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Old 01-08-2019, 12:30 PM
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deke deke is offline
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linden, new jersey
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Printmaking Newbie

Hi all,
I'm sure this has been covered before, but let me ask for some advice. I'm mostly a pencil artist who works in "Hyperrealism" but really love to start in the world of PRINTMAKING, Intaglio "Drypoint" as it seems best suited to my style, so I think. Would appreciate any help you can offer and far as where to get supplies, a small table top "Quality" press and what kind of paper to use. I'm really starting out with little experience other than learning "Etching" in college.

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Old 01-12-2019, 02:53 PM
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vmrs vmrs is offline
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Re: Printmaking Newbie

If you check out the threads at the very top of the forum, you'll see threads with all sorts of helpful links and tips.

There's some useful advice in this thread as well.

As for purchasing , it's probably best to check out sites and shipping prices on goggle. I personally am a huge fan of Blicks's as they have always been supportive of WetCanvas.

Hope that helps a bit.
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Old 01-19-2019, 12:08 PM
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bridog bridog is offline
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Re: Printmaking Newbie

I find drypoint indeed lends itself nicely for detailed work

surfaces that can be used include: metal plates (copper, aluminum, zinc) and also clear acrylic plates (plexiglass, heavier packaging plastics). I have even scribed into paper based plates (homemade) where mat board is first coated with a couple of layers of shellac and then line can be scratched into the surface.

Papers...generally any quality paper used for etching (cotton rag) will suffice. I usually soak my paper and blot before I print the inked plate. My personal favourites are Somerset and Magnani.

I own a small Blick 906 table top etching press. I have shifted towards creating miniature prints over the past five years and this size of press (press bed of 11 x 36 inches) is ideal for my purposes. You want a roller press with good bed system with felts. The size of press and your budget is a decision you will have to make of course. Sure there are a good range of suppliers in the US you can easily find online.

Have been sourcing my supplies here in Canada for the past decade. Used to purchase from US (Blick and Daniel Smith Co.) when I started exploring intaglio and engraving.

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Last edited by bridog : 01-19-2019 at 12:22 PM.
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Old 01-20-2019, 05:31 PM
contumacious contumacious is online now
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Re: Printmaking Newbie

I also own an 18x36 Blick etching press. I don't know the model as the label was lost years ago. It has a phenolic bed that has never failed me. Other than not being able to print wider than 18" on the short side, it has served me very well for about 30 years.

I came to printmaking from many years of working in pen and ink. Copper plate intaglio really grabbed me with the first plate I worked on back in the 70s. I think you will enjoy working in the various materials available. If there is a university or co-op printmaking studio near you that has presses available for use that would be a great way to try it out. If they have a Lithograpy press, that is probably the closest to your pencil drawing as you can get. A major bonus if you can find a studio with real stone litho equipment on hand. I have only worked with aluminum litho plates but was able to produce a beautiful range of tones with them.

Intaglio doesn't lend itself to creating smooth wash like gray tones using a stylus, like what can be achieved with lithography, but using the various fine line techniques such as cross hatching can produce a wide tonal range, albeit with more visible line textures. Aquatints of course can be used to make very subtle grays as well as deep and dark tones but the aquatint doesn't lend itself to drawing like technique as easily as the stylus can.

I use BFK Reeves paper the most for Intaglio, but have had fun with some Japanese papers with block and montoype prints. I stick with oil based inks only, for Intaglio. Akua inks work OK for block and monotypes, but there are issues with multiple layers of Akua inks doing Reduction prints. I avoid Caligo water wash inks after having single color prints that literally never dried. There is a print in my drawer done with black Caligo ink, that is over 5 years old and still is not dry. Copper is my favorite plate for Intaglio and I rarely use anything else. Don't be shy about trying techniques that aren't similar to pencil drawing. Lino and woodcut prints are loads of fun. You will be able to find a wide range of materials here:


I hope you enjoy your adventure!

Last edited by contumacious : 01-20-2019 at 05:47 PM.
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Old 02-28-2019, 12:31 PM
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deke deke is offline
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Re: Printmaking Newbie

Thank you all for the great information!
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