Tracing strategy upgrade?

(final update 10/16/19)

Ever since creating what was really the first artwork I had done in 12+ years (first image below), which was created from a different drawing using carbon paper, tracing paper, a scanner, computer software, and a final layer of acetate, I’ve been wanting to replicate the aesthetic of the piece (with the dark grid that should create “snap” offset from the edges of the cubes) in a series in which each piece will have unique mark-making.

I still haven’t mentally unpacked the content of tracing and repeating/layering but in an analog fashion. At least, any more deeply than accepting this work as a fascination with certain materials I encountered in design school as well as a romanticized notion of analog creativity. I also don’t think tracing has to be anything more complicated than a proxy for printing.


Layers, continued

This piece is a continuation of an earlier project. As I’ve completed work with layers of tracing paper and acetate, I found myself wanting to take a look at creating more physical separation between layers. The thickness of a sheet of foam board creates a fair amount (not quite 1/4″). I also used strips of illustration board “glued” down with acrylic gel medium as well, since I planned to mount the piece in a shadow box with plexiglass top “sheet”, so the separators would be hidden by a “matte” layer that was really just Bristol paper (the “sandwiching” of the frame holds it in place). I also added a layer that the original piece did not have, by tracing one acetate layer and transferring that, via carbon paper, to Bristol paper- I really like the indigo blue color that the carbon paper creates. Other than that, this project was mostly only separating the layers from the previous iteration.



Fun with acetate and markers

I hope it doesn’t denigrate to call this fun… but what else should you call this sort of bourgeoise escapism?

I have taken to starting most drawings (all on bristol “board” recently) with a red drafter’s pencil. This one actually started with a red prisma color. I keep scraps of paper and acetate to use for smaller studies for different applications, and I will sometimes lift up one layer and work “backwards”. There are two layers of acetate on this piece, with felt-tip pen, sharpie, and artist crayon on those layers.

There are lots of reasons to work on paper- it’s a quick way to keep chops up, but it can also generate quality work that also won’t be as spendy for patrons as a large painting. Planning to work mostly on paper until the studio is up and running, so look for more!

Layering pastels with tracing paper

A heavy snow day (for NC) recently afforded me the opportunity to take a drawing from start to finish. Getting through the last template for my silk screening project freed up both time and space for this drawing I’ve been wanting to make since I loaded up on bristol board and acetate recently (the latter shipped with layers of tracing paper that I found to highly translucent).

First, I taped down and gesso’ed the illustration paper to get a slight texture. After drawing the grid, I taped down two layers of tracing paper and proceeded to work back and forth between the sheets to arrive at the order in which to apply colors to arrive at a painterly quality when these layers were combined. I finished this piece with a layer of acetate onto which I traced the grid structure in felt-tipped Sharpie, and then slightly offset.



Prepping for screen printing

I will do an update post once we get to printing… So! I’ve had an interest in finding ways to capture a composition and use the process of copying it to create even more works, both as a strategy to create layers of media for a drawing through the process of drawing itself, and also/primarily out of a desire to make more, lower cost images for sale through non-gallery channels. Then I found out my neighbor has a set-up for doing runs of screens and I decided it was time to take this interest to the next level. I’ve never done any print-making and I am very psyched to see what results we get.

I first created a drawing on paper, and added some shading to begin fleshing out the dimensional quality of the cubes/space. I then began created the actual “negatives” which we will expose to create each screen by setting registration marks, taping down a layer of acetate over the drawing, and tracing the color for each screen

My interest in making some serigraphs (screen prints) specifically goes back a while- Albers was an early fav of mine, although it was only after undergrad that I seriously studied his work on color (I also made a series of paintings when I lived in Houston that I put in a show called “Blips” that were open nods to Albers and Richard Anuszkiewicz).



Screen prints by others that I like with captions…

albersJosef Albers. Homage to the Square. 1962


Richard Anuszkiewicz. Rosafield. 1962


Frank Stella. A Squeeze of the Hand. 1988

Draw, trace, repeat

This piece was a fun hybrid- not really print-making but as much akin to it as drawing. The net result is a single piece that is four variations of the same grid.

The initial drawing was done on graph paper (which I let show through, and became the drawing in the upper right), using a red pencil, an illustration or drafting strategy. This grid was then traced in pencil with sufficient pressure to leave an indentation of the grid into a heavy, water color paper. During this tracing step, I also inserted a sheet of tracing paper below the graph paper, and a sheet of carbon paper over that. The end result was three layers of the same grid; once I painted the water color paper, I off-set the tracing paper, then added a third layer of acetate which I also drew on (this became the top left drawing). I then added a layer of acetate to the original drawing, and drew on that with marker, scanned these layers as a whole, then finished the drawing with some crayon.

Next, I manipulated the scan and printed it, also on graph paper. This time, I traced over the grid in the print onto tracing paper, with a sheet of carbon paper under the print and a sheet of the water color paper under that. I then did some additional coloring of the print, which also transferred to the heavy paper. This became the bottom left drawing. I then manipulated the scan a final time, printed that layer onto ink jet transparency paper, laid this over the water color paper onto which I had transferred the grid using carbon paper, then layered on more acetate and drawing, finally reversing these last two layers to arrive at the drawing in the lower right.





Fun with layers

I’ve really enjoyed working with some of the effects I can get by layering tracing paper and acetate layers. Similar to other work I’ve done, in this piece I used the process of tracing an initial composition to create additional layers. What I did differently with this one was create layers of matte board to separate them physically.