A drypoint-from-drafting-film printmaking experiment resulting in the art above is posted on my youtube channel. You can make a drypoint engraving on matte finish mylar – or drafting film – and print an edition so you can paint each one in a different palette with watercolor, gouache, colored pencil or your media du jour. Try tracing a figure study from a sketchbook (like I did below) onto a small sheet of matte finish Dura-Lar drafting film, and then scribe the line-work with an etching needle. Ink the mylar, wipe & print… voila. 🙂
The resulting print in this experiment was terrifically sketchy. (My technical art terminology works best when its descriptive, don’t you think?) An edition of three sketchy intaglio prints are perfectly suited for watercolor, and I had a lovely afternoon of dabbling in washes, dry brush and glazing on these tiny drypoint art prints.
If you’re unfamiliar with drypoint engraving, you might enjoy this explanation (see the article here) by the British artist’s group Artists & Illustrators. They give a straightforward description, with encouraging words for folks who don’t have access to a local studio to borrow time on a printing press:
But before you go gallivanting into the abyss or dismissing it entirely, how about trying it at home? A DIY print can be created using drypoint card or any card that is laminated on one side (like card from a cereal box) for the plate, a nail or other sharp implement to make the drawing, and a rolling pin, bayer or hand-made palm-press to press it.
For more on that, check out my printmaking pal Brian Holden’s latest post on his experiments with drypoint from household materials here.
There’s a little speed painting in the demonstration video (below), as well as some easy-peasy, non-toxic art studio clean up tips if you use oil-based printing inks. Solvents scare people away from using oil-based printmaking inks, and I don’t blame them. But there are alternatives to cleaning up in the studio. Citrasolv and Lysol wipes do a fantastic job, as you’ll see in the clean up clip in the video below.
We’re hurling through February, and it’s a great time to make art on chilly days, in a chair, with a cup of tea and an audiobook. What are you experimenting with in your art? What’s pulling your creative wagon these days?
See you in the next post!
P.S. You can subscribe to get each art post via email (it’s free) right here.
Are you a born writer? Were you put on earth to be a painter, a scientist, an apostle of peace? In the end the question can only be answered by action.
Do it or don’t do it.
It may help to think of it this way. If you were meant to cure cancer or write a symphony or crack cold fusion and you don’t do it, you not only hurt yourself, even destroy yourself, you hurt your children. You hurt me. You hurt the planet.
You shame the angels who watch over you, and you spite the Almighty, who created you and only you with your unique gifts, for the sole purpose of nudging the human race one millimeter farther along its path back to God.
Creative work is not a selfish act or a bid for attention on the part of the actor. It’s a gift to the world and every being in it. Don’t cheat us of your contribution. Give us what you’ve got.