Intaglio (line etch) - A zinc or copper plate is prepared with a wax “ground.” The image is then transferred to the plate by drawing it in reverse using transfer paper. The artist then redraws the image with an etching needle to remove the ground, exposing the drawn areas of the plate to the acid. The plate is then etched using a dilute nitric acid bath. The plate is covered with ink and then the surface is wiped clean, leaving ink in the lines. Wet paper is then centered over the image, and it is run through the press removing the ink from the lines.
Intaglio (aquatint) - The zinc plate is spray painted so it is covered with a 50% dot pattern. Areas of the image are stopped-out by painting them with varnish to create shapes and shaded areas. The longer an area is etched, the darker the shade or tone. The spray paint is removed, the plate is covered with ink, and the surface is wiped clean, leaving ink in the etched areas around the dots. Wet paper is then centered over the plate and it is then run through the press. Often the plate is etched with line first, and then the aquatint process is applied as a secondary etching step.