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drypoint

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Drypoint is traditionally associated with metal printing plates. The image is drawn directly onto the metal plate using a sharp needle. The drypoint needle is of necessity heavier and harder than an ordinary etching needle. The line gouged into the metal throws up a burr of displaced metal which holds the ink when the plate is wiped and gives the drypoint print its distinctive rich and velvety quality.

 

Drypoint prints detail: Equal Project

Drypoint prints detail: Equal Project

 

As there is no etching involved drypoint is a very accessible and portable way of producing a plate, it does however need to be printed on dampened paper using an etching press. Quite often drypoint is used on a plate to supplement etching.

Successive prints wear out the burr and the prints will gradually become lighter.

It is possible to use other materials in this way, Perspex and even card, which is then treated like a collagraph and varnished.

Drypoint prints detail: Equal Project

Drypoint prints detail: Equal Project

A whole range of tools are also available to make direct textures into the plate without using an etchant Some of these have rotating heads with teeth which can be used to simulate areas of tone.