Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Dry-point Printing

I´m going to be honest with you and say Im not a very big fan of Lino, but I really liked to work with dry-point printing. This technique was more similar to drawing as you can make narrower and more advanced prints. You start out with a clean metal plate. This can be any kind of metal but it should be rather soft so it will be easier to cut into. You can clean the plate off, or file it somewhat down by rubbing it with wet steel wool. After this, you find a strong and narrow metal object (about as small as the tip of a pencil) and start cutting out your print. after your done with the outline, you start to make lines. These can be far apart which will make the area lighter, or close together, which will make the area darker. This is mostly why this technique is a lot like drawing, because you can really control the shades and make smaller details.

When you´ve finished cutting out of the plate and your lines are deep enough (so you can feel them with a light brush of your finger)  you can start the printing. First you put your plate on something moderately hot, like 30 degrees Celsius. then you roll on your ink. Make sure the ink gets into all the little corners and crinkles of your print. Your whole plate should look an even black tone. After this you put it back on the hot object. Don´t leave it there for long, because you will burn your fingers off if you do. Three to five minutes is plenty enough. Then start gently to rub off the ink. When you get off the worst, start using smooth newspaper to polish the plate. After this, get your printing device or press and find the paper you want to print on. The paper should be thick and you´ll also have to wet it down beforehand. Be sure to protect your press and the paper making you are printing on by putting extra paper under and over. It is also smart to put thick and soft film over the print before rolling the press over.

So this was result of my dry point. The idea behind this print was to make something maritime inspired. Thats why i stylized a picture of a mermaid, and put a banner in front of her. Our teacher wanted us to use elements that would create a sense of depth. This is why I put the banner in front of her and swept the hair backwards, to make it look like wind was sweeping it back. I really wish I could make this on a bigger format, since I think the impression would be a lot stronger. Pierre R. Renoir is a very famous french artist that uses dry point as his media.  To Visit his gallery check out the "fun and useful links".  

Tip! Wear old clothes because you are guaranteed going to get full of ink.

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