Thursday, January 27, 2011

More Drypoint

Edge of the Field
5 x 6

This week I've been working on drypoints again. I've talked about this here (and how it differs from etching) but I thought I would show a few images of the actual process. Here is the plate with three of the tools I use to work the plate. The squiggley one has a point on each end and is called a Whistler's needle. The flat part on the one on the right is a burnisher which you can use to soften or eliminate lines on the plate.

The paper is soaking in a water bath before it is used. After its soaked for about an hour, you take it out and blot it until it's damp but not dripping. Then you are ready to print.

Here is the ink being mixed on a glass palette. This is Daniel Smith burnt umber etching ink with Easy Wipe added- a substance which helps make the ink more workable.

Here the plate is being warmed up on a hot plate. This will make the ink easier to apply and manipulate (especially since it was about 45 degrees in my studio today!).

I am applying the ink to the surface of the plate with a cloth dauber. The entire surface is covered and wiped in each direction so the ink can find its way into all the lines as well as the burrs thrown up by the needle. Unlike an etching where you could wipe and rub pretty vigorously, with a drypoint you have to use a lighter touch to apply and wipe the ink.

Here is the plate after I have started wiping the ink but before its completely finished. I forget to take a photo at the end!

The plate is on the press waiting for the paper (which is in the bath at the right) to be laid on top. The blankets (which you can see laid back over the roller) are then placed on top and the tension adjusted to an even pressure and the press bed rolled through.


Anonymous said...

drypoint is wild,,,, I'd love to try it one day

Caroline Simmill said...

What a great post Deborah! Questions! how long does it take you to scratch your image into the plate, is the plate hard to scratch into? I notice it is really tiny compared to the size of your hand. You would need really good eye sight for the detail work. Why do you use damp paper and what kind of paper are you using would it need to be cold press or hot press? Do you use the plate several times to recreate many images or do you limit the amount you can make? I find this fascinating.

Deborah Paris said...

It is fun, Simon. Thanks for stopping by!

Hi Caroline. It usually takes a about an hour or two to do a plate this small, but then you usually make adjustments once you do a test proof. The damp paper help to make the paper take the ink better. I am using an Arches paper which is commonly used for prinkmaking but there are many different kinds and I am looking forward to experimenting with others. Once the plate is used, that's it- you can burnish it down and use it again but I don't think that is done much (although there is evidence in Rembrandt's work that he did that occasionally.)

Glad you found it interesting! said...

Love this! Great print, great photos, great post! Yayyy for printmaking & the beautiful results!

Deborah Paris said...

Thanks Brenda!

Joan DaGradi Studio said...

Great post, Deborah! Love your print.
I also love dry point and etching and aquatint.

What kind of press do you use? Are you happy with it?
I would like to invest in a press for the studio, rather than having to rent time elsewhere or use a friend's studio.

I found a book of Goya's Complete Etchings not long ago. Very inspirational. Thanks so much for posting this!

Caroline Simmill said...

Thank you Deborah, I would think that experimenting with different papers is going to be great fun. Interesting that you can burnish down the plate and start again, sounds quite economical.

Deborah Paris said...

Hi Joan-its good to hear from you! I bought a small press from Dick Blick. It is affordable (and portable) and so far I love it.

I have a book on Rembrandt's compelte etchings but have not seen the one on Goya- so I may have to look for that. I LOVE aquatint but have not yet ventured into it- over the next few months I hope!

Hope one day you will come up to Ft Worth for a Kornye show-would love to see you again!

Brian McGurgan said...

Thanks for showing the whole process, Deborah - this is really fascinating. What papers are you printing on? Does it need to be a sized paper since you soak it before printing? The print is beautiful, with a very nice range of values.

Deborah Paris said...

Hi Brian. I am using Arches paper. I forget what its called but its one typically used for printmaking, and its a cream color.


Sherrie York said...

Hi Deborah! It's been decades (literally) since I've done any intaglio work. It was my first printmaking love... (sigh). This is a lovely piece and great, informative post. Well done!

Deborah Paris said...

Hi Sherry. Thank you- love your block prints!!

Jala Pfaff said...

This is fascinating. The end result you produced is absolutely gorgeous.

Deborah Paris said...

Thank you Jala!

Bil Donovan said...

Thanks for sharing, I am taking a dry point class tonight and you answered all of my excited, and your work is beautiful.