The first step is creation of the plates. Costin first designs each image on paper and then uses a series of different techniques to etch the image on to a copper plate for printing.
The second step is the printing process. Costin hand mixes inks according to the designed image. Then, he carefully applies each ink to the previously etched plates. Next, each plate is run though the printing press pushing the plate into a sheet of rag paper creating an inked impression of the image.
The third step is the hand-coloring of each etching with transparent watercolors. This additional step adds to the extreme color intensity that compliments the hand crafted detail on the copper plate.
WGCU Public Broadcasting Profile
A few years ago, WGCU.org (Public Broadcasting System of South Florid) spent the entire day in the studio to film a documentary about John and his process. The result is this brief (8 minutes) but very informative video that will give you a better understand of John's brief from start to finish.
Pulling a print from the black key plate for the five plate etching "Black Crowned Night Heron."