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Rembrandt in the middle of the seventeenth century pushed the etching technique to new heights.
For the drypoint technique, the lines of the image are scratched directly into a plate with a sharp needle called the drypoint needle.
Engraving is the oldest and most common of the intaglio techniques.
Lines are cut into a metal plate using a tool called burin or graver.
In part one of this article the basic printmaking techniques relief printing and intaglio printing were discussed and the relief techniques woodcut, wood engraving and linocut were introduced.
This second part is about the intaglio printmaking techniques - engraving, drypoint, etching, aquatint, stipple, mezzotint.
From a commercial point of view, drypoint has the disadvantage of a fast wear of the plates. It was invented by Ludwig van Siegen, a German soldier, around 1642.For etchings the plate is first covered with an acid-resistant wax or resin ground.Then the image is incised into the wax or resin layer with an etching needle. The acid bites into the exposed lines where the wax or resin was removed. It is one of the very old techniques dating back to the fourteenth century when it was used to apply decorations on armor.The disadvantage of the use of copper was the limited number of impressions.Like for a woodcut, hardly more than 2000 or 3000 impressions could be obtained from one plate.
The design is drawn on a special, flat stone (limestone) or on a metal plate with a greasy water-repellant substance (greased crayon or a greasy ink called tusche). Afterwards a print can be produced by putting the plate in a press.