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Drypoint Etching & Monotype Printmaking.

Alan Bickley

Posted on Wed 11 May 2016

I don't by any standards confess to being one of the best printmakers around, or even on this site for that matter, but I am enthusiastic about the techniques of printmaking and have been since college days and I do have some knowledge and experience.

Quite a few of you (well three or four I think, Michael included), have expressed an interest in seeing how I tackle this interesting and age old method of production, from William Blake to my favourite printmaker Degas. Even if you don't have a go yourself, and I would hope that you would, it may still be interesting to you.

Let me know which you prefer, or both, the very 'painterly process' of monoprinting, rapid and expressive, and so similar to painting on your usual support, but as the name suggests, it's a one off single print, although there are other possibilities to produce more from the same plate, which I can demonstrate.

OR, the more time consuming and detailed Intaglio printing method, one of these being the drypoint etching as shown in the image. These can be editoned, usually around 20 or so before the incised lined deteriorate, the best print being the 'Artist's Proof', the first pull, but depends largely on the material of the plate being used.

The soft quality of the line achieved with drypoint is unique, the rough edges created by the needle or tool let's say, give that wonderful softness that cannot be achieved by any other method.

I generally use Aluminium which is soft, so expect no more than say 5 to 10 quality prints, to clear Perspex, as used in the photo, 25 or so is easily attainable without significant loss of detail. Both of these methods are generally printed on watercolour paper, I use Fabriano Rossapino Printing paper 220 gsm, and Caligo printing ink, so is suitable for adding watercolour washes if you so wished, thereby creating a 'Varied Edition' and should be marked up as such if you are selling them.

Right, that's all for now, any questions at all, no matter how trivial, please fire them at me, and finally, I do hope that I can perhaps get one or two of you interested. If not, well, at least I do try and help and it does most of us good to get away from our comfort zone and 'have a go' at something new.

Just a quick note, Dawn has asked me to demonstrate both of these methods on the e-newsletter which I will be doing, although the first one won't be until September.

Alan












Drypoint Etching & Monotype Printmaking.

Comments

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  • That will be something to look forward to Alan. I read yesterday that you had a press. Is it possible to do one without a press?

    Posted by Adele Elgood on Wed 11 May 11:49:52
  • Adele, yes I do have a press, well, two actually, but my daughter's have sort of permanently borrowed my larger one. However, it is quite possible to do monoprinting without a press, I will be showing how in a separate piece, pretty simple stuff but with the intaglio work as in drypoint etching it is necessary to use a press. Basically you are relying on extreme pressure from the press rollers to pick up the ink from the smallest of incised lined and to transfer that image onto dampened paper.

    Posted by Alan Bickley on Wed 11 May 12:16:32
  • Lovely. I will look forward to that Alan. No need to tell me about daughters!!!

    Posted by Adele Elgood on Wed 11 May 12:21:05
  • Alan, I would also be very interested in how to do monoprinting without a press.

    Posted by Jenny Harris on Wed 11 May 17:08:31
  • Well, I must say how pleased I am, quite a few of you both on my blog and today's posting have expressed an interest in printmaking, I hope that I can keep it straightforward and interesting.

    I will decide which one to demonstrate first and it will probably be the weekend before I can get round to starting it off.

    Posted by Alan Bickley on Wed 11 May 18:27:10
  • Hi Alan,
    I saw your painting at Patchings! I want to congratulate you on winning your Award!!!!! Very well done !
    Jennifer x

    Posted by jennifer Alsop on Sat 11 Jun 01:10:45