I’m really glad I got to take a printmaking class during my time at CCA. I unexpectedly really enjoyed the whole process of etching and drypoint, and recently have been experimenting with adding color to my prints.

Here is an example of my drypoint before color

my first intaglio print
my first intaglio print

as you can see, it is hard to control the line quality and direction. This is because you’re basically scraping into a zinc plate with a metal tool, so unlike engraving it’s hard to get long, even lines and especially hard to get smooth curves.

I found that when I add color on top it helps the image pop and become more interesting and dimensional. Here is the colored version…

Here's the same print with watercolor on top
Here’s the same print with watercolor on top

I really prefer the watercolor on top of this piece. It brings clarity and dimensionality. Drypoint is a super long process when it comes to beveling, sanding, and polishing the plate, as well as the actual inking process. I love the look of intaglio, and to me the biggest downside is that after about 20 prints, or 50 if you’re really good, the image gets lighter because of the repeated pressure. You have to adjust the press bed to a lighter setting than an etching would be to try and preserve the line quality for as long as possible. This process is truly a labor of love 🙂

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