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Sunday, June 10, 2012

Back to Drawing

After a hiatus, I like to start drawing again to clear my mind. Usually it starts with pen on paper. And eventually it finishes with a tablet and stylus in Painter.

I have been on a big project with lots of details recently, and hence the lack of posts. I must apologize, but sometimes work does call!

And when drawing comes back, like when music comes back, there is a lightning bolt moment of realization, like I have been swimming in a deep sea and I finally washed up on dry land: that drawing is a golden touchstone of my existence and how could I ever live without it for so long? The end of dark days and the start of a golden age, a renaissance of expression.

There is something ineffable to this moment. So I have attempted to create a smart banner to show my inner joy. This is the first piece I did after joining the living again at the end of the long dark tunnel.

In this work, like so many others I have done recently, I am attempting to create clean lines. Lines in search of a woodcut or linoleum cut look. Lines sculpted and individually shaped. But still irregular and hand-made. I can't see the value of perfection in this kind of work, like someone used illustrator to create the design.

If I used Illustrator to do this, I would have to continually play with the result because it would look too regular. Perfection still has a hand-made look, to me.

The second piece I created in celebration of having time to solve the Rubik's cube again, which I find to be another touchstone of my inner self, is this one.

In this piece, each line is once again sculpted. Drawn and re-drawn. Tapered, carved from left and right.

I created this by setting up a clone and drawing using crude, fat lines wherever I saw an edge I wanted to keep. This produced a very dumb-looking drawing in black lines on a white page. being unsatisfied with the look, I began to sculpt the lines to create a look that simulates using a ductal carving implement in soft linoleum. It took hours and hours before I had a piece that was worthy of coloring. It was in black-and-white and actually made a pretty nice drawing in and of itself.

Then I colored the cube. But I switched around the colors, which were originally yellow on top, green to left, and orange to right.

To shade the hand, I created a layer of the original picture and set it to gel, pasted it on top of the image, and carved away all the other parts of the image using the eraser.

Then I processed the remaining image, with locked transparency, using Just Add Water to create a smooth shaded version of the image. Because it was a gel layer, it preserved the black lines underneath it. I think I lowered the opacity as well, to give it an ethereal look and also to favor the lines.

I also started using a chop mark, which also smacks of a woodcut. I imagined the woodblock coated with orange and red paint to give it more of a hand-work look.

The original piece is almost three thousand pixels high, by the way, since it comes from an iPhone 4S frame grab.

Siri, where did I put my tablet?

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