Making a Drypoint on Plexiglass or Acrylic
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 from my youtube channel, so you can see the steps.
Scroll through the images below to get an overview of the process, and check the resource links and tutorials at the bottom!
How to Make a Drypoint Etching from Plexiglass
If you’d like to make one of these drypoint engravings on plexiglass, or acrylic, or lexan, or perspex (it’s called different things in various regions of the world), here’s a video tutorial, below.
Intaglio Printmaking Video Resources
If you’d like to explore various intaglio printmaking methods to try on your own, here (below) is a playlist of tutorial videos on my youtube channel. In 9 videos, you’ll learn:
- How to create a drypoint engraving on black acrylic. Your incised lines are much easier to see as you scribe through a dark material.
- The fine art of inking and wiping an intaglio plate, and what a difference it makes to treat this process as carefully as you would when drawing your initial design.
- Wondering how you can mix two printmaking methods and layer them? Drypoint engraving for the line work and details, on top of collagraph printing for a full color background!
- How to print a drypoint engraving at home without a press using lots of careful rubbing with a metal spoon!
- Here are instructions on how to Bevel a plexiglass plate, which is essential if you’re going to print your drypoint on a press. Without beveling the top edge off the plate, the pressure of the press will cut through your printmaking paper, and the press blankets.
Click the video below to begin watching the video playlist:
Resource Books for Drypoint Printmaking
Here are some of my favorite reference books for intaglio printmaking. Many of them are considered general printmaking texts, but they each have a section or three on drypoint engraving.
Incidentally, you’ll hear/read the words etching and engraving interchangeably, in intaglio printmaking. You can use either when referring to drypoint. The difference is that engraving (as a printmaking method) is usually done with a needle or sharp scribe. There is no liquid involved.
Etching (as a printmaking method) is wet: the plates are submerged in baths of caustic acid, which bites into the plate surface to create the line work which holds ink.
Drypoint – as the name implies, is a dry form of plate-making. There is no acid used to engrave the incise the plate. And engraving is also dry, as there is no acid bath. Some printmakers use these terms together: drypoint engraving, instead of drypoint etching. Make sense?
What new printmaking ideas are you marinating on? Leave any questions in the comments, or a link to your work online so we can see it!
Thanks for stopping by and I’ll see you in the next post!
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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