Drypoint Engraving on Plexiglass – Printmaking using a la poupée

peacock feather drypoint engraving

Peacock Feather  6×4 Drypoint engraving (also called etching) inked in the a la poupee method with Akua water based inks, and metallic pigments

Drypoint Engraving

In the
last post, I described a collaborative project my step daughter Melanie and I worked on as gift items for our Etsy Shops. This is the second print project of two for our gift boxes – themed after feathers and birds. If you read this blog, you know about my nostalgic affinity for birds. Drypoint is a very old printmaking process, traditionally done on copper. Plexiglass (also called perspex, acrylic and lexan) is an affordable, and often more easily accessible alternative. If you’re unfamiliar with printmaking using plexiglass to make a drypoint engraving, here’s a little video demonstration for the drypoint process.
framed drypoint

Even little art looks so good framed…. it’s like putting a tuxedo around the drypoint; voila!



We went on a hike at Waimea Falls on the Hawaiian island of Oahu, and the peacocks stroll around the grounds like emperors. Their feathers are iridescent, and that inspired adding a bit of metallic pigment to my inking process on this feather print.

drypoint from plexiglass

Pulling a drypoint from the plexiglass plate on the press bed.

inking the plate in the a la poupee method

Adding various colors to the plate before wiping & printing

drypoint engraving on plexiglass

Cross hatching tiny feathers with a Whistler’s Needle on plexiglass

head set jeweler's loop

Artist Geekery: Getting all fancy nerdy with a jeweler’s loop in the art studio

printmaking editions

Printing an edition of 25 peacock feathers over the course of a weekend. Lots of work, but a satisfying, varied color shift results from inking each plate/print in the a la poupee method.

How’d You Do That, Anyway?

If you’d like to make a drypoint engraving, here are a couple of tutorial videos on my YouTube Channel.

Here’s a tutorial for a figurative piece, also printed from plexiglass:

And here is the feather print above, demonstrated on a video:

Are you Going to Give it a Try?

What new printmaking methods are you adventuring with in the studio these days? Leave a description and a link in the comments if you’ve posted your work online so we can see it!
Thanks for stopping by and I’ll see you in the next post!
P.S You can subscribe to get each new art blog post via email by signing up here (it’s free).

Art Quote

Around here, however, we don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things, because we’re curious…and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.

~Walt Disney

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4 Responses to Drypoint Engraving on Plexiglass – Printmaking using a la poupée

  1. northwoods trekker February 17, 2014 at 6:19 am #

    Thanks for creating the video Belinda. A friend gave me the link to the You Tube and I added it to my printmaking technique favourites. I have been working with elementary school students teaching them drypoint on plexiglass. It has become a mixed media project as we are applying the colour in after by painting in watercolour. I showed them examples of your work featured in your blog and website as inspiration. Sincerely Brian in Northern Ontario Canada.

  2. Barbara Muir November 18, 2013 at 6:23 pm #

    How wonderful! Very beautiful work. You are so fantastic. I am dazzled and inspired.

    XOXO Barbara

  3. Belinda Del Pesco November 14, 2013 at 9:58 am #

    @sonia, Thanks for stopping by, and I appreciate your encouragement. 🙂

  4. Sonia November 14, 2013 at 9:40 am #

    I always enjoy your step-by-step photos and your venture into video also provides clear and concise information. I look forward to more. Thank you for sharing.

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