Aquatint is a print resembling a watercolour painting, etching a copper plate with nitric acid and using resin and varnish to achieve tonal shading.

Aquatint is a printmaking technique, similar to etching, but it's used to create tones instead of lines. It's often combined with other intaglio methods. In aquatint, fine particles of acid-resistant material, like powdered rosin, are heated and attached to a printing plate. The plate is then dipped in acid, just like in etching, which eats away the metal around the particles, forming a textured pattern of small indented rings. These rings hold ink and give the illusion of shaded areas when printed.

You can control the printed areas by using varnish on the plate, and different tones are achieved by varying the time in the acid bath – longer times create darker tones. This technique originated in France in the 1760s and became popular in Britain in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

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Parra's studio, with Parra at the centre, his back to the camera as he works on the large painting takes centre stage, showing a faceless blue woman in a striped dress, painted in red, purple, blue and teal. The studio is full of brightly coloured paints, with a large window on the right and a patterned rug across the floor under the painting.