Dry Point Too

by maggie

While Dry Point is all about the burr, printing plates is about the application of ink. Practice (and experience) makes perfect, but how many prints can you produce in 2.5 hrs.

Here’s the second impression of a plate that I pulled last week. I put the detail of the veins in the pebbles, but they didn’t come out quiet right.


To wipe the plate clean enough to get the pebbles white means over wiping the back ground. (can I put more texture in there?) It also meant that a lot of the burr was lost on the details in the pebbles. This is a second state where I added more hatching to the veins rather hurriedly, so the quality is a bit crude. At some point I need to spend time working into the pebbles with more care.

Clockwise from top left: 1- Cintride 2-Fine brass wire brush 3- Drag, 1/8 inch teeth 4- Coarse File 5- Riffler 6- Keyhole saw blade 7- Surform8- Coarse wire brush 9- Fine Hacksaw10- Skutch hammer/punch 11- Golden glass bead gel  12- Golden coarse pumice gel. With occasional mask of hole reinforcer

This plate is an experiment of various mark making tools, as displayed in last weeks post. The units were separated by tape originally. This some tools proved more successful that others. Quality of Marks were not necessarily related to force used to produce it. (11 and 12 were made by putting plate through press with prepared sample of medium.

It is also possible to produce a print using two or more plates. Here using dry point, two plates were prepared, one with an image and the other with ‘texture’. And I was gently shoved out of my comfort zone/ ideas trap to work with something completely different.

This view is looking south east-ish, past the east face of Tryfan to Bristly ridge on Glyder Fawr. It a line drawing, but on the day everything was kind of ever cast and samey.

Cwm Tryfan in spring

Cwm Tryfan in spring

The print is going to turn out reversed. But i’m still working with line quality and balance of white space than making a representative image. The texture plate was more of a challenge… until I had a blizzard blow in from the south. If only I had some shiny round stickers instead of mat.


The tops of the mountains are a bit difficult to read because the hyperactive sky is the same tone. also sky line on right gets lost.

Interesting and not like my usual attempts at control. Next time work with different colours perhaps?

So on the next wipe I left more ink on the plates. It worked okay on the mountains, warm grey and wiping some of the shiny pokey high bits. then I lost it on the sky. Perhaps if I had the forethought to use white intaglio ink and a gentle bit of blueish surface/relief ink. I found myself adding more ink to the plate and not wiping any of it.

Whoops! Dark is good, but unrevealing dark, not so much.

Whoops! Dark is good, but unrevealing dark, not so much.

There’s no foreground in this image, even the ridge on the right is a few hundred metres away, and the path on the left  getting on for a km. So the pale bits don’t work so well for a blazed at night. Well you live and learn. And re-work the fail prints until they squeak.

the only thing unchanged is the sky. the snow is whiter and the mountain darker. I think the only things unchanged is the left hand path.

The only thing unchanged is the sky. The snow is whiter and the mountain darker. I think the only things unchanged is the left hand path.

I feel like i was calling Samuel Palmer doctoring this image. while writing this post I’ve been thinking about what I would do with these plates when printing with them again. So dark (blue) paper, blackish ink on the landscape plate (with a bit of redrawing) and after replacing the stickers with shiny ones (possibly) printing the ‘texture’ with white ink. Although I don’t know how the stickers will prink now they are full of oil.

I may keep boring you with print adventures over the next few weeks or I may manage to do something else with my time as well