Archive for the Technique Category

“Perfect is the enemy of done.”

Posted in Art, Technique with tags , , , on February 8, 2009 by scratchyb

Someone needs to tattoo that to my brain. I just got validation on the quality of a print (inkjet, not handmade) of one of my older drawings. And still I feel like I could get such a better quality from other sources–professional photographer, a higher quality printer. I’ve spent years holding back my work and ideas because I never wanted to stumble. So my late-coming new-year’s resolution should be to stumble a lot this year.

One thing I am definitely not going to attempt is a drawing a day, like some artists do, although I like the results of Lawrence Yang’s efforts.  However, I am going to participate in Drawing Day 2009, on June 6.  I just stumbled across this event.  Dropping everything and drawing for its own sake–who’d have thunk it?  I can spend hours online looking at all the art others have done, all the possible ways to market and sell, and then lose all my drawing time for the day and go through my work-a-day grumpy and annoyed.  So its back to work for me.

Latest projects

Posted in Art, Hybrids, Painting, Process, Technique with tags , on February 2, 2009 by scratchyb

Right now I’m working on another hybrid animal, and an illustration of the phrase “pig in a python”, which indicates the baby boomers, if you don’t know.  I didn’t.  The hybrid animal will be a cross between a goat and an ape.

I’m also looking for artists that have done traditional acrylic paintings and spruced them up by incorporating LEDs.   So far, I’ve only found one such LED light painting, otherwise, not even the garish stuff I’d been afraid I’d come across (you know, like a Jesus with LED halo).  I’m just looking to see if it’s been tried, and if  it’s even worthwhile.  What I have in mind is not quite as bad as the above, I’d be putting some effort into incorporating the lights logically and tastefully.

Anyway.  That’s enough for now.

Robots vs Monsters

Posted in Art, Painting, Process, Technique with tags , , , , on February 1, 2009 by scratchyb

The latest two projects I’ve been working on, aside from the ongoing hybrid animals, have been miniature 3 x 3 inch paintings of robots and handprinted monster-face coasters.  Well, I’m happy to say that at least the robots are coming along just fine so far.

Robots #1 through 3

Robots #1 through 3

I’m going to be putting these up on Etsy one at a time.  Not sure which arbitrary number will be the final one, maybe when I’ve reached 10?  Or 12?

The coasters aren’t going as well.  The best means of protecting the image, so I’m told, is decoupage gloss.  I don’t have any, and haven’t made that trip to the craft store yet.  So that one is on hold.  Not to mention that the order of cork coasters I got was actually slightly larger than the block I was printing with.  Shit happens.  Being as ADHD as I am, I’m already moving on to new things.

Spiraling away

Posted in Art, Process, Technique with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 26, 2008 by scratchyb

I posted one of my original drawings on Etsy today.  It’s actually an older piece, inspired by a quote of a quote.  The quote as I first encountered it was in Caitlin Kiernan’s Threshold about extra-dimensional bogey beasts, and it was a quote taken from an Algernon Blackwood story called “The Willows”, also about extra-dimensional bogey beasts, although with a different tone and background.

The quote: “Our thoughts make spirals in their world . . .”

It inspired this mixed-media drawing, where I tried a large-scale stippling technique and added some minor collage for the spiraling eyes. Gold ink was washed over the nautilus shell in the background.

"Our thoughts make spirals . . ."

Next project

Posted in Art, Block Prints, Process, Technique with tags , , , on September 9, 2008 by scratchyb

I’m working on a giant centipede print.  It will be cut in several different blocks, and printed in slightly differing arrangements over a number of editions.  I’m hoping to find some nice Japanese paper to use for the print, but I may settle for regular old printing paper like the “Pollution” print that I did  a few months back.

Since I’m anxious to start painting again, plus have other projects up my sleeve, this might be the last major printing effort I do for a while.  I’m far better at coming up with ideas than actually seeing them to fruition.  It doesn’t help that I only get maybe two or three free hours a night to work on things like this.  I’m a librarian by profession.

Here are some photos of the sketches, and a cut linoleum piece.

The end.
A sketch example, the centipede head.
The center of the body.

That print’s now for sale

Posted in Art, Block Prints, Process, Technique, Uncategorized with tags , , on August 16, 2008 by scratchyb

The print that I posted about last time is now for sale at my Etsy shop:

The first print in a series of 11

The first print in a series of 11

I’ll be posting the prints one at a time since the results were different.  Eventually, I’ll print a new edition that will be monochromatic–maybe something other than black.

An Ambitious Project, Take 2

Posted in Art, Block Prints, Process, Technique with tags , , , , on August 14, 2008 by scratchyb

Either an unexplained error on my part or a bug with WordPress has led to my previous post of a few weeks ago not displaying the series of images I added to the post.  Which led to a bit of weirdness where the captions for all those images became sort of a paragraph in themselves. Let’s try this again.

Here’s the original photo:

The tree that provided the original inspiration.

The tree that provided the original inspiration.

The drawing that I did, based extremely loosely on the tree in the photo.

The drawing that I did, based extremely loosely on the tree in the photo.

Step 1. I did a drawing of the tree I saw, roughly the size of the block.  I tend to work quick and sloppy, because it helps me beat procrastination.  So I traced the original block, and kept my drawing within that framework.  I used a sharpie to try and cut down on my tendency to overdo the details.  Didn’t work.

the outline of the tree.

Starting the cut: the outline of the tree.

Step 2.  After adding the design to the block with transfer paper, I cut away all the negative space around the outline.  Then I started on the inside, where all the details were.  I knew I wouldn’t get them all.

Step 3.  Inking up the design with black mixed with a bit of blue.  I had thought at the last minute that I wanted this to be two colors after all: silver and black.  Unfortunately, since I already started cutting the top, the only place the silver stands out on the tree is at the lower half of the trunk.  I still liked the effect.

The block fully inked.

The block fully inked.

the silver layer.

The first color all printed: the silver layer.

Final Result: I applied the black ink over the now dry silver ink with a paper registering system, basically just an outline of the paper size with an outline of the block on the inside.  Again, registering a print can be intimidating, and I don’t pretend to be a professional at this.  I just let it be what it wants to be.  Hence, some prints turned out better than others.

And here's the result.

And here's the result.

I printed a small run of these that I’ll soon make available at my Old Scratch store on etsy.

The Dark Art

Posted in Art, Block Prints, Process, Technique, Uncategorized with tags , , on July 23, 2008 by scratchyb

I’m a relief print nut. I’m not sure why, because they seldom turn out the way I expect and I’m almost always disappointed. But I persist, even though everyone tells me screenprinting might be more suited to my work. I think it’s the process I love. With my drawings, I tend to get more absorbed in the repetitive action and think less about what I’m doing, whereas block printing forces me to pay closer attention. I also break all the rules of the medium, since my prints are in small runs using different colors and paper, and tend to appear different from one another, each just a little bit unique. I do this for fun, and I don’t charge too much, so I feel like I can get away with it.

The two images below show some of my process. I created the print to the right using the three blocks, only registering by eyesight. While registration is an important part of printmaking, there are some times when it simply doesn’t matter. The fish block I had carved before for a greeting card, and the waves and boat I created later as the idea for the current print came to me. This is a run of 8 prints, and I intend to make more runs as soon as I can find the kind of paper I’d like to use.

These three blocks were combined for a single composition.

These three blocks were combined for a single composition.Sample print using three separate blocks to in the composition.

The resulting print using the three separate blocks.

The resulting print using the three separate blocks.