Drypoint etching is an intaglio technique, which means the image is directly incised into the surface of the plate using a sharp tool, then printed using an etching press. When a line is made in this way, the material kicks up a burr around it, which also holds ink. This results in a line with a velvety, rich characteristic.
The plate is normally made from metal, such as copper, aluminium, zinc. Plastic is also an effective surface. The impression is typically printed onto high quality printmaking papers.