Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Image Transfer with Gesso

 Here is another type of image transfer I have been experimenting with. I begin with a black and white image reversed and printed out on my laser printer, this can be a photo or a line drawing scanned into the computer. I have brushed a generous layer of gesso on top of my 6x6" Ampersand Claybord and I lay my printed image face down on the gesso. I gently roll the back of the image with a (Speedball) breyer to adhere the paper to the gesso, evenly covering all edges and allow the gesso to dry overnight. For more in depth instructions, see Dana Brown's demo on the Ampersand Art website.

When the gesso is dry, I add a little water to the back of the paper and gently rub with my fingers. Layers of the paper will come off leaving the black and white image on the gessoed Claybord surface.  This process takes a while and you must be patient and remove the paper gently as to not remove the image itself. As you see in the photo, I work small parts of the image at a time and brush off the paper flakes with a soft brush.

 Here is my image with some texture from the gesso, it creates a unique surface in which to add color with colored pencils or watercolor pencils. The gesso alone is a bit slick and won't take colored pencil but the image itself will hold the waxy pencil.

These are my nine 6x6" cradled Claybord panels that will hang together as a series. The seaweed, the nautilus shell and the sea urchin are gesso transfers and the other six are image transfers with CitraSolv as explained in my last blog entry.

I like both of these methods as a quick alternative to detailed line drawings as a base for color. I will varnish these pieces and they will hang just as they are shown here.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Image Transfer with CitraSolv

 I'm working on a series of nine 6x6" ocean themed images to be hung together in a series. For the supports I am using Ampersand Claybord blocks (3/4" cradled). Instead of a drawing on each 6x6" piece, I am using image transfer with CitraSolv and a second image transfer process with gesso.
For this blog entry, I will talk about the CitraSolv image transfer. To begin, I cut a piece of white drawing paper to 6 1/2 " square to allow for extra on the edges, here I used Strathmore 300 series Bristol paper, vellum finish. I also like to use Stonehenge drawing paper by Legion Paper Company.

I take the computer black and white image which I resize to 6 1/4" square and reverse it in Photoshop and print it out on my laser jet printer (won't work with inkjet). This piece is a photograph from a scuba diving trip I took. The photo had a intricate background that I didn't want so I hand cut around the image with scissors. Next I lay my reversed image on my square of paper and tape it on one side so it won't slip. I put a little Citrasolv in a container and brush it onto my reversed image to transfer the ink onto the Bristol paper. Careful not to get the brush too wet so it creates a puddle on the paper. I lightly burnish the image with a bone folder (the off-white tool on the right of the picture) to transfer the ink evenly.

 Here is the reversed image on the paper carefully transferred with the CitraSolv.

 When I take off the laser copy, here is my image transferred onto the Bristol paper and I can work directly on top with colored pencil. I want to warn anyone who tries this method: the CitraSolv does have a strong odor and it takes about an hour or more after the image is transferred to go away. Also, depending on how much CitraSolv is used, it could leave some wet spots on the paper so I will wait an hour or more to begin laying colored pencil on top.

Here is my finished drawing, hand colored with colored pencils. A quick way to skip the drawing process under the colored pencil! Plus you have somewhat of a value study underneath to help with values.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Hide and Seek

I meant to take photos of this piece in progress but just kept working and now it's finished. I titled this drawing Hide and Seek because I felt stones were taking on a  life of their own by hiding behind others as I worked. I started by working from the left to right, stone by stone, shell by shell. I started by putting on the dark lines and markings of each stone's individual characteristics and letting one flow into the next. One big challenge was getting the shadows just right, in my photo they appeared much darker and overpowering (photos can do that). I used some Indigo, Black Grape, Dark Umber and Warm Gray 90%.

Creating the sand is also a challenge. Here are my scribbles on the side of the paper, these are all of the (Prismacolor) colors I used to make the sand and probably a few I didn't name.

I am also happy to announce that my piece Winter Glow received an honorable mention in CPSA's ArtSpectations Spring 2015 on line exhibit. Take a look at the link, there are some really nice colored pencil works for inspiration.