Rolling Pin Drypoint

•December 7, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Here’s the latest print, using new processes. I used a 0.04″ PETG plastic sheet as a plate. It is softer than plexiglass and stiff enough to handle easily. It also is too stiff to run through the pasta machine like acetate, the pasta machine has a very limited feed size and the PETG is to rigid to bend easily on its way through. I used a 1 1/2″ dowel that we use as a rolling pin as a press and it works OK. The image itself needs some work, under the arm, and better inking would help. Better definition also, more subtlety on the line work.
Female Back

Something Different – Toned Paper

•November 21, 2014 • 1 Comment

Not a whole lot different, but a friend at the studio gave me some different paper and this is the result

Alicia, Toned paper, 10 minute pose

Alicia, charcoal and pastel, 10 minute pose

More Acetate Drypoints

•November 19, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Here are 2 more prints done on acetate, using the now trusty pasta machine. It is interesting the different techniques that are needed and the different mind set involved in creating the images.

Done from a 5 minute charcoal drawing of Claudia

Done from a 5 minute charcoal drawing of Claudia, approx 4X6 inches


Done from a 5 minute charcoal sketch of Rose

Done from a 5 minute charcoal sketch of Rose approx 4X6 inches


Technically speaking, it looks like it may be better just to go ahead and get metal plates. Acetate is fine for quick and dirty printing, but 4-5 prints is the max, and inking is tricky. The texture of the acetate isn’t like copper or zinc and so the tones are harder to control. Acetate also has a problem in that it absorbs water so it will take a bit more research to find the best approach, maybe soaking before inking will help.

Intaglio printing with a pasta machine

•October 28, 2014 • 1 Comment

Following our trip , I decided to give engraving at home a whirl. Instead of buying a press and all the accoutrements associated, I thought I would give it a quick test to see if I still enjoyed it as much as I did in Amsterdam. A few years ago we used a pasta machine as a press for our Christmas cards. We only used it for embossing a design but it seemed to work OK. So I took a quick charcoal drawing and set about engraving it on acetate. The sheet seemed too thin (.01 inch) but it was all that was available easily. It does hold the engraving, but lacks stiffness so inking is hard. The print is approximately 4 1/2 X 6 inches.
Lessons learned on this attempt:
1. You need to have a good drawing to start and lots of practice handling the drypoint needle.
2. Pressure of the press is critical for a good image, and although the pasta machine can provide it, handling the plate pare and blankets on a vertical plane is clumsy and error prone.
3. Minimum thickness for acetate is probably .04″ or 440 microns . It may be possible to mount the plate on a rigid substrate but it would be easier to have it rigid from the get-go.
4. Inking is tricky, it helps to have the right instruments, cheescloth, inkers, etc. Due to the temporary nature of this experiment I used 2 layers of t-shirt fabric for blankets instead of good felt blankets, not recommended!
6. The paper I used is probably too hard and hard some laid texture.
5. Be gentle with the acetate, 5-6 impressions are probably about tops to keep the best quality of line. Take your time and get the inking correct.

Here is the source drawing, a charcoal, one minute gesture drawing, 18X24 on newsprint

Here is the source drawing, a charcoal, one minute gesture drawing, 18X24 on newsprint


First stage, not enough pressure

First stage, not enough pressure

Second state, pressure better but bad creasing!

Second state, pressure better but bad creasing!

Finally pressure is good, still some creasing

Finally pressure is good, still some creasing

Fourth state, made some corrections to the drawing, still some inking problems

Fourth state, made some corrections to the drawing, still some inking problems

Fifth state- some creasing and too much ink taken off

Fifth state- some creasing and too much ink taken off

Sixth state, inking is better, but the image is degrading due to the softness of acetate and the rough handling

Sixth state, inking is better, but the image is degrading due to the softness of acetate and the rough handling


As a critique, I like the pose of the model but in the drawing there is a problem around her mouth and the hatching is inconsistent. It will take a lot of practice, but it was fun. Anyone selling a used press?

Engraving in Rembrandt’s House

•October 9, 2014 • Leave a Comment

We were recently in Amsterdam and visited Rembrandt’s house. Normally we don’t go in for much of this kind of place, but it is different, it is a reconstruction of the house on the original site and along with the history and paintings,they give demonstrations and workshops. We did the engraving workshop and really had a great time. The engraving is done on acetate, instead of copper,but it works very well. Its hard to describe how happy it was to be doing this, even if it was done left-handed with my right hand in a cast. After seeing great art it was really a joy, and it was totally unexpected. Here is my portrait of Meg, I think I will do some more work on it, breaking the lin between the cheek and mouth and changing some of the inking. I’ll add some cleaner highlights and lighten the lower lip, for the next printing

Engraving in acetate , done at Rembrant's house in Amsterdam

Engraving in acetate , done at Rembrandt’s house in Amsterdam

Here is Meg’s portrait of me.

Meg's Portrait of Bruce

Meg’s Portrait of Bruce

Time and Age

•September 28, 2014 • 1 Comment

Here is a 20 minute drawing of Tram, a newly 90 year old model at Spring Studio. He is a real pro and his dedication and skill at modelling always makes for good images. Its done with my left hand as I broke a metatarsal in my right hand while taking a train to Amsterdam. A short trip celebrating me quitting my job so I can spend more time making art.Tram at 90

Claudia and Ika

•July 4, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Here’s 2 quick drawings of Claudia with Ika joining in. I was thinking about the distortions foreshorten brings, and the varying kinds of pictorial perspective. Ika loves to check out models and to pose with them. She prefers to be in front of the model, but sometimes a wet nose can be startling. Claudia blogs at Museworthy on art topics and the life of a model.
Claudia recliningfet first

Claudia, sideways with Ika

 
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