Sunday, December 13, 2009

A Drypoint in Progress

Recently, I've been working on a new drypoint on copper - an image of an abstracted paperwhite flower. I've incised a "first draft" using a drypoint needle, roulette, scraper, burnisher, and some burins to create a variety of lines and textures. Also, I used an electric dremel in some areas, just to try it out since I've not used one before.
Here is the plate with my first draft image, ready to ink for a proof.
Here, I'm applying oil based etching ink to the plate using a plastic spatula which is soft enough not to scratch the plate unintentionally while using it.
Now, I'm using a "stomp," made from tightly rolled felt, to work the ink into the incised lines.
Next, I use a pad of tarleton (a kind of netting) to wipe up the ink from the surface of the plate, leaving the ink in place in the incised lines.
The inked plate is ready to place on the bed of the etching press. Once in place on a piece of mylar prepared with registration marks, the plate will be covered with a dampened piece of archival paper. Over that, I'll place a protective sheet of newsprint and then three felts before rolling it under the wheel.
Here is my proof. It is not very interesting yet, but at least it is a beginning and will allow me to determine what to add to the image next.

Drypoint is lots of fun because you can use almost anything to scratch lines in the surface of copper, zinc, metal, or plexi-glass.


  1. It has a charming delicacy! What will you do to it now?
    I've had a surprisingly positive response from the media and people around here for my transfer drawings. I am tickled to have learned this technique- thank you! Happy Holidays, Iris

  2. Hi Iris, Now, I plan to quit treating the plate preciously and really scratch it up.

    Amy brought a copy to me of that great newspaper article about you and your Lucias. So good!