Friday, November 30, 2012


Have you ever made a monoprint? They are easy to do and an interesting exercise in drawing.

What you need is an absorbent paper, a pencil, ink and a glass surface.

Brayer out the ink on the glass to a consistent coating. Slightly dampen the paper and lay it over the ink surface making sure there aren't any air bubbles, but do not rub the paper. Tricky, but easy to get the hang thereof.

For these drawings, I used some printing ink from the tail-end of a tube that was going to be thrown out after an art class.  (We will discuss art hoarding at another time. )

After you get the ink-glass-paper setup, begin drawing free hand to the paper surface. Press firmly to make sure the pencil strokes will transfer to the underside of the paper. Light rubbing is now permitted if you think it will add anything to the picture. You will know how this will work after you've done a few drawings.

When you are finished, carefully peel the paper off the ink ground.

Here's two drawings I made from some left-over newsprint, left-over ink and a piece of picture frame glass. (Now I wish I had used better paper, but there it is.)

This drawing shows some light rubbing.

The resultant art work has a very distinctive look and will come out reversed-image. Which may be a surprise to you and may make you correct some drawing idiosyncrasies you may have and didn't know about until then.

This drawing was done years before I lived in Bahrain and actually saw scenes like this. Sights like this was very common and would not depict people who were destitute or empoverished. It could very well be village women in town with items to sell.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Graphics Design - Logos

Well, I've been rather busy. 

We are in our winter location and I've been working on designing the new logo for a Wiki page for CLAYART.   

CLAYART is a worldwide clay artist's and a clay associated discussion email group that has been active for over 15 years. It began as an idea during a yearly National Conference for Education in the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) convention. I will explain NCECA and CLAYART further in future posts. But sufice it to say the internet email part of CLAYART is undergoing big changes at the moment. 

One of the new changes was the creation of a wiki page. My part was to design a tiny, easily-recognizable logo to mark the upper left-hand corner of the site. 

Being completely new to the designing of tiny wikis, I have been on an intense learning curve. 

I don't have sophisticated computer design software, but I have had an undergraduate series of courses in computer design which I took just because they were available to me. And I discovered that through Apple Pages, I can do a limited amount of black and white work. 

Warning:  Some Graphics Geekdom follows--

The catenary arch design was made by stretching a black circle into an oval, then overlaying it with a white oval, adding a thick horizontal line to connect the bottom of the arch and suggest the floor of a kiln. 

I blocked the bottom of the ovals with a lineless rectangle placed below the "bottom of the kiln" line and layered over the top (brought forward) of the oval shapes. That blocked the bottom sections of the ovals from view which is equal to erasing them. 

The teapot was made by manipulating black and white ovals. And the handle to the pot is made the same way by layering a white oval over a black one. 

The body of the pot is another black oval, with another white one imposed to suggest a lid. The lid knob is a standard shape available from the menu and layered over the black and white ovals (brought forward).

The whole design is on top of a black rectangle, which was sent to the back. This creates the top 3 borders of the logo.

The lettering at the bottom was lifted from a tiny graphic I had squirreled away and used on this blog some years ago. 

This is fine for a tiny wiki, but when I wanted to enlarge it to a huge file for use in other ways, that's where the trouble began. All the enlargements resulted in shaggy, pixelated lettering. 

I finally ran the whole thing out of my printer at page-size and, using a fine marking pen, smoothed up the letters one by one. Like, taking-off-your-glasses, sticking-you-nose-to-the-page making-pixels-go-from-squares-to-smooth-edges smoothing. 

More later---

Written later than the above versions.  Sorry for all the changes after the initial posting. On re-reading the first ones, I realized I could write a clearer description of the geek graphics.

Monday, November 5, 2012


Wow, Am I busy!  Will have to take a short break for now.