Etching: Aquatint and Sugarlift


COURSE DATES: Thursdays, 1st – 22nd August 2024

TUTOR: Frederic Morris RE


TIMES: 6:00pm – 9:00pm

EXPERIENCE LEVEL: Ages 18+, All Levels

FEE: £160

LOCATION: Mermaid Court Campus, 165A Mermaid Court, SE1 1HR

In this course students will be introduced to the printmaking technique of etching. Etching is an intaglio printmaking process where the drawing or design is created using acid into a metal plate in order to hold the ink. In this course you will be concentrating on aquatint in its various forms. You’ll develop a composition through line and tone by multi-etching a zinc plate, creating a more painterly and intuitive result in your prints.

Throughout the course you will learn how to:

  • Design and plan your printing plate
  • Use a variety of specialist printmaking equipment and materials
  • Prepare a zinc plate: filing, polishing, degreasing
  • Apply aquatint and sugarlift solutions to add tone to the plate
  • Use an acid bath for your plate to achieve additional tone and texture
  • Ink up and proof the etched image
  • Use a professional printing press

This course is flexible, allowing you to work at your own speed – and if you’ve attended this course before, you can work on your own individual etching projects. The course fee covers materials including two zinc etching plates. For more experienced etching students there may also be the opportunity to progress onto spitbite, where acid is applied to the plate with a brush. 

The studio has dedicated printmaking facilities for professional hands-on learning. Once you have completed the course we recommend signing up for our Etching for All course, or join us for Open Access sessions on Wednesday evening and Saturdays during the day, giving you the opportunity to further develop your printmaking skills. After completing this course students will be given one free Open Access session.

Recommend booking by: July 18, 2024

All Levels

All attendees must be aged 18 and over.

This course is suitable for all levels. Students can move at their own pace depending on their experience, with as much support from the Tutor as they wish. This means an student from the following experience levels can join this course:


Choose a Beginners course if you are looking for a broad introduction to the medium you are studying. Our Beginner courses are suitable for students with no prior experience.

Beginner +

Choose a Beginner + course if you are looking to hone your skills, focus on a specific subject area and build your confidence. These courses are suitable for those with some basic skills in and knowledge of the taught medium.


Our Intermediate courses are suitable for students who have considerable prior knowledge of the taught medium or have completed a Beginners/Beginners + course with the Art Academy.


Choose our Advanced courses if you have considerable knowledge in the taught medium. You are expected to be able to work independently and have critical discussions around your work.

All materials are provided for this course, please wear clothes you won’t mind getting messy.


Following a First Class Honours Degree in Illustration from Middlesex University in 2007 Frederic went on to study Fine Art Printmaking at the Royal College of Art, where he received his MA in 2009. Frederic has shown continuously throughout the globe and has picked up numerous prizes for his printmaking and drawing skills.


Mermaid Court

165A Borough High Street London SE1 1HR tel: +44 (0) 207407 6969

Nearest Tube/ Rail: London Bridge or Borough (both a 5 minute walk).

Please note that London Bridge has two exits, the most direct route is to follow signs to “Borough High Street”.

We cannot store your bikes at the Academy, however there is on-street bike parking near our Mermaid Court site.



Students are welcome to use our Common Room during break times, where you can prepare hot drinks and/or food.

You are also welcome to make tea or coffee.

Terms and Conditions

  • By booking onto one of our courses you agree to our Short Courses Terms and Conditions.
  • You will need to have paid in full before the first session of your class. Your place is not guaranteed until we have received full payment. Please book early in order to guarantee your place on the course.

Materials & Equipment

  • If you purchased a pack online this will be given to you on the first session of your course upon your arrival. Packs can be booked on our Materials Page or on this page when you book the course
  • Please don’t wear your best clothes as there is always a chance you will get messy. If possible bring an apron or overalls.
  • All artwork at the Academy MUST be taken home at the end of each session where possible, with the exception of oil paintings and sculpture works.
  • We cannot store materials at the Academy, so please take these to and from your sessions.
  • Please ensure that your mobile phone is switched off or is on silent during the class.
  • Health and Safety Guidelines will be provided to you a week before the start of your course.

Concessions and Discounts

We offer a number of concessions and discounts, please find more information on what we offer here.

Gift Vouchers

If you would like to purchase a gift voucher to be used on our courses then you can purchase these here.



Image/Frederic Morris