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Drypoint with Enviromount

Drypoint with Enviromount

Enviromount is a brilliant paper-based drypoint surface. It can be scored with a sharp tool such as a drypoint needle, and the top surface can be peeled away. We were keen to try it out in the studio.

A drypoint print is an intaglio technique in which lines are scratched into a plate, creating a burred edge that holds ink. Ink is applied to the plate and excess is wiped from the surface. The plate is printed, usually using an etching press but not always, and the positive marks appear on the paper.

Use soft pencil to lightly draw out the design, being careful not to press too hard and dent the surface. Use drypoint needle to score the design into the surface (we used a 2mm needle).

We used hatching and cross-hatching to build tone in the line work.

Enviromount has a top surface that can be peeled away to reveal fluffy insides that will hold onto ink and print densely dark. Score the edges with a scalpel and then use the point to lift the edge of the section you with to peel away.

Before inking up, soak your printing paper in a tray of water. We are using Snowdon. Ink up the plate by dabbing it on with a wad of cloth. Akua Intaglio Inks work especially well with Enviromount, and are easy to clean up.

Scrape excess ink from the plate whilst working it into the lines with a small piece of mount board.

Use a twisting motion with scrim to work the ink into the lines and away from the surface.

Polish the top surface with a piece of tissue held flat between the fingers.

Place the plate on the surface of the intaglio press. Blot the soaked paper until it feels damp to the touch but not wet. Lay the paper on top and roll through the press with a fairly tight pressure. Alternatively, read our blog post about intaglio printing without a press.

We found that, although the surface of the plate looks very grey with ink, this did not transfer to the print, which shows very little plate tone. This makes it a lot easier to get clean prints!

The quality of line in these prints has the lovely fuzziness that is typical of drypoint prints.

For this project you will need:

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