The introduction of this method is attributed to the engraver William Wynne Ryland (1732-83). He prepared many of his early prints using a narrow 'roulette wheel' for much of the detail and may have worked with this through a wax ground on a copper plate.
Stipple Prints The Technique
The stipple process is an adaptation of etching and the plate was prepared with a wax ground in the same manner as for an etching. The dotted detail was pricked through the wax using an etching needle and bitten by immersion in acid. It was the practice to re-enter or deepen the dots with engraving tools, including the punch and graver.
18th century stipple print of Cherubs
Angelica Kauffmann coloured stipple print and etching - The Choice of Paris
This method was largely popularised in Britain by Francesco Bartolozzi RA (1725-1815). Many examples were printed in colour by applying coloured inks directly by hand to the plate which was cleaned off and re-inked after each impression.
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