The Government of Canada’s terminology and linguistic data bank.

dry-point engraving [1 record]

Record 1 2011-06-07


Subject field(s)
  • Engraving and Printmaking (Arts)
  • Intaglio Printing

An engraving process in which a design is hand-cut directly onto a burnished copper plate with a steel or diamond point, no acid being used.


The image is scratched out of the copper surface with a very finely pointed instrument which creates a heavily burred line. The line is more shallow than the engraved line but its burr is more distinct. The burr is not scraped away. It catches ink and, when printed, creates lines of velvety richness. Because the burr wears down quickly, only a very limited number of good impressions can be pulled. The drypoint engraving is one of the intaglio techniques.

Key term(s)
  • dry point engraving


  • Gravure d'art
  • Impression en creux (héliogravure)

Le trait est creusé dans le cuivre avec un instrument bien affûté qui soulève une barbe abondante. Il est moins profond que dans la taille au burin, mais sa barbe, qui sera conservée, est plus forte. Celle-ci a pour fonction de retenir l'encre et, lors de l'impression, elle confère au trait une sorte de velouté. La fragilité de la barbe limite cependant le tirage. La gravure à la pointe sèche est un des procédés de la gravure en creux.


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