Spit-bite aquatint is a method of etching the open areas of a copper intaglio plate to create small pits for holding ink and adding tone to these areas. Traditionally, spit-bite was a concoction of three parts acid to one part spit. The spit changes the viscosity of the acid making it easier to brush onto the plate. The formula I use is three parts acid to one part gum arabic. It may not be traditional but I am really okay with that - really okay.