Sunday, May 3, 2009

All These Things That I've Done

Ok, lessee if I can make a longer post than last time! I have fun, adventurous things to speak of!

First off, I'll fulfill the prophecy foretold in my last blog post: updates on PRINTMAKING!!!!

Currently, we are working on etchings. To the left here is the amazing Renaissance etching Knight, Death, and the Devil by Albrecht Durer. Of course, our professor wasn't expecting us to do anything as intricate as this one.

Initially, I had no idea what to do for this project. There are so many options! Because of the nature of the medium, you can be as fine or loose as you want with the lines. Compare the above etching to this series by Picasso:
Pretty big difference, yeah?

So for inspiration, I was reading this awesome dark fantasy manga called Berserk. The artist, Kentaro Miura, has ridiculous skillz and uses a lot of techniques that would seem to translate well into etchings. In the end, I went with this:
Here, you have a swordsman standing in front of a castle with a solemn look on his face. Pretty simple, right? I feel kinda bad because the cape and the sword is pretty much ripped off of Berserk's main character, Gatts.....But capes and swords are totally badass, so I couldn't not have both of them.

The process of etching is covered pretty well by Wikipedia here. It's a pretty straightforward, but time-consuming undertaking. Here is how my etching plate came out:

I had to transfer the original image on backwards so that it would come out facing the right way (although it probably wouldn't matter since I don't have any words). Shiny, ain't it? This is a zinc plate. You can also use copper, steel, or even plexiglass. The problem with plexiglass is that it'll wear down a lot faster than the others, so you can only run a few prints before they start losing quality.

Anyway, here is a pretty crappy image of the end result:
Not bad, I suppose. The print is in a display case, so my reflection is showing a little bit. I was a bit disappointed in the face. The eyes are completely different and now it looks too anime-ish. Well, it was pretty anime-ish to begin with, but the facial expression is still really different. Luckily, you can still add to the etching after dipping the plate into the acid bath.

So, expect a better picture later on and maybe some touch ups.

And now for some more GanPen prints!

Sorry for the bad pics. Bloody display cases.....Why are my prints so good?
Anyway, this here is an embossing. The idea is to run a print with thick, damp paper and no ink on the matrix at extremely high pressure. The end result is an impression of the raised parts of your matrix that looks really cool under certain lights. It works a lot better with a wood matrix...mine was linoleum. After the paper dried, I took a can of spray paint and painted at an angle to hit certain raised parts and to bring out some really cool shadow effects. Pretty cool, no?
And this is a simple print over a pastel colored background. The linoleum block slid around a bit, so there is a bit of image ghosting, but I think it came out pretty well.

With only 2 weeks left of school, I don't see us doing anything else other than printing more etchings. This is all I really want to do, anyway!


Now for random stuff in my life! Today, I went on an adventure to the Brooklyn Botanical Garden's Sakura Matsuri with friend Julie. Unfortunately, it was raining, but it was still lots of fun. Despite going to Japan a few years ago, I'd never seen a Cherry Blossom tree until today. Here are some pictures of flowery things!

Mysterious grape flowers!Koi pond!

Closeup of Cherry Blossoms!
Part of the Path of Cherry Blossoms!

Like I said, it was really fun to see. There were a lot of Japanese cultural events, but we both had a lot of work to do so we couldn't stay for very long. If only it were a sunny, windy day so that the petals would fly around and look super-pretty like they do in anime...

That about sums it up! Dunno when the next update will be, or what it will be about, so keep posted!

While everyone's lost, the battle is won
With all these things that I've done.



Rikki said...

I believe those "mysterious grape flowers" are called lilacs...

KawaiiBakadesu88 said...

Good call.

Seems like yer right!

Claudio Cerri said...

I like your blog! See you soon!