I have been starting off a copper plate for etching. In the past I have always used other metals and always used traditional but toxic methods. Acids and feathering have been my method for exposing the plate for a good bite. I have been happy with the results, but I have not enjoyed the headaches, sore hands and eyes etc.
I am learning more about non-toxic techniques to print and will be experimenting with salts for the plate exposure. I am also going to learn about using an alternative to the powder aquatint.
Over the weekend I worked on a sketch for the plate and prepared the plate for the image. The first difficulty I found was that without a rosin coat on the plate, I could not really see where I had scratched. I am allergic to pine, so it is a good thing for me to not use the rosin, however, I might need to find a ground that is dark to work into as I am disappointed that I can't see the details.