Definition of aquatint in English:



  • 1A print resembling a watercolour, made by etching a copper plate with nitric acid and using resin and varnish to produce areas of tonal shading.

    ‘twelve coloured aquatints of British battle scenes’
    • ‘Restless and questioning, the works - from oils to aquatints, from pencil drawings to etchings - explore combinations of guilt and salvation, with New Zealand-issue Calvinism and Catholicism fighting the good fight all the way.’
    • ‘Most of the drawings, etchings and aquatints that convey his bitter contempt and passionate despair for what the artist saw as a Spanish hell on earth remained unknown to the public until after his death.’
    • ‘He created lithographs, etchings, drypoints, lino cuts, woodcuts and aquatints.’
    • ‘Delicate aquatints hang above collections of old tin toys.’
    • ‘There is every evidence to say that he altered it in order to get better sales of the aquatint, because that was the image of him as a martyr that was already popular.’
    • ‘The texture of the revolving bowl and the softness of the reflection convert the view into an eighteenth century aquatint in which motor cars seem as delicate and exotica as sedan chairs.’
    • ‘As large as the Sebron aquatints, they sold for the same price, even though they were the product of a less expensive technique.’
    • ‘Since 1960 she has also made aquatints, lithographs, and woodcuts; in 1964 she began to work in ceramics, and in 1972 she made her first sculpture.’
    • ‘Her exceptional use of tone in the aquatints enriches the etchings and adds, in a moving and dramatic way, to the narratives that are always her main drive.’
    • ‘These would include nine drawings, 11 lithographs, seven etchings, four aquatints, two linocuts, two round dish prints and a set of eight ceramic plates.’
    • ‘A recent exhibit of his work at the Philadelphia Museum of Art featured his carborundum prints, his etchings, lithographs, aquatints and watercolors.’
    • ‘Eighteen pieces range from early bronzes through mask-like aquatints and oil portraits of his sister Marguerite to a late and joyful cobalt-blue paper cut-out of a nude.’
    • ‘The artists took incredible care in producing the original watercolors, engravings, lithographs and aquatints.’
    1. 1.1mass noun The technique or process of producing aquatints.
      ‘a directness and freshness in the use of aquatint’
      as modifier ‘aquatint plates of the Lake District’
      • ‘That word, by the way, refers to etchings made using aquatint, a process that makes a print resemble a water color.’
      • ‘Ground wax is applied to a copper plate and a sheet of newspaper becomes her drawing surface, added to with aquatint.’
      • ‘Her delicate abstractions combine digitally generated images with painting or aquatint.’
      • ‘It was made from a huge plate in etching, aquatint, drypoint and sanding with watercolor additions.’
      • ‘That this famous work was perhaps the finest set of colored engravings using aquatint is not even mentioned, much less explored.’
      • ‘To start with; the first tones to the plate are given with line etching, drypoint, aquatint, softground, photocopy transfer or roulette.’
      • ‘The centre offered a wide range of media - intaglio processes such as etching, aquatint, dry point and mezzotint, as well as woodcuts, screen prints and other forms of colour printing.’
      • ‘After experimenting with different printmaking techniques like etching and aquatint she finally discovered drypoint combined with aquatint as her favorite intaglio process.’
      • ‘The intaglio printmaking techniques are engraving, drypoint, etching, aquatint, stipple, mezzotint and are discussed in part two of this article.’
      • ‘He relied upon his experience in etching and aquatint to establish the overall play of light and shadow and to communicate clearly the anatomical and botanical details needed to insure scientific accuracy.’
      • ‘This process involves etching, engraving, dry point, aquatint, mezzotint, linocut and wood block.’
      • ‘This year's event will feature the work of 30 artists from as far afield as Holland and Spain covering an array of subjects from angels to seahorses and a variety of techniques from linocut to aquatint.’
      • ‘In both etching and aquatint, the artist begins by coating a copperplate with an acid-resistant ‘ground.’’
      • ‘A further displacement from the land is suggested in two tiny etchings of the foetuses of an elephant and a monkey, beautifully worked in aquatint.’
      • ‘There is a great variety of intaglio methods, the oldest being engraving, as well as etching, drypoint, soft-ground etching, aquatint, mezzotint, stipple engraving, and the crayon manner.’
      • ‘Etching, aquatint, silkscreen, lithography and woodcut are among the processes represented in the approximately 125 works in this show.’
      • ‘Similar to mezzotint, aquatint is a technique to produce prints with the effect of printing rather whole areas than just lines.’
      • ‘Close took up many different techniques, among them etching, aquatint, lithography, mezzotint, linoleum cuts, and woodcuts, and found help from skilled printers.’
      • ‘With sprite aquatint, the acid is painted directly onto the aquatint ground of an etching plate.’
      • ‘He uses an array of printing techniques - wood block, linocut, lithograph, drypoint, etching, silkscreen, and aquatint - and has experimented with specific images in different media.’


[with object]
  • Produce (a print) using the aquatint technique or process.

    ‘she studied methods of etching and aquatinting’
    • ‘In this etching, line is blended with aquatinted areas in subtle blacks and grays.’
    • ‘In several prints, texts are etched across aquatinted backgrounds in which ghostly, half-remembered realities float.’
    • ‘She plays with the medium, placing a cutout aquatinted image in sepia of herself unravelling lino engraved lines of an Eastern Cape landscape.’


Late 18th century: from French aquatinte, from Italian acqua tinta ‘coloured water’.