Difference Between Painting & Etching

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Painting and etching may seem similar, but they are actually different in a few different interesting ways. Learn about the difference between painting and etching with help from an experienced graphic designer and illustrator in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Drawing & Art
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Video Transcript

Hi, everyone. My name is Gene and I'm a illustrator and a graphic designer. I've been working in the industry for about 15 years and in this video we're going to discuss the differences between painting and etching. Now, painting and etching really aren't similar at all with the sole exception of the fact that you're making an image. So in painting you'll take ink or paint or, well paint I guess because it's called painting and not inking, you'll take paint and cover a brush in paint and any marks that you want to show up you will paint onto the image. So if you dip your pen or your brush into black paint and you draw a line across the paper or across the canvas, you're going to have a black line. Etching is a little different. In etching we take a metal, a soft metal such as copper and we cover it in plastic and in etching if you want to see a line, you will remove the materials. So in painting you're adding material to a blank canvas and in etching you're removing the material. So you'll take a knife or any number of etching tools and you'll actually remove wax off the top of the copper. The whole entire sheet will be coated in wax. Any line that you want to see, you remove the wax because the final part of the etching process is that you will dip your entire painting or etching in this case into acid and any part of the copper that is exposed, that has been scraped off where you've scraped off the wax, that will leave an indentation in the metal. So the main difference is paint, you're adding material in order to show lines, in order to show form and shape and whatever you are painting and in etching, you're removing material. You're scraping off the wax so that when you finish your painting, you dump it in acid, all of the parts that you've scraped off will be etched into the metal itself. So those are the main differences. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask and thanks for watching.

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