We used animal photography as reference and then each student did a preliminary sketch on tracing paper. The metal plates were taped down onto a magazine for a soft engraving surface, and the tracing paper drawing was taped and hinged over the plate. After tracing the sketch onto the plate, the tracing paper was removed and lots of textures and patterns were added freehand to the engraving.
A layer of India ink was applied to the metal plate using a sponge brush and set to dry. Then we burnished the plates with steel wool, to shine up the surface and to enhance all of the line work on the plates. You can choose to skip this step if you like the metal surface as is. Another suggestion from the book was to ink around the animal and use the inked background as a scratch board.