I created this by doing a very quick sketch in my sketchbook. The sketch is scanned and then colored in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro. The colors were a tad too intense so I opened the file in iPhoto and muted the colors.
This is basically a brainstorming exercise to see how many different ways I can draw a Stimulator.
I finally got a chance to play around with color schemes this morning using my Autodesk Sketch software. I have mixed feelings about using the computer to do this. I find it a lot easier to manipulate color using watercolor than with this software. And, if I’m creating “handmade” goods, does too much computer use “taint” a handmade piece? Yesterday I got a chance to see the “Storybook Stars” exhibition at the Toledo Museum of Art. Illustrators from the past 50 years were represented. Many of them continue to use tracing paper, charcoal, pen/ink, watercolor and gauche. They are true masters of illustration. But, there are many masters of digital illustration as well. I know a few of them personally. To answer my own question, I don’t think computers “taint” or should even be associated in a negative way. What’s more important is the freedom of the artist. I don’t think I should be constrained by my feelings. I love making things by hand, but I shouldn’t be afraid to hop the fence to sample what’s on the other side.
I’m still tweaking this but it’s close. I decided to go more deco than detail on this one. To get this far I used a combination of tricks. The original sketch was very loosely drawn in my sketchbook. In order to get the top radius just right I drew that with my CAD software. I also did the lily pad ellipse in CAD. Then I sketched in the flower and the base. I placed vellum over that and redrew the entire image, except I enlarged the fly and added double lines. In order to get an exact mirror image of the fly I folded over the vellum and traced the reverse image of the fly on the right. I put the circle in last and noticed it’s not symmetrical. So that’s what I’m fixing tomorrow. Then I’ll scan the image and open it with Autodesk Sketch to play with some color schemes. My goal is to complete this sketch by Friday so I can start cutting this weekend. I’ll be using carbon paper to transfer this image to my block.
The Blue Damselfly is one of my favorite nymph patterns when fishing Devils Lake. I don’t know who invented the nymph pattern in this sketch, but it’s the one I use to take Crappies one after another in the Spring.
Process: Made a few sketches on my lunch break. Scanned them. Emailed them home. Get home from work. Open a bottle of Pentamere Wine called Fireside. Pour myself a glass. Hop on the computer while dinner is cooking. Open the scanned jpg image in Autodesk Sketch. Add color. Save. Upload to blog.
I sketched out a few ants on my lunch break today. A black ant is easy to draw, but printing a black ant may not be so easy. I think the easiest way is to make a simplified two dimensional rendition similar to my “Caja de Mosca” print. But, that’s not what I had in mind for this fly. I’m going to attempt some techniques that I rarely use. It’s Dremel tool time! You gotta love using power tools to make art.
K and I purchased a new Canon Powershot SD1200 IS the other day. I thought I would experiment with it a little bit this morning by creating a photo reference for my Pheasant Tail woodblock print. So I pulled out a Pheasant Tail from my fly tying box and picked out a Pheasant Tail nymph out of my flybox and shot this simple composition. I positioned the fly by sticking the hook into the shaft of the feather. I don’t think I can take credit for the fly because I’m not sure if I tied this one or not? I may have purchased it from Gates AuSable Lodge in Grayling, MI or from the Little River Outfitters in Townsend, TN. Those are the only two places I purchase flies if I don’t tie them myself.
You may be wondering how I’m going to use the photo for the woodblock? There are several ways to transfer an image like this to a block of wood. Using carbon paper for example is a popular method. I have used it in the past but I wont need it for this. This image is pretty straight forward. And, I prefer to sketch directly on the block for most of the prints I make anyway. This photo simply creates a blueprint for the direction of my cuts. And, that’s about all I’ll use it for, besides using it here.
Ok, I gave myself 12 days to make a Pheasant Tail woodcut. I started this “Dirty Dozen” project on January 2nd. That means I have 6 more days left. I have about 3 or 4 pages of doodles. I decided I better pick a doodle and start cutting by tomorrow. This is the doodle I chose (right). It’s basically a Pheasant Tail Nymph on a Pheasant Tail feather. I know…not very creative, BUT I’m going with it. I’ve got a deadline to meet. AND honestly….we’re getting our first good snow of the year now and I’m dying to get out to do some cross-country skiing. AND…I also thought about going ice fishing this weekend…ha! Soooo, this is it. It shouldnt take long to cut on a 4×6 piece of shina plywood. I should be able to print this with no problems in the next 6 days…..unless the Pike are really active…and then all bets are off.