I was quite pleased with my first experiment in drypoint…
If you haven’t seen the previous post, I had an etching plate that just wasn’t… exciting, but in which I was trying to retain a large extent of the line drawing aspect of it, and was unwilling to etch more tone onto it. So I took it home and attacked it with a pointy tool instead… all over, but especially in the background.
Here is one of the first prints taken from it before pointy tool attack: Medusa, at a sort of masquerade / cocktail party affair, and they are all wondering ‘Is She Or Isn’t She?’…
I thought it was lacking a certain weight, tone, liveliness… and I didn’t much like it.
Here is the second print I took after having scratched A LOT of drypoint into it:
That is much more exciting 🙂 I may have even found a new way of working! Of course, here is the downside: Drypoint holds ink because, in scratching into the metal, the pointy tool raises a ‘burr’ – a little ridge either side of the trough that is the scratched line. And because this is just a little pokey-up ridge of metal, and especially as this metal is only aluminium in the first place, it soon flattens. This one below is about the 8th print I made after the drypoint work:
It’s badly loosing its detail and the weight of the background. This print could probably be made a little more exciting by judicial use of a rubber on the highlights, after the ink is dry, but basically the drypoint has had it. Here are the two side-by-side:
All the same, I have 5 or 6 good prints, and another couple of kind of ok ones, and there is something nice about printing the entire edition in one day and then being able to declare the plate worn out, end-of-story, not going back and trying to make more and so on. I imagine this would last a lot better on copper, but aluminium is rather cheaper, and I am getting through a lot of plates rapidly, for this calendar.
So, there is December for my 2014 calendar, rescued!