Drypoint is a printmaking process in which a design is drawn on a plate with a sharp, pointed needle-like instrument. Drypoint is usually done on copper plates as the softer metal lends itself to this technique. (Intaglio refers to any printmaking process which involves making incisions or indents in a plate, so when the ink is applied and then wiped off, ink remains caught in the incisions and creates the image)
The lines on drypoint plates are softer. The lines created are slightly raised & can have a ragged or rough appearance at the edges. This is known as the burr. The ink then adheres to both the incised line and the burr. This gives the printed line a distinctive velvety soft look. Owing to the delicate nature of the burr, drypoint is usually made in small editions, stopping before the burr is crushed by the pressure of the intaglio press. Drypoint is often combined with other intaglio techniques, such as etching.
Robin | 2020
Height 12.5 cm x 10 cm width.
Featuring a robin sitting within a dodecahedron, amongst foliage.
This short video, shows the aluminium plate.
I create drypoints on card, acrylic, aluminium or copper. I prefer to use aluminium. I draw into the surface using a combination of tools. My favourite is a tattoo machine. I also use a Dremel & drypoint tools with ceramic, diamond, agate & hematite stone tips. This is a less precise technique than etching, but I like to challenge myself with adding in as much detail as I can.
Lines can be layered up and have a looser feel , but the aesthetic is still the same. I love the softness of a drypoint & how it contrasts with an etching. I like to create tone by leaving a little ink on the plate. The plate itself is a beautiful object, especially in aluminium. Each drypoint is created in a small edition.