Saturday, 26 April 2014

Hoof Scratches on Recycled Plastic - Printmaking

Sometimes the most interesting dry point plate has to be found rather than made.

I've been working with plates that describe movement for my printmaking unit this semester. Figurative representations of movement are something that I produced a few years ago, so I'm looking to try something new and show movement through a memory. Put simply, I want to study marks made in consequence of movement. 

The plate above was once a forklift slip (a piece of polyethelene that sits on forklift forks to prevent cargo damage) that was scratched before I rode my horse over it. The proofs and ghost prints were pulled on A1 black Magnani paper with white ink and white BFK with black ink. 

The Drawings of Ricardo Actus

Thursday, 24 April 2014

RHP: Colour Experiments 02

After the first round of The Running Horses (RHP) colour experiments, I had decided to concentrate on altering the negative space of the illustrations to make them more appealing to a conservative audience. Using purple, I began experimenting with how I could manipulate my drawings without distracting from their original aesthetic too much using inversions and more colour overlays. 

Above is the original drawn monoprint, pulled by hand on A2 Canson paper. This seemed to be a suitable test subject, since the picture discusses distance and depth.

To trial one extreme, I inverted the positive and negative space in my drawing. It was an interesting effect, especially when little splashes of orange were added.  I personally despise this version, though. The aesthetic of the white and dark purple hurts my eyes due to my heightened light sensitivity and the orange patch appears too much like one of my distasteful aura headaches. I see enough chronic, random patches of colour in my vision daily without having to stare at it through an entire book. 

It is safe to say that this idea was scrapped very quickly. 

I coloured the background and far horse purple but retained the white. The picture was still flat, like the original, so I tried adding yellow to the positive space but it hurt my eyes. This idea was swiftly scrapped too.

With the help of some advisors, I decided to change the background colour to purple but kept some black in the details of my drawings. If I wanted to bring attention to a particular area, it remained black. If I wanted an area to meld into the background, it was changed to purple. 

The first round of The Running Horses colour experiments can be found here: 

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

RHP: Colour Experiments 01

When I made the decision to develop RHP for printing as a text, one of the most significant points of feedback concerned the lack of colour in the book's potential design. The original monoprints are black and white, so the general opinion was that this could deter book purchases, especially with parents and children. That could be a problem since my primary source of income is touring and speaking at schools. 

After some consideration, I decided to try adding colour to the scanned monoprints in Photoshop CS6. This post will concern the initial experiments. 

Above is the initial illustration as it was printed (or pulled) by hand through a press at my university studio. It is an A1 monoprint on BFK paper. 

The first digital experiment was basic. Colour was introduced by painting in red directly over the black background. 

I changed some of the negative space from black to purple and quite liked it. This was a look that didn't distract the eye too much from the drawing but wasn't as heavy as the black. I also think that black and purple unify well. 

The third test looked at overlaying a colour vignette around the figure. At this point I decided that in needed to avoid large blocks of yellow, orange or green because they look, for lack of a better word, icky next to black.

As a last ditch effort, I tried overlaying the positive part of the drawing with colour. I don't think this worked since black remained prevalent. In the end, I decided to expand on using purple and negative space overlays. 

The second round of colour experiments for The Running Horses can be found here: