Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The sawtooth technique

Years ago I made this linocut and I liked the way that I had been able to define form without using lines but just sharp sawtoothed shapes of various sizes. 

Original "sawtooth" Linocut
A few years later I tried another sawtoothed linocut this time sketching out my rough on paper, scanning that and making a more exact sketch with straight lines and pointy bits in illustrator.

vector sketch for linocut

I also made a painting of gigantic early horror actor Rhondo Hatton from a photo I have since found out this photo is quite famous and often copied. In the painting I used the sawtoothed technique and limited the palette to 3-4 tones. I was thinking about making some stencil art based on it.

Rondo acrylic painting

This week I have been revisiting the painting and made it into a vector portrait. I liked that the vectors let me fool around a bit more with exact line and shape placement and the colours. Also the lines are so much sharper and pointier than in the painting. 

Rondo vector

After that I was looking for another portrait to do and found that Life magazine has just uncovered a very early photo session with a young Marilyn Monroe.  I picked a photo from that and cropped and treated it.

I brought the treated photo into illustrator and tried doing a straight image trace but that was overall too busy and complex So I had to smooth it out and simplify it a lot and then it did give me a few ideas in how to simplify my photoshop version.

Here is the first version which I drew in photoshop, it looked a bit weird and psycho.  I brought it into illustrator and reworked it a lot to tone down the eyes and simplify the face. It didn't end up with that many sawtoothed shapes but I think it it came out allright. 


I am looking to make more of these sort of portraits. They are quite graphic and would make good posters or screen prints. Once the basic shapes are there you can tweak them for hours, adding, deleting, changing colours... it's fun.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Limited palette

Here is a little drawing (from the Sartorialist sketches previously blogged) I worked up into a limited palette painting. I was trying to keep the number of colours to one and reduce the tones right down, but not lose any definition. It was fun and a bit tricky because you had to really pare down the elements.

Happy Easter.