Hello everyone! I’ve been too busy to update the blog (it’s my senior year at university), but I thought that I would update it to assure my audience that I have not entirely abandoned this blog. Keeping track of the websites that I have it tricky– I’ve only now managed to understand how Twitter is supposed to work– if you want updates, that and deviantart are probably the best bets. I want to change this blog’s layout to a less cramped, more readable one, so that’s my next plan. In the meantime, have some art!
This is a watercolor painting that I started a few years ago and have not finished because I felt that I wasn’t “good enough yet” to finish it without ruining it. I have much more confidence that I can complete it now, although I have got some other comics, illustrations, and prints to finish first.
I also just really like how it looks sketched out!
Since I’m primarily a printmaker, I thought that I’d start off my Thursdays with a quick intro to printmaking. I primarily do relief printmaking in wood, with a few forays into linoleum and that wonderful white eraser rubber stuff. I’ve done etching, drypoint, monotype, screenprinting, and a couple other methods, not always successfully, but many of those methods require a much fancier setup than I have currently. Relief, on the other hand, does not require a huge amount of space, and can be printed by hand rather than needing a huge press setup or vats of acid or giant slabs of limestone. Screenprinting is also fairly easy to do in, say, a garage, but that’s a subject for another day.
I posted up a scan of one of the final the Winter Bird prints yesterday, so today I’ve got a picture of it about a third of the way carved. You can see I started with the outside; the order that pieces are carved in doesn’t really matter.
In this case I drew straight on the block, totally forgetting that the final would be reversed, and then swore a bit. After I’d decided that the image worked just as well reversed, I primed the surface with ordinary white Elmer’s glue. Priming with glue isn’t always necessary, but in this case the lines were so fine that I was afraid that the . The glue (a very light coat) helps hold the wood fibers together and also smooths the surface. That done, I inked the picture with a brush. Really only halfway- you can see that I didn’t use a terribly organized process with this one. When more colors are involved, it takes a lot more planning and precision. I inked the surface mostly so that I could tell what lines I would be carving on.
Usually I prime a woodblock with a light wash of watercolor so that the carved surface and the surface that will print are more clearly differentiated — this one I didn’t bother because it’s such a tiny quick piece. The feathers were tricky, though. I mostly used a knife.
Whew, that’s a lot of information in a short time. And carving is the easy part! Next Thursday: carving tools!
I know I have a tendency to dump a lot of information fast and/or without context, so if you have any questions, please ask.
Filed under Art, Printmaking
Here’s a tiny woodblock I did last fall. The full size is 4×4″, so it’s actually bigger onscreen than it is in real life! I didn’t exactly consciously decide to work so detailed, but I like doodling on the pieces of wood I have lying around, and every once in a while I carve them. I was about halfway through it before I realized that I had to carve every single teeny feature out. Hah!
… I have a lot more of these carved doodles around that I haven’t printed yet. It’s too cold to work in the basement right now, which is where my studio is, so I’m hoping that spring will show her face any day now!
Calling all of my posts “sketch of the day” was getting confusing, so I’m stopping that nonsense right now. I can only imagine that in a few weeks out of desperation I’ll be cannibalizing lyrics from songs for titles or something. This particular sketch is from a series I’m trying to work out. It is actually 6 feet by 6 feet large, drawn partially in frustration after one class where the only crit I got was “you should make it bigger.” SO I DID.
In other awesome news, two of my illustrations accompany N.K. Jemisin’s story “The Trojan Girl” in this quarter’s Weird Tales #357. Order your copy here!
I’m excited to announce that RainTown, the local independent press I’m interning at currently, has the promotional pages for their educational Classics line up! And on that page is (half of) the SUPER SEXY WRAPAROUND COVER I designed for H.G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds. Click this link and check it out!
(If you sideclick and hit “view image” on their page, you can get a closer look, too!)
I really enjoy drawing hands!