artwork update

A little look at creativity in the artyjenniep world.

Trying my hand at dry point etching. What a lovely technique. As a lecturer once said to me “it’s such an honest technique”. I agree. There is no way around disguising a runaway mark  when you scratch into a surface and expect a print to be eased from it.

I thought this would be a good design to try with the dry point etching technique because it is made up mainly of different types of line. 

Dry point etching is a form of etching that doesn’t require the traditional chemicals and acid baths etc. but merely uses acetate sheets and a stylus. Whilst a stylus is used for scratching the design into the acetate sheet, anything really can be used. Scissors, screwdriver, nail. Once the design is created, ink is rubbed onto the plate so that it is forced into the grooves made by the sharp object. The hardest work is removing excess ink so that enough is left in the grooves to create the design when printed.

It is necessary to have a press for this type of printmaking and good paper is essential. My favourite paper at the moment is Fabriano HP (hot pressed). The paper needs to be soaked in water for a period of time – even overnight if possible. And then blotted off. Run it through the press with the plate and voila!

Here are some hand coloured etchings. Just playing around with different types of coloured media.

Hand coloured with gouache
Hand coloured with pencil
Etching with additions and hand coloured with ink

The last two images are my favourites. I am really pleased with how the coloured pencil came up. I found some  gloss varnish to paint sparsely over the top. It makes a glossy finish which I really like. Gives a rich and finished feel to me.

On the last etching I tried out my inks  and whilst I would like to keep trialling these I am really happy with the composition. The loose petals add a little bit of interest.

I think the dry point etching is something that lends itself to the kinds of things I’ve been drawing of late and I am really drawn to the “honesty” and immediacy of the technique. It could quickly become my new mark making method of choice.

Have you ever tried it? How does it compare to tradition etching for you? I love that there are very few chemicals involved. That’s got to be good for the environment and particularly accessibility in schools.

Anyway that’s the artwork update for now. Enjoy. JP

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