drypoint

drypoint, an intaglio printing process in which the lines are scratched directly into a metal plate with a needle; also, the print made from such a plate. Although it is often used in combination with etching, no acid is used for the drypoint. It differs from engraving in the type of tool employed and the consequent shallowness of the line. In drypoint the burr raised by the needle is usually left on the plate, producing a rich, velvety effect. It is characteristically a sketchy medium suitable for improvisation, but it can also be used to render fine detail. Unless the plate is steel faced, the burr deteriorates rapidly, allowing relatively few good prints to be pulled. Dürer, Rembrandt, Whistler, and Picasso are considered the greatest masters of the technique.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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