Thursday, April 30, 2009

Shades of Grey

So I found a bunch of drawings that I had misplaced and before I scanned them in I thought I would step out of my comfort zone and tattoo something with a fair amount of detail as well as try my hand at shading tonight. The design is a civil war era revolver, they are probably the coolest old pistols and the flash one I drew is amazing, but I didn't include all of the filigree in tonight's practice, maybe another day?

The first step was making my carbon copy stencil, I thought I would get some more practice with that because I am having such a hard time since I lack a good transfer paper. Since I used normal printer paper you have to make a lot of passes to get solid lines, and you can only use it on something flat like this.

Obviously that sucks, big time, I cleaned up a couple lines but since I had the picture next to me I know what it's supposed to look like so the lines were more like guides.

Next I did all of my outlines working right to left so I'm not smudging away the stencil. I was working with a 3 round and even when my hand is super steady and fluid the lines have a little wiggle to them still, less than they use to, but more than I really like. I also noticed when looking at the picture I have forgotten a few little details and put them in after the photo.

One thing I was thinking about is that the shading will hide some of the lines or blend into them so the lines on the interior were less of a problem if they weren't completely smooth, but the outer edge of the whole gun would be an issue so with the three round I made tiny circular motions over the existing outermost outlines to thicken it up and it helps make it pop a little too.

I didn't take enough photos of the shading process because I was just in the zone and getting tired which is a shame because I think that progression would have been nice to see. Basically I switched to my nine round and used a flick of the wrist from the needle being down to forward and out decreasing the pressure as it flicks away. The initial shading is lighter than I wanted to I continued to make passes over it and build them up until the were more like I wanted. In certain areas I make a thick black pass with no flicking motion to make the shadow deeper. I forgot that this tattoo skin doesn't take color well, but I tried to do a wooden handle, it's not bad, not great though.

Recapping the even I have to say I'm pretty proud of how this came out, it was the first time I tried shading and it turned out pretty good, a convincing gun metal finish for the most part. I'm not satisfied with it because there are shadows that need darkened, and it definitely needs the filigree so I think I will have to revisit it. I also have to get some better transfer paper or just because awesome at free handing everything onto people. When I have some extra money I really need to purchase some of the shading magnums because I think I'm going to get a much better and smoother gradation with them. Time to scan in some art, post it and the typography tomorrow, good night Forest Grove.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Something Citrus

So I finally got my ass back in gear and decided I should practice some more. I have been busy with work, prepping for hunting season, and remodeling the bathroom but needed to do some art and have been pissed at myself for watching television (Iron Chef, The Ultimate Fighter, Mythbusters, you know stuff that really matters).

Anyways I thought I would do my initials from the typography set that I just completed since I really like them. I will look at past blogs to see if I posted them, if not I will do it tomorrow. Since I'm lacking good transfer paper and suck I free handed the letters onto the grapefruit which wasn't so difficult in that I can't draw but my permanent markers kept drying up on me, there must have been a wax coating on the grapefruit, so that took longer than I was really planning.

I had an unexpected surprise working because one of my three machines went out, I used the chrome one that I thought was really chintzy and cheap looking. Even though it is heavier it turns out this thing kicks some major ass, love it in fact. I also need to send my other machine back and see if they will send me one that doesn't heat up to the point of burning my hand within 15 minutes.

First I outlined my shapes with a 9 round because the outlines are meant to be thicker, then I filled the solid black.

Then I changed my grip and needle to a 3 round and added the little diamond flourish insides the letters followed by adding the beveled edge. I really could decide if I wanted to stick to my type sets I made or not but decided to switch back to the 9 round and just started filling them with red, it looked better than I hoped but it still didn't quite feel finished so I added white pigment to the beveled edge to highlight it and make it stick out more.

I didn't use the photomerge in Photoshop so the letters don't exactly match up but they aren't different in size they all fit and flow like they should. I suppose the next thing I really need to start working on is nailing down this shading thing because flat filling ink is pretty easy.

Anyways since there is no beer or scotch in the house I'm going to have a healthy glass of water and ice my ankle, good night Forest Grove.