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Etching vs. Drypoint

Difference between etching and drypoint

by Henry S.H. Young

The difference between the etching and drypoint is the difference in the method of creating the image on the copper plate. A standard etching plate is coated with a "waxy" resist. The artist then will "draw" an image using a steel point stylist into the resist, exposing the shiny copper plate. The plate is then immersed into acid. The acid "bites" or "cuts" the lines into the copper plate. The plate is then cleaned and ready to ink. Ink is daubed onto the plate and the plate is "wiped" carefully to remove ink on the surface of the plate, leaving the ink in the "grooves" or acid cut lines. Paper is wet, to allow the ink to absorb onto the paper and placed on the inked plate. The paper and plate are put through a printing press at 500 pounds per square inch and the process of printing is compete.

The drypoint is created without the coating of the "waxy" resist. The artist uses the steel point stylist "directly" into the copper plate gouging the lines for the image. The inking and printing of the plate is the same as described above.


Wood Engravings

Brief description of wood engravings

by Henry S.H. Young

A Wood Engraving is a process of carving away a block of wood leaving the top surface to print. The artist uses a burin, normally used in creating an engraving, to incise lines into the wood. Developed in the 1790's by Thomas Bewick (England 1753 - 1828) the process allowed for a much more detailed illustration for book publishing. Bewick invented the white line wood engraving method, where the untouched surface of the wood printed a black background and the graved lines would remain white in the printing. The white line process was fast and inexpensive as compared to a standard prepared woodcut.


Esthetics in Art

by Henry S.H. Young

1. Color: a primary factor in choosing a work of art.  The collector instinctively knows which work of art is most attractive and most complementary to the collector’s psyche.


2. Composition:  The pleasing way that the work of art is composed and designed is paramount in your choice of art.  This design element is important to the complete attraction of the artwork to the viewer.


3. Depth and Dimension: This additional quality will endear the viewer to the work of art.  The ability of the artist to create this effect is draws the collector’s eye into the work of art, allowing one to be involved and engaged by the work of art.


4. Texture:  Another factor in the complete appreciation of a work of art.  The visceral enjoyment of the art is a level of appreciation that is undervalued.


What to Look for in a Sculpture

by Benvenuto Cellini

Cellini was one of the most important artists of Mannerism and considered one of the most picturesque figures of the Renaissance.  Born November 3, 1500 in Florence Italy, his was a Sculptor, Draftsman, Soldier, Musician, Writer, Stamp Master and Goldsmith.  He stated three (3) points for a Good and Successful Sculpture:


1. Modeling (Detail): Examine the detail in the modeling of the sculpture.  Is it smooth?  Is it rough?  Is it finished?  Is it finished in areas that are not seen?  Are details extremely well done?


2. FEM (Flow, Energy and Movement):  As you turn the sculpture or walk around the piece, does the sculpture seem to flow with the turn?  Do you feel the energy from the sculpture?  Does the piece seem to move when you move or turn when you turn it on a pedestal?


3. Multiple Viewing Perspectives: Is the sculpture modeled in every perspective?  Note: some ancient sculptures are modeled only on the front surface with the back being unfinished.  You should experience at least 4-5 viewing perspectives.  Also, be aware of the negative space.  Sometimes there is something to see there.


Henry Young's note:  With cast acrylic sculptures, there may be images within the sculpture itself.  Images that appear and then disappear as the sculpture is turned.  The imbedded images may be modeled in three dimensions.


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