Intaglio = “to incise.” (Italian)
With a tool
Engraving, Dry point , Mezzotint,
Or with acid
Etching , Aquatint,
Aquatint is an intaglio printmaking technique, a variant of etching that only produces areas of tone rather than lines. For this reason it has mostly been used in conjunction with etching, to give outlines. It has also been used historically to print in colour, both by printing with multiple plates in different colours, and by making monochrome prints that were then hand-coloured with watercolour.
It has been in regular use since the later 18th century, and was most widely used between about 1770 and 1830, when it was used both for artistic prints and decorative ones.
Mezzotint is a printmaking process of the intaglio family, technically a drypoint method.
It was the first tonal method to be used, enabling half-tones to be produced without using line- or dot-based techniques like hatching, cross-hatching or stipple. Mezzotint achieves tonality by roughening a metal plate with thousands of little dots made by a metal tool with small teeth, called a “rocker”. In printing, the tiny pits in the plate retain the ink when the face of the plate is wiped clean. This technique can achieve a high level of quality and richness in the print.
Mezzotint is often combined with other intaglio techniques, usually etching and engraving. The process was especially widely used in England from the eighteenth century, to reproduce portraits and other paintings. It was somewhat in competition with the other main tonal technique of the day, aquatint.