[image_with_animation image_url=”11473″ alignment=”” animation=”Fade In” box_shadow=”none” max_width=”100%”] The past few V. Notes have been about drypoints, and I hope you’re not sick of hearing about drypoints, because I still have more to say. Today: Drypoints! I continued to do little experiments with Nikki Barber, and this evening (yesterday by the time you read this) I made a drypoint I am so pleased with that I plan to frame it and hang in the Salish Sea Show this weekend. Come see. Salish Sea Show 25 artists contributed to this show celebrating the Salish Sea basin One day only! Saturday Sept 15th, 10-7pm Seattle Artist League 10219 Aurora Ave N, Seattle “Shell,” the drypoint above, was made by scraping sandpaper on plexi, then printing on white BFK with grey ink. After printing, the image was still lacking some detail, and I was feeling a little stuck. Eventually I remembered I’m an artist and I get to do whatever I want, so I sketched on the print with pencil. The pencil was the same color as the ink, so blended very nicely. The pencil drawing pulled the shape together in a way I was pleased with, so I called it a success. Shell is 7×5″ drypoint and graphite on paper, edition 1 of 1. Tomorrow I’ll buy a frame and float the print on top of a mat so you can still see the deckled edge of the paper. Mmmm deckle. Here’s a second print I made, trying out the image in reverse, and with more subtlety. Those stripes you see, that’s fine grit sandpaper. It has been 3 studio sessions now, and the impatient part of me would like to say I’ve mastered drypoint, but I still have a lot to learn. Big surprise to me, the scribe is not at all like a pencil. With a scribe, angles and pressures cause significant differences to the printed marks, and each print shows something that I didn’t expect. I swear to you, I can feel my dendrites growing, and little shots of dopamine trickle through me every time a fresh print gets peeled off the press bed. The hours go by so fast! I’m still experimenting. So far I’ve tried drypoint on copper, aluminum, and various plexis. I typically fall in love with the most archaic and expensive materials, so I figured copper would be my favorite, but plexi actually performs better for me, and it’s very affordable. I think if the old masters had had plexiglass, they wouldn’t have used copper. To save even more money, Nikki raided the scraps bin at Tap Plastics, so I had a lot of different plastic and plexi surfaces to try. On the plexi, I enjoyed how the scribe dug in a little deeper than it did in the copper, and it pulled up more burrs, which made more of the velvety texture when inked. And like I mentioned in a previous V. Note, both copper and plexi print the same number of prints – about 10 – before they’re used up. Unlike the copper, the plexi material is transparent, so I can place my plate right on top of a photo or drawing. I don’t have to start from scratch every time I start scribing. That helps me stay relaxed and focused on the marks rather than the drawing. I’ve tried various plates, and various scribing tools: grits of sandpaper, a couple burnishers, a thing I found on the floor, and various carbide scribes. I am now watching my mailbox for the wood handled diamond tipped scribe I ordered on Saturday. Don’t worry, it was only $18. Cheapest diamond I’ve ever bought. After long anticipation, I even got to try chine-collé! Oooh, I love that word. Chine-collé is when you brush glue on the back of a bit of paper, usually fragile paper, you place the paper on your plate with the un-glued side touching the plate, then put the printmaking paper on top. When you run it through the press, the papers glue together and get printed at the same time. Of course, 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. Last chance! Fall classes start next week, September 16th.