Etching and aquatint are both produced using acid to dissolve away parts of a metal (traditionally copper) plate. After the plate has been inked, the ink is wiped off the surface so that only the areas dissolved by the acid print


In an etching, the plate is first covered in a wax coating which will resist the acid and the design is drawn in the wax so that the metal is exposed to the acid.


With an aquatint, the plate is covered with resin powder which is melted and will resist the acid. When the plate is placed in the acid, the resin resist forms a tonal area. By covering up selected areas of the plate in turn, darker tones are created as the deeper the bite, the darker the tone.