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Old 02-27-2018, 12:33 AM
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ZanBarrage ZanBarrage is offline
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Red face First dry point. I need help

Hi fellow artists.

I am jumping head first into dry point and have so many questions. I really need help starting on the right foot to get the best results.

For now, I am working on clear plexi-glass the type that you find in frames. I am using several sharp tools to etch the plastic and that is going well... I think.

Here is my plate ( first try )

I have block printing ink, and I tried that for printing, but it didn't give me a good result. I am looking at Akua ink and or Gamblin oil based ink, and here is where I need help. What ink should I use to get the best result for fine lines and details?

Thank you.
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Old 02-27-2018, 02:49 PM
contumacious contumacious is offline
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Re: First dry point. I need help

I prefer oil based inks, but have heard good things about the Akua. I had nothing but trouble with Caligo inks not drying ---- EVER, even after more than a year the color would still rub off. They were printed on moist cotton rag paper.
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Old 02-27-2018, 04:08 PM
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ZanBarrage ZanBarrage is offline
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Re: First dry point. I need help

Thanks. Do you use thick or thin ink? Do you have a brand preference and why? Thank you.
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Old 02-28-2018, 07:27 PM
BeLing BeLing is offline
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Re: First dry point. I need help

What was the problem? Wiping off or getting good lines?
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Old 02-28-2018, 09:12 PM
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ZanBarrage ZanBarrage is offline
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Re: First dry point. I need help

I was using water based block printing ink and my intricate lines all got blurred. I want to make sure I use the ink that will faithfully reproduce the lines. I just am not familiar with the inks and hope to get guidance from you than go buying a bunch of inks to find threads one that works.
In my area we have access to Gamblin, akua speedball professional.
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Old 03-01-2018, 05:47 PM
Heft Heft is offline
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Re: First dry point. I need help

If this is a typical drypoint and the lines are not etched as you later state, then the lines you scratch in the surface of the plate will have a burr of material next to them that will hold ink and make the lines look thicker with a softer edge to them and perhaps that is the blurred appearance you are noticing. This is usually a desired affect of the drypoint method. If you do not want this you could, after scratching the lines, remove the burr with careful use of a scraper. Could you upload a print so we could see what you speak of?
It is also possible that the ink you are using is too loose and is being easily pulled from the lines, especially if they are, as you say, delicate, and not very deep in the plate. More careful wiping and a stiffer ink can help. Ink made for block printing may be exacerbating the problem. An etching ink consistency would be a better choice.
I personally prefer Graphic Chemical inks for etching and engravings but there are other brands available.

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Old 03-08-2018, 10:56 AM
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bridog bridog is offline
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Re: First dry point. I need help

I have printed a lot of drypoint on acrylic plates. My first experiments in the early days using water based block printing inks for intaglio didn't really yield good results. I realized that oil based etching ink was what really produced the best results.
Akua intaglio inks are good, but from experience I usually add a small bit of magnesium carbonate powder to slightly stiffen the ink as it tends to be a bit runny coming out of the jar. It isn't a flax based ink, it is soy so has a slightly different texture about it and also can have more transparent qualities depending on colour and pigment.
Can't comment on the Gamlin as I have only used their relief printing ink. My favourite inks for drypoint are Cranfield Safewash (formerly Caligo) and Graphic Chemical oil based etching ink. I add a little wiping compound (a clear petroluem based gel additive) to thin the ink so it spreads easily on and into the lines on the plate when applied by either dabbing it in, spreading it across with a piece of paper board or wiped in with finger tips.

Just want to add you since you are in the GTA you can source both the Cranfield and Graphic Chemical inks through Above Ground Art Supplies on McCaul St near the Ontario College of Art and Design and the Art Gallery of Ontario. Bit sure if Curry's stock these?

It was mentioned by another member that they thought Caligo had some issues with drying. I find the opposite. Akua in my case seems to be the one that takes a very long time for drying.
I sometimes add a little tiny bit of drier additive to the Caligo and find that it will help speed up drying time.

Also your handling of wiping and polishing the surface of the plate after inking can also influence quality of the print image. I tend to gently buff it with balled up web like polyester fabric and finish off with a light polishing using old telephone book pages or flat pieces of gift wrap tissue paper.

The initial first couple of prints from acrylic plate will appear a bit fuzzy due to the burr along the edges of the scratched plastic line. The blurry line quality tends to quickly disappear as more prints are pulled. The burr edge when you do drypoint on metal plates will yield more as the disturbed metal particulate from scratching into the surface is a bit more anchored than brittle plastic particulate on acrylic plate.

I would assume you are printing the plate intaglio method? (same as an etching...applying extreme pressure to force the print paper down below plate surface into your incised lines to transfer ink and image to paper). Are you using an etching press or something like a hand-held pin press (cylindrical metal roller that is hand propelled).

anyhow just thought I would relay some of my experience
good luck

yes, as Heft mentioned would be nice if you are able to post a photo of a print
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Last edited by bridog : 03-08-2018 at 11:23 AM.
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Old 03-09-2018, 09:02 AM
contumacious contumacious is offline
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Re: First dry point. I need help

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZanBarrage
Thanks. Do you use thick or thin ink? Do you have a brand preference and why? Thank you.

I have a box of oil based inks dating back 30 years plus. Most are from Graphic (sp?) and Daniel Smith. I generally use them straight out of the can which is quite thick, on moist paper, sometimes adding some "Miracle Gel" if needed.

I was so disappointed in the results with the Caligo. I haven't yet tried my can of black Akua.
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Old 03-17-2018, 12:42 PM
IanBertram IanBertram is offline
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Re: First dry point. I need help

When I first made drypoints on acetate I found that I had to hold the scriber at a very acute angle to the plastic to raise the burr - about 30 degree to the horizontal. Holding it closer to the vertical creates a groove but without the burr and you get a very different look and feel. At first I used very fluid inks, thinking that it was the best way to get it into all the marks. However, easy in meant easy out and I ended up using very stiff inks. I apply by hand with a cloth over my finger rather than a squeegee or anything else. This reduces the amount of wiping needed.

I also found I got better results with a smooth surfaced paper, avoiding heavy textures.
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Old 03-17-2018, 12:58 PM
IanBertram IanBertram is offline
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Re: First dry point. I need help



One of my drypoints made on a smooth handmade paper.
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Old 03-17-2018, 01:59 PM
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Re: First dry point. I need help

Thank you all. This is so helpful. As soon as I have a good print I will share it. All your points are very helpful and explain a lot of what is happening with me.
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