Time to get back into the swing of things, and IPEP drawing.

Dear reader, I feel that I owe you an explanation. This blog has been neglected... for that I am sorry. The flood in August 2016 hit my home and studio right after I completed my MFA and most of my work was lost. It has taken about a year to get back on track, and rebuild the studio. Now it's up an running and I will post process images/explanations more frequently! Here's some things I've been working on.

This is Blackberry Kitty. The story behind this illustration comes from my childhood. When I was young, I used to go on foraging expeditions in the woods near my house. At the time I had a litter of kittens that would follow me around like the pied piper. They'd all come with me, catching worms and guarding me against monsters along the way. This drawing was entered into an international call to artists based out of India, for a portfolio exchange put together by the International Print Exchange Program. This year's theme is "Homeland". My drawing was selected for participation, so now I get to work on turning it into a print!

 The final drawing, that will become the print.

The final drawing, that will become the print.

 Seen here, left to right: Initial concept sketches, 2nd round sketches, and final drawing with linoleum block. Ready for drawing transfer! The darker version of the drawing seen here is a photocopy, done with a toner printer. This is important. Ink-jet printers are harder to do a transfer with. The toner can be applied to the linoleum by turning the image on it's face and coloring over the back with an alcohol based marker. The toner will loosen from the paper, and stick to the linoleum. It will also be a mirror image of your original image, which helps a lot when you're making a print with lettering. Relief prints will be a mirror image of what's drawn on the block, so by doing a transfer this way, your drawing will look like you originally drew it in the end.        

Seen here, left to right: Initial concept sketches, 2nd round sketches, and final drawing with linoleum block. Ready for drawing transfer! The darker version of the drawing seen here is a photocopy, done with a toner printer. This is important. Ink-jet printers are harder to do a transfer with. The toner can be applied to the linoleum by turning the image on it's face and coloring over the back with an alcohol based marker. The toner will loosen from the paper, and stick to the linoleum. It will also be a mirror image of your original image, which helps a lot when you're making a print with lettering. Relief prints will be a mirror image of what's drawn on the block, so by doing a transfer this way, your drawing will look like you originally drew it in the end.  

 

 

 Here, I am making tabs for my pin registration. The carved block will sit in a jig that I made, the pins will also sit on that same jig, taped down so nothing can wiggle. The tabs here will go onto the back of the paper, so that it will lay in the same place with each layer printed. 

Here, I am making tabs for my pin registration. The carved block will sit in a jig that I made, the pins will also sit on that same jig, taped down so nothing can wiggle. The tabs here will go onto the back of the paper, so that it will lay in the same place with each layer printed. 

 Tabs and pins. 

Tabs and pins. 

 This first layer will be the white of the flowers (Carved away so no ink will touch it) and the light tone of the hand (The ink color) The next layer will be a light gray which will double as the hand shadow, and the lightest tone on the kitty. The idea here is to work from light to dark, and transparent to opaque. 

This first layer will be the white of the flowers (Carved away so no ink will touch it) and the light tone of the hand (The ink color) The next layer will be a light gray which will double as the hand shadow, and the lightest tone on the kitty. The idea here is to work from light to dark, and transparent to opaque. 

 On the top of this image you can see the make-shift drying situation I rigged with yarn, binder clips, and some L brackets we had left over from construction. At the bottom you can see the carved block in it's jig, the barren, and of course Futurama on to keep me company. 

On the top of this image you can see the make-shift drying situation I rigged with yarn, binder clips, and some L brackets we had left over from construction. At the bottom you can see the carved block in it's jig, the barren, and of course Futurama on to keep me company. 

 Layer 1 done. About 8 to go. Seen here is the full edition of 53. I hope to get about 45 out of it. Left a little wiggle room for mis-prints.   

Layer 1 done. About 8 to go. Seen here is the full edition of 53. I hope to get about 45 out of it. Left a little wiggle room for mis-prints.

 

 Layer 2 has been carved out, and will reveal the shadow on the hand. 

Layer 2 has been carved out, and will reveal the shadow on the hand. 

 Printing for layer 3 is light green, and it reveals the hand shape. Husband in the picture as a bonus. 

Printing for layer 3 is light green, and it reveals the hand shape. Husband in the picture as a bonus. 

 Layer 3 is done, so this is layer 4. It will be the leaf shadow color, and it will reveal the light green leaf color.

Layer 3 is done, so this is layer 4. It will be the leaf shadow color, and it will reveal the light green leaf color.

 AND here's what that looks like. Next I carve away the rest of the leaves, and print the light color on the berries. 

AND here's what that looks like. Next I carve away the rest of the leaves, and print the light color on the berries. 

 At this point I decided to make the berries only the one color, since they already have highlights, and they will have an outline. No need to do 2 tones. It would just be extra work, for very little difference in the actual print. 

At this point I decided to make the berries only the one color, since they already have highlights, and they will have an outline. No need to do 2 tones. It would just be extra work, for very little difference in the actual print. 

 This layer made me nervous! I knew going into it that the values were going to look all crazy for a minute. I needed to get the light gray of the kitty down so that she can start to take shape, but in order to do that I have to fill the whole block with that color. Stick with me here, it gets better! Below is a process video as a little langiappe for you. 

This layer made me nervous! I knew going into it that the values were going to look all crazy for a minute. I needed to get the light gray of the kitty down so that she can start to take shape, but in order to do that I have to fill the whole block with that color. Stick with me here, it gets better! Below is a process video as a little langiappe for you. 

 Ok, we're getting back in line here. Kitty is starting to take shape, and all that's left is the black layer! 

Ok, we're getting back in line here. Kitty is starting to take shape, and all that's left is the black layer! 

 Hard to see here, but this is the final layer. This layer is black, and it holds the image together by outlining everything, and filling in the background spaces. 

Hard to see here, but this is the final layer. This layer is black, and it holds the image together by outlining everything, and filling in the background spaces. 

 8 layers of the oil based ink sit on top of the paper. They will sink in a little, but the build up is part of the appeal. 

8 layers of the oil based ink sit on top of the paper. They will sink in a little, but the build up is part of the appeal. 

 The final image!

The final image!

 A bonus signature on one of the prints from my kitty. She wanted to be involved.

A bonus signature on one of the prints from my kitty. She wanted to be involved.