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

Standing Figure

•July 4, 2014 • Leave a Comment

I was reading a Times article about the work of Dafroza Gauthier and her husband Alain to bring Rwandan genocide suspects to justice and there was a picture of Dafroza that really struck me as an elegant beautiful person, and this is is the result of the inspiration.From a picture in the NY Tines
Its papier-mâché, finished to appear to be bronze, about 3’6″ tall.

Return to Drawing

•May 11, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Back to drawing in my studio, with Kuan. Foreshortening and different angles were the order of the day. 10 minute poses.

P1060264_5_6

Kuan -Right Leg

Seasonal Art and Quick Drawings

•March 30, 2014 • Leave a Comment

We went up to the Met to see ‘The Passions of Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux’ , Ugolino and His Sons is one pieces in the permanent collection, and it was really wonderful to see the development through maquettes. His painting are also eye-opening, as is most of the exhibition. While we were there, we went over to the Japanese section where they are showing seasonal paintings. Here is my favorite, by Tani Bunchō. He painted it 7 days after seeing the scene on the night of mid-autumn of 1817.

Grasses and Moon-1870 by Tani Buncho

Here are some quick poses I did during March, that while not masterpieces, were striking in the dynamics of the poses the models took.

1 minute poses by Whitney

whitney 1 minute poses

Two minute pose by Boris, he was using a pole but it looks like he is swimming. An incredibly hard pose, even for 2 minutes!

boris_1min_swimming

and finally a 5 minute pose that reminded me of Tiepolo

Boris_as_Tiepolo

 
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