. In this printing technique, also known as "Etching", it is the recessed surfaces of the metal that print. The paint is filled into the indentations of the metal and after the paint is carefully cleansed from the surrounding surface, it is transferred to the paper through a press. This is a technique that is old in tradition and widely used by artists. REMBRANDT and DURER have produced important examples in intaglio printing. In this print where metal plates such as zinc, copper, steel, brass can be used, different techniques are applied according to the processing methods of the metal. Intaglio, which is also used in printing today, is known as gravure or tiefdruck.
a) Drypoint (Fr. pointe sèche): The artist draws their pattern with a chisel and sharp-tipped steel or hard metal engraving tools on a metal plate. While these tools carve the metal, they also leave burrs. The ink clings to these burrs and indents, yielding the image the artist desires in printing.
b) Mezzotint (İt. mezzotinto): Paint retaining indendations are obtained by texturing and pricking the surface of metal with a fine-toothed tool. When applied to the surface, the paint filling these small indentations creates an intense blackness in the print.
c) Acid Etching (Fr. eau-forte): In this technique, also known as “eau-forte”, the artist covers the metal with an acid-resistant varnish or a special tar-mixed lacquer. A design is then drawn with a fine-tipped pen. In this technique, indentations are obtained by absorbing acid rather than mechanical scraping.
d) Aquatint (Fr. aquatinte, Ger. Tuschätzung): In this technique, the artist sprinkles resin granules on a metal plate to obtain a texture and create a paint-retaining surface. By heating the metal slightly, the artist ensures these granules adhere to the surface; then the metal surface is etched with acid, enabling the artist to achieve various tonalities in the work.