Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Adventures in Drypoint

Winter Greys #1 (2007)
6 x 6
Private Collection

Here is another small painting from the archives- a scene I see everyday in winter driving into town. So, I've been working away on a drypoint this past week. Drypoint is a form of intaglio printmaking where the artist works directly on the plate. No acid is used in this process so what is printed are the lines scratched into the surface of the plate and the resulting burr thrown up on either side of the line by the needle. Because of that, drypoint has a darker richer line than etching. It is also more fragile because the burr gradually wears away with each printing. Drypoint can be combined with etching (where marks are made in a ground covering the plate then acid used to "bite" those lines). Rembrandt did this with some stunning results.

The gradual wear on the burr, reworking of the plate, and variations in the way the plate is inked can produce a different version of the image with each printing. It's fascinating and the learning curve is steep! I'll try to get organized and show some process shots on the next one. In the meantime, enjoy Rembrandt!


Caroline Simmill said...

How incredible, those trees are truely remarkable it must have taken Rembrandt a good while to create the plate for this. It will be very interesting to see what artwork you will be creating Deborah.

Ken Swinson said...

In my experience, printmaking gives the artist a chance to flex new creative muscles. i'm looking forward to seeing the new work. What surface are you using for your drypoint?

Deborah Paris said...

Hi Caroline. I have been studying Rembrandt's etchings and reading about his process. It is a new obsession!

Hello Ken. I agree- it's a challenge! I am using zinc plates right now, but I understand copper is actually better for drypoint, so I will try those next.

Lynne E. Windsor said...

Definitely use copper Deborah. It's amazing the difference in the two bumble bees that I did, one etched, the other dry point... the dry point was so lovely and velvety! I ended up doing dry point on top of the etched bee because it really needed that richness and I was a little short of time. You are going to have so much fun!