Hand-etched Drypoint and Watercolor Prints by Richard Spare

By admin in Featured Artists > Other Mediums

UK artist and printmaker Richard Spare uses the painstaking process of drypoint etching to create his one-of-a-kind limited edition prints.

Using a sharp engraving tool, Richard incises fanciful animals, birds, and flowers into a copper plate. Interestingly, the deeper he cuts into the copper, the more scattered metal tendrils are produced, which provides  a soft “blurred line” effect in the printing process. The plates are then electroplated—so that the etchings can withstand the rigors of printing—and black and white prints are transferred onto 100% cotton paper.

A red and black bird sitting on a branch

Of course, at that point the print is only half done. . . Richard goes on to hand-paint each one, using vibrant watercolors (typically choosing only a few colors for each print). And because of the variations in the printing and painting process, no two prints are exactly the same. Each one is a unique work of art.

Richard draws much of his inspiration from the gardens around his studio. If you browse his portfolio, you’ll find hollyhocks, foxgloves, poppies, and wisteria all represented in his unique drypoint style—as well as a variety of birds and wildlife living in the area.

Purple flowers in glass vases

As you can see, a delightful element of whimsy imbues each of these prints. Richard successfully uses the medium of drypoint to create loose, fanciful “charcoal & watercolor” style artwork that is truly captivating.

His ability to tell a story with just a few lines and colors certainly helps as well!

Limited edition print of a blue rabbit and an orange polka-dot bunny

To see more of Richard’s amazing prints, please take a minute to visit his website at richardspare.art. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed!


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