Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Today was definitely a day for experimentation. I used a completely different kind of paper - I don't know the name of it because I bought it years ago from Paper-Ya, but it looks kind of like someone put bark mulch through a grinder & turned it into paper. I also used a different kind of registration system (thanks to Andrew Gott!):

Dave epoxied a three-hole-punch made for binders onto a nice heavy piece of Plexiglas for me. I set up the cardboard right-angle to nestle the block up against to have consistent block registration. The paper registration comes from punching the paper into the hole-punch. Theoretically, anyway. Unfortunately, it didn't work so well with this super-thin paper - by the end of the 5 colour run, I had more ellipses than circles for holes.. The registration kept slipping. But I did end up with better overall results in the registration department than if I had used my more traditional registration setup.

Finally, I was more "organic" in the development of the piece. Normally, I use photographs and work very strictly from them. This time, I just did a quick sketch from a reference photo, and then went to work on the block. So most of the image was developed on the block itself, rather than in a drawing before hand. As a result, I have quite a few trial proofs, whereas usually I'll only get one or two.

I suppose also, this is a bit of a change from me in subject matter. I usually just do stuff, or objects, or animals, whatever, just because they interest me. I had an idea when I started to look at the reference photo (which other than having a coyote in it, doesn't look like this at all), and the expression on the coyote's face really struck me. So the theme of this piece is a bit of "ambiguity". The title is "Guilty" - and although it's not really clear from the end result, the coyote is trotting through a garbage dump. So why "Guilty"? That's up to you to decide!

The dimensions of the piece are approximately 3.75"x3.75", and of course, done in Speedball water soluble ink (no, I haven't got any other inks yet!!). Oh, yeah, and another experiment (although not accomplished yet) will be to somehow mount these flimsy pieces of paper onto something more substantial (e.g. the Rising Stonehenge paper that I've used before). Given that Speedball stays "active" as it were (i.e. when it dries, it is NOT waterproof), using traditional paste will be somewhat of a challenge. I'll give it a go on the crappy alignment ones first to see how that works.

So, here's the process:

First state - layer of slightly warmed very light grey as a foundation layer, but still some paper showing through (very hard to see in this photo).

Guilty - First State
Originally uploaded by Amie Roman

Second state - layer of yellow, with some of first layer showing through.

Guilty - Second State
Originally uploaded by Amie Roman

Third state - layer of darker grey.

Guilty - Third State
Originally uploaded by Amie Roman

Fourth state - layer of dark rust.

Guilty - Fourth State
Originally uploaded by Amie Roman

Final state - actually two colours; background has a dark olive/army green, foreground has very dark chocolate brown. Tricky brayering is how that happened!

Guilty - Final State
Originally uploaded by Amie Roman

It's hard to tell from the photo, but there is actually a different colour in the background, and it makes a lot of difference compositionally. In this photo the final colour on the coyote and the background final colour look the same, which results in less distinction between the coyote and the background. In real life, there is a difference, and therefore the coyote stands out better. I suspect it's from twiddling with the exposure with software that did it, as I took the photo under incandescent bulbs, no flash, at night. I'll try scanning when it's dry to see if it makes any difference.

No comments: