Monday, February 4, 2013

Drypoint on acetate

I have been experimenting with drypoint again. This time have used clear acetate .003 inch (.08 mm) in thickness.
A sketch I made of a winter finch was used. I also had some photo reference to use for determining the colours.
I was able to place a sketch underneath and use this as a guide to scribe the lines into the plastic surface.
I constructed a tool to use by drilling a hole into a 6" (15 cm) length of wood dowel into which I pushed in a darning needle. I sharpened the end of the needle by rotating it on a piece of aluminum oxide grit sandpaper.

The plate had Akua carbon black intaglio ink spread across the surface using the edge of an old Itunes card. I then wiped back the surface with a piece of bundled tartalan cloth. I then applied the end of a cotton swab stick to remove ink from areas for more white to show through. I wanted to leave a little plate tone for effect.

acetate plate with inked scribed line and plate tone

resulting print made on Maidstone white rag

A piece of Maidstone all purpose rag paper was misted and placed over top of the plate. I set my felts over top and a piece of newsprint and adjusted the pressure of the roller on my small etching press.
After printing I allowed time for drying (in this case about a week).

Watercolour was also added to another version pulled from the same plate but this time the scribed lines were inked using Paynes Gray.


  1. As usual, Brian, your work is wonderful. I like both...

  2. I have just started using drypoint. I'm really impressed with your bird.

  3. Your print is so beautiful, thank you for sharing your knowledge and experimentation :)

  4. hi there, when you etched into the acetate, what tool did you use please? btw your work is outstanding. what felts are you using to get that depth in colour?

  5. I used a diamond tip drypoint tool. I inked the acetate plate with Akua payne's gray intaglio ink. The plate was printed monochromatic. I then added in colour using liquid acrylic inks and brush.

    1. as for felts just the standard pusher, thicker centre and catcher felts. The gauge pressure was fairly tight. I presoaked the paper surface with a bit a dampness from spray bottle and quickly blotted just before printing through the press. Gave me a good intense image.