Dry-point is a printmaking technique from the intaglio family. This means the plate being used is incised into with a hard-pointing “needle” of sharp metal or diamond point.
An intaglio printmaking technique is where the image is incised into a surface, and the incised line or sunken area holds the ink. It is the direct opposite of a relief print.
Traditionally they would use a copper plater, but now we more commonly use acetate, zinc or Plexiglas.
Dry-point is like etching however dry-point is easier because it’s more like drawing with a pencil and as artists usually manage to master drawing first it’s easier for us to get better results in our work than it is with etching.
Using burr you have to be wary about the angle you put your needle into the plate and you don’t put too much pressure on it. The pressure of printing can quickly destroy the burr dry-point is useful only for comparatively small editions; as few as ten or twenty impressions with burr can be made, and after the burr has gone, the comparatively shallow lines will wear out relatively quickly.
The technique of dry-point has been around since the 15th century it was invented by The Housebook Master in South Germany all of whose prints are only in dry-point.
Diamond-tipped needles carve easily through any metal and never need sharpening, but they are expensive.
Carbide-tipped steel needles can also be used effectively and are cheaper than diamond-tipped needles but they need frequent sharpening to maintain a sharp-point, steel needles are traditionally used.
These images on the left show the final results of my dry-point. To get this result I had to-
- Remove the plastic sheet from behind my A6 plate, and then I got my photo and put it underneath.
- I traced around the lines and shape of my face with my dry-point needle to get my incised lines.
- I used ink to do my prints, I had my muslin which I dipped into the ink and spread on acetate so it wasn’t too thick and to mix in with oil in the ink.
- After spreading enough ink, I wiped it away with tissue and a clean muslin until I was happy with the amount of ink left on my plate.
- I then used the presser to press down my plate onto my chosen material my first print I used paper that was dampened with water so it would soak up more of the ink.
I used a mixture of different materials I realised that the dipping the water into my collage wasn’t a good idea as I think the glue and water mixed and the print didn’t come out very well so next time I won’t dampen the collage I will leave it like I did with the receipt and the thin food bag material. My favourite piece of work is the receipt and brown paper bag material prints as I like the look of them and with one of them I overlapped the colours to make it look aged and historical that’s also why I ripped the edges of the receipts as it gives them a historical look