Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A new (to me) type of hybrid: print + painted

I'm playing with a technique new to me:
  1. work on the computer with an available image, lock down subject and composition
  2. print the image on fabric
  3. paint over the print
It's analogous to middle-class pottery decoration in the 19th Century, when potteries used mass-produced decals for the primary pattern on a piece. Then, skilled artisans would 'touch' the decal with hand-painted details. The result was a product that was affordable, yet (in part) still wholly original.

I've figured a way to feed my own fabric through my injet printer by laminating the "canvas" to a carrier piece of paper. I then mount it -- right now, on foamboard, but soon, on matboard, the heavy, stiff cardboard used by frame shops.

After using a clear sealer, I then pick up my brushes and oil paints and...

... give myself some practice in brush handling and color mixing
... give customers a (kinda) original oil painting for much less than a wholly original work.

An example

Here's a screen shot of the example image, a photograph with a Creative Commons release from the photographer glasseyes on I was primarily attracted to the banding of sunlight and shadow.

Note that there's a planter with ornamental grasses between the two small trees; and there is no sky showing; and there is a potentially distracting highlighted large tree canopy at the upper left.

Here's the image as printed by inkjet. Colors are subdued because I am using plain fabric -- that is, not fabric that has been prepared for inkjet printing, with brighteners and other chemical layers.

Here's a first hybrid print + painting -- this one done by a bright brush. This type of brush terminates in a straight line. Note that I've added a sky, removed the grass planter, and simplified the woodsy background.

Here's a second hybrid, this one done with a filbert, a type of brush whose termination resembles a filbert nut -- rounded and flat. Here, a completely different sky - a range of hills in the far background - much different woodsy background.

The mauve bushes in the middle distance don't work (all they do is distract the eye), nor does the stark white on the tree trunks... I'll probably paint over these bits or just toss the thing.

A little more tweaking of this technique, a little more brush practice, and I'll be listing hybrids of this sort in my Etsy shop... meanwhile, any comments?

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