In the next step the plate is wiped with the base of the thumb in a swiping motion away from the body, turning the plate as needed.
You use your hand as a more controlled wipe than the paper towels.
The hand is cleaned in between wipings by wiping it on a fresh clean paper towel.
There is a certain amount of trial and error involved in learning how much ink to leave on the plate.
With too much ink the lines tend to blur and the print is too dark, which may be a desired effect in some cases. It gives a soft look and the darkness can be dramatic.
Too little ink can make it too light and faded. If you don't get the ink in all the lines you may have gaps on your engraving.
Want to see this copper plate in the several stages of being engraved before printing?