Make a Drypoint Print from a Plastic Tomato Container
Welcome to this series of printmaking posts utilizing stuff around the house as printmaking supplies to make art during the Pandemic.
We’ve explored drypoint etching and monotype prints in these previous posts, in case you missed them:
- Printing a drypoint etching from a plastic Trader Joe’s biscotti container with a stomp-method (hint: your feet are the press)
- Making a Monotype without a press, from a blueberry container using acrylic paint and watercolors (hint: this one is great if you don’t have inks)
- Printing a Drypoint Etching without a press, from a plastic lettuce box, using a spoon, and then adding watercolor (hint: the tutorial video for this one is inserted below)
- Drypoint Printmaking at Home without a Press – Part 1 – This post demonstrates the affect your incising style will have on your print when you’re trying to hand rub the back of soaked and blotted paper on a detailed drypoint plate.
- Drypoint Printmaking at Home without a press – Part 2 – To solve the quandary of the previous post in Part 1, the same image on the same plate material is duplicated with one, small adjustment to lead to a more successful drypoint print.
New (to me) Etching Ink
Cranfield Caligo Safewash Intaglio ink is richly pigmented, and similar in consitency to oil-based intaglio inks.
The ink is perfectly viscous to stay in my line work while I’m wiping the plate, and it is sticky enough to attach to paper, even during hand transfer.
It also washes up with soap and water, and dries on paper permanently, so you can add color to your print with wet media like watercolor if you’d like!
Options for Hand Coloring a Drypoint
This drypoint print of a little girl with two hens in her arms is a small edition of four. I think I’ll color each drypoint differently, as a demonstration of the options you have to hand color your intaglio prints.
Are you interested in seeing that?
Maybe one tinted with colored pencils, one with just black ink, focusing on values, and another in graphite?
Have You Made a Drypoint Yet?
I’ve seen a couple of *fabulous* drypoints from folks sharing them in a few of the drypoint printmaking groups on Facebook. Have you joined to see and share work with other printmakers there?
Take a look at the Drypoint Printmaking Group on Facebook to see work from a global audience of printers, working from studios, kitchen tables, universities and garages.
I also highly recommend the Small Craft Press printmaking group, with ingenious press alternatives. You’ll find everything from laundry manglers to pasta machines and stencil cutters transformed into working, table-top printing presses.
If you dive in, and make a drypoint, be sure to leave us a link in the comments. We’d love to see your work.
Thanks for stopping in, and I’ll see you in the next post –
P.S Speaking of fowl, have you seen this giant, abandoned church in an Indonesian jungle shaped like a chicken?
P.P.S. If you’re a print enthusiast, can I recommend an amazing magazine? Take a look at Pressing Matters. My husband gave me a subscription as a gift, and it’s so beautifully produced! Every printmaker they profile has been new to me, and the work is just remarkable. It’s super inspiring.
P.P.S. If you’d rather make a collagraph print instead of a drypoint, this post shows you how to make a collagraph from a recycled paper food carton with ink and colored pencils.
Each drawing and painting is an experiment, and a mirror reflecting our perceptions of reality. Unfortunately, we rarely paint what we see. Most often we paint an unconscious projection of incorrect ideas of what we think we see. The more we study visual appearances, the more our awareness and understanding of light and form will grow, and the better equipped we’ll be to draw and paint the world around us according to its inherent wisdom, nobility and beauty.Tony Ryder
9 thoughts on “Make a Drypoint Print from Recycled Plastic”
I have followed all your sites seeking to start printmaking. I have created several small food container dry point images and have had trouble with some the plastic curving from the needle work. Am I pressing too hard? Is there a difference in the quality of plastic used? I also switched to plexiglass but the container plastic is really to great source for materials, I would hate to lose it. I can’t tank you enough for the work you have done with your teaching.
Thanks for this! I made a little plate from a lettuce bin, printed it using the paper I had on hand and then watercoloured it. Will make a fab card for my niece who is the subject of the print. Can’t wait to read through your blog further.
Hi Darlene! I’m glad you gave this fun process a go, and the result turned out so well for you! Like me, you’ll be eyeing every lettuce bin for potential printmaking plates from now on!
Which pastels do you recommend? I was looking for your post about cafe with ruby colored walls. Did you say prismacolor nupastels are opaque? Thanks!
Hi Anna, Here is the trace monotype video demo of the ruby colored walls around friends dining together: https://youtu.be/vSBkHBQt7rU And here is a link to the soft pastels I use by Rembrandt: https://amzn.to/3sCyWcD and the harder, Nupastels: https://amzn.to/2Nl66xv. All pastels are opaque. Have a blast with your monotypes!
I learn so much from your posts and videos and would love to see how you hand colour your drypoint etchings. Beautiful print of the little girl and chickens!
Hi Sally! Thanks very much for the feedback… I really appreciate that. From what I saw of your fabulous double portrait collagraph, you’re coloring your prints just fine, but I’d be happy to make a video on my process. Thanks for your compliments!
I love reading your blog posts Belinda, and drypoint etching is definitely on my ‘must try’ list!
Hi Lisa, Thanks so much for the feedback! I hope you do give Drypoint a try. It’s quick and fun, and the whole family can get into it. Happy creating!