[image_with_animation image_url=”11400″ alignment=”” animation=”None” box_shadow=”none” max_width=”100%”] Copper plate with grey ink (see print a few pics below) I met with Nikki today to get some schoolin’ on drypoint. Dypoint, the art of scratching a shiny surface with a pointy thing, seemed to me to be an easy form of printmaking because I can draw with said pointy thing, and I don’t have to have any chemicals or excessive equipment. Honestly, though I thought I should give it a try, I really thought I wouldn’t like drypoint because every time I heard the word “drypoint” I heard nails on a chalkboard, and most of the prints labeled as “drypoints” seemed less rich and subtle than the etchings that I admired. I was wrong. Nikki informed me that people often misuse the word etching (a chemical process) because it sounds better than drypoint (a scratchity process), and many of the prints I had thought were etchings were actually mislabeled drypoints. Third and fourth print tests on plexi. The black on top of the grey was too harsh, and I didn’t like my drawing. I realized I prefer one color for this, at least for now. The grey alone is lovely. I had a very enjoyable evening, printing my first drypoint experiments. Pictured here are some of the tests we made so I could see how the scribe behaved, what marks were made by different pressures and materials. I kept wanting each print to be an instant masterpiece. Nikki kept reminding me this was my test plate. That helped me relax, and maintain my artistic curiosity. I did some drawing on copper, and some on plexiglass. I enjoy the look and feel of the copper plate, but to my surprise, the prints on plexi looked about the same. I had also thought that copper would make more prints, but turns out I was wrong again. Copper might make a couple more, but really each plate can only make about ten prints before the burrs have all been pressed out and the plate is done. At that point, if I choose to, I can re-draw on it, choosing new areas to be dark, letting the previous lines fade away. Only ten prints! I thought these suckers could be printed indefinitely. I see now how precious they are. The act of printing them makes them fade away, each one lighter than the one before, each inking slightly different. They really are originals. Oops. I see some stuff I want to fix in the background. I fixed some stuff after the first print. I smoothed out some of the lines on the table, and used sandpaper to make a shadow. I also added some vertical … oops! See those really dark marks at the top? Those are fresh burrs from my “fix it job”, holding extra ink. Nikki says it’ll go away after a couple printings, and be more unified. Then the background will be subdued and I can start working on the bold foreground: the flowers. I do like something about the way it is right here though. Maybe I’ll leave the pitcher white, maybe some of the flowers will just be sketchy outlines instead of fully shaded. We’ll see. The prints that don’t turn out completely but still have something good, they’re not dead. I figure I can paint on them, or do some monotype printmaking on top. As each new image emerges from the press, I am inspired to react and respond to each in it’s own way. I wish I didn’t have to go home to bed. I don’t want to stop! Below: a 10 second video of me working on my first drypoint https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jlbTvgdEXqs&feature=youtu.be We have several printmaking classes this fall. Lucky me, I get to take them all. Want to join me? Click here to find a printmaking class that works with your schedule.