Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Dry Point Printing

I really wasn't that excited about drypoint. The prospect of scratching into a sheet of plastic seemed basic and pretty primitive. I was sure that the results would be less than impressive. I wanted to try it nonetheless, just to prove my theory. I bought my perspex and a scribe tool and got to it at home.

I decided to use the japanese paper Nick gave us to try out transferring the image to the print. I printed my image onto the paper, glued the plastic sheet with PVA and stuck the print face down. EPIC FAIL. I had my suspicions about the glue and the shiny surface of the plastic not really getting on and I was right. It just wouldn't hold, and the watery nature of the PVA made the print buckle. Never fear - I tried again using a fresh print and my good friend pritt stick this time. It was still a bit temperamental but it held and was usable. Good times.

Then I began using the scribe tool to scratch the image into the plastic. EPIC FAIL no.2. The tool just shredded the paper. I can see how this method of transfer would work on woodcut though, the wood is absorbent and would bond with the paper much better but the plastic was having none of it. I had an idea to cut the outline of the flowers with a craft knife then it would be easier for the scribe to follow the lines and not tear the paper - turns out I just ditched the scribe all together in favour of the knife. I know there are SO many reasons why I shouldn't be carving intricate flower details into a sheet of perspex with a bulky stanley knife but I found a method that works for me and I stuck to it - the detail I managed to get was incredible. The knife was hard manipulate into curved lines but I was careful and I think I did a pretty good job. Despite my initial thoughts, this is actually my favourite type of printing so far!

I don't think these scans give you an exact feel for the print method but they'll have to do I'm afraid. I still need to have a go at printing it a few more times to really get to grips with correct ink application and different colouring techniques but for my first run I'm really impressed!

Shame about the failed attempt with the scribe in the bottom corner though :(

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