Friday, February 19, 2010

Sketch for today.

Tiny forest creature. Scanned pencil sketch; color in Photoshop; about an hour. I finally caught my husband's cold and sore throat today, so not much happened in the way of carving on the new "good dog!" block print.  Just noodling around in the sketchbook, reading, and generally feeling unproductive.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

New, small plate.

 I'm having trouble nailing down the final sketch for another 6"x9" copper plate, so I made myself just sketch directly into the ground on a prepared 3"x5" for an hour or so. No preliminary pencil drawing or plan; just grab the stylus and draw. The result is this little plate below I call "Remember!"

Unfortunately, her left hand is totally and completely WRONG. Gah!! And not just a tiny bit; that's what I get for trying to draw mirror-imaged when I already can't draw hands to save my life without some sort of model or reference. Then, in an object lesson on going too far, I heavied up some of the other lines too much after trying to correct the hand problem — which didn't work to pull her away from the background. Result: State #1 was a more satisfying and delicate sketch than State #2. Now, I'll need to do further burnishing on the hand to fix it and knock back the heavier lines I added to her waist and chest and in her hair. I'll have it ready to put it back in the etching tank for Friday morning; I won't spend a lot more time on this, but if I can salvage it, I will.

State #1, February 12th, right out of the tank. (These are both fairly rushed wipes, to finish by the end of the print session; I can see all the thumbprints and rough edges.

State #2, an half-hour later; after going too far, and yet — not far enough:

Fortunately, one of the beautiful things about working with copper, as opposed to plexi, zinc and other etching materials, is that it's so malleable and forgiving. Another thing though: scans of etchings on heavy paper look FAR more wavy than they do in a photo or just sitting on a table. The glass bed of the scanner tends to highlight the raised areas of the emboss and make the overall color less even and blotchy. Shows every flaw in the wipe-off. I place books and other heavy objects to try to flatten the prints down, to no avail.