Wednesday, May 25, 2011

I don't know how I did this..

..but it's done. And I'm very happy with it. And if you know me, you know that I am rarely "very happy" with the things that I do. My chiaroscuro final, conté crayon, ~18x24":

I changed the hair above her face a bit, in an effort to calm down her forehead (I know, I know, I just said I was "very happy" with it..), so if any of you guys saw this in class, let me know if you think it's an improvement. I'm not sure I changed it enough, but I'm pretty worried about messing it up at this point. Anyway, I had a lot of fun in that class, besides the post-lunch energy crashes and the occasional "that's it, I can't draw" kind of days, and I think I learned a lot. Time for a new set of challenges! But first, a month to relax and work on stuff that's not assigned by a teacher. Yay!


Printing with Linoleum


One semester down, somethingmumblegrumble semesters to go! But still, one down. I'm pretty damn excited about it. Also exciting, this post is about linocut, which for some reason I'm now obsessed with, even though I learned how to do it like 9 years ago.. maybe because it's less equipment-heavy than screen printing and is easier to do in my limited workspace. Also, it's awesome. And messy. And fun. And a little bit dangerous. Ever broken an Xacto blade before? Neither had I. I'm glad I wear glasses.. just in case. (Also, don't buy the off-brand blades. Learned my lesson.)

ANYWAY. True to the open-ended nature of my illustration class, our final project assignment was to come up with an illustration project, then complete it, start to finish. The project I came up with was (of course) a fake gig poster for The Tallest Man on Earth, based on the song "The Gardner." The concept is a little direct, I know.. I started out with a more complicated idea for a triptych which I had to scale back for both practical and creative reasons. Still, I'm pretty happy with it. I decided to go with the linocut (even though our assignment was generally to use one of the media - mediums? - we had used in class: pen and ink, watercolor, acrylic) partially because I wanted an authentic distressed look, i.e. not created in Photoshop, and partially because I love printmaking and wanted to see if I could be successful in carving the linoleum - this is by far the biggest project I've ever attempted with it. Enough jabber. Photos!

A few versions of the final product:

These are all 10.5x24", printed on a couple types of paper in assorted colors (off whites, creme, blue, gray, and brown). Black block printing ink (Blick brand, I believe) for the print, and watercolor or acrylic (or both) for the embellishments. I printed 18 and they are all different.

Some process (I'm fast becoming obsessed with taking pictures..):

My final layout on tracing paper

                                         Linoleum cut to size..                ..topped with transfer paper & my layout..

 ..traced and transferred.

(This was the first time I've used transfer paper, and yeah, I know it's not entirely necessary and you can make it yourself for cheaper but maann it's handy stuff.)

Above: On the left, the design is inked in so I know exactly where to carve (can't make mistakes at this point) and on the right, after days (days! I lost the ability to bend my right index finger!) of cutting - finished!

Below: Detail shots of the finished carving.

I painted on some of the paper before printing on it, just messing around to see what might look good:

Then: printing. Presented its own problems. I don't have a baren, and was convinced I could find a substitute around the house (ended up with an old bottle that I knew would someday come in handy) and in the end it worked out pretty well.

So. All done. I'm pretty happy with the way they turned out.. and they were a lot of fun to make!

silver acrylic embellishments

Many thanks to my friend Will for being my dead guy-model and for loaning me his linocut tools!

Also, I have to mention the awesome Nick Morley, a great artist and printmaker in London. I think I spent an entire day reading his blog Linocutboy's World - I may have been in class that day, heh - and I just bought a set of lino tools from him, which arrived today! Hooray! Can't wait to use them!

Also here's the thing: I have like 10 of these left, and I really don't need them lying around here collecting dust and not being appreciated by anyone (besides me). Want one? Lemme know. Free or best offer!

That's all for my illustration class.. next up: Chiaroscuro. Short post, I promise. Thanks for reading :)


Unicorn of the Sea

Hey! I finished a sketchbook today! Since I rarely make it through an entire sketchbook (to be honest, I was forced to fill up this one, but still), I felt the last page needed to kind of wrap things up. A couple of you may recognize this image, tee hee.

Also, my finals are done! But I'll put those in separate posts, since they have nothing to do with this sad little guy.


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Busy Bee

Heeyyyy there.

So, one and a half weeks left of my first semester! While I can practically taste summer coming along (tastes like peaches, mmmm), I have to remember that I'm not done yet.. the end of the semester invariably means it's "remember those term projects you should have been working on for the last, like 10 weeks?"-time, so I am busy trying to keep my stress level below the head-explosion point. (I'm exaggerating a little - I got totally lucky this semester, with two teachers that are awesome enough to give us a break for the last couple of weeks from regular projects to focus on our finals. I am definitely aware that this may not be the case in the future!)

Anyway, here's a little sketchbook drawing I did in class yesterday that I'm really happy with. Drawn from a photograph by Erik Almås. I will definitely be doing more figure studies from his photographs, they are so lovely.

Sorry, it's N(particularly)SFW.

If anyone is here via the plug on @whigbuckley's twitter feed, said linocut will be posted soon! Workin hard.. fingers crossed that both of my finals turn out well!

See you soon!