Tag: visual diary

BLOTTING PAPER The Comic: Production Report No.21

Art, Blotting Paper, Comics March 21, 2013

Continuing the series of regular reports documenting the production process of the first and second issues of my artist book/comic Blotting Paper: The Recollected Graphical Impressions Of Doctor Comics, Chapter 1: The Ingurgitator and Chapter 2: A Blot On His Escutcheon, this post describes more aspects of the use of printmaking in the image-making process, this time in the creation of landscapes of subconscious terrain.

Dark glade-first impression. (Monoprint-© 2008 Michael Hill)

Dark glade-first impression. (Monoprint-© 2008 Michael Hill)

As documented in an earlier production report Doctor Comics finds himself in a heavenly yet shadowy and vaporous landscape as a result of an intense dream experience. In an attempt to express the airy, floaty and papery feel of this etheric landscape that he must traverse in search of an exit a series of monochromatic monoprints has been utilised.

Dark glade-second impression. (Monoprint-© 2008 Michael Hill)

Dark glade-second impression. (Monoprint-© 2008 Michael Hill)

This landscape can be seen more clearly, sequentially, as more light is added by means of a longer exposure to each successive image. Despite the extra light he still finds it hard to trace his way through.

Dark glade-third impression. (Monoprint-© 2008 Michael Hill)

Dark glade-third impression. (Monoprint-© 2008 Michael Hill)

These prints were made using an etching process with a novel method of printmaking that involves exposure of the design drawing to a light sensitive plate via sunlight that marks the lines on a gelatin coated metal plate. The plate is then rubbed with a stiff brush under running water to carve the lines, so to speak. This process is known as solar plate etching.

Dark glade-the etching plate following exposure to sunlight and wetbrush. (Design-© 2008 Michael Hill)

Dark glade-the etching plate following exposure to sunlight and wetbrush. (Design-© 2008 Michael Hill)

For a visual diary record and time-line overview of this project, see all of the BLOTTING PAPER production reports. Issue #1:   No.1   No.2   No.3   No.4   No.5   No.6   No.7   No.8   No.9   No.10   No.11   No.12   No.13   Issue #2:   No.14   No.15   No.16   No.17   No.18   No.19   No.20   No.21   No.22   No.23   No.24   No.25   No.26   No.27   No.28   No.29

BLOTTING PAPER The Comic: Production Report No.20

Art, Blotting Paper, Comics, Japanning January 29, 2013

Continuing the series of regular reports documenting the production process of the first and second issues of my artist book/comic Blotting Paper: The Recollected Graphical Impressions Of Doctor Comics, Chapter 1: The Ingurgitator and Chapter 2: A Blot On His Escutcheon, this post mentions some of the tools and the workspace utilised in the production of two-dimensional print images. In terms of image-making techniques, printmaking is suitable for generating both single and sequential images.

A bowl of sumi ink and a brush

A bowl of sumi ink, a brush and a bamboo baren. (Photo by Michael Hill)

Following the Japanese creative print approach sumi ink enabled the getting of solid blacks in some of the images. The ink was brushed onto the block or substrate surface carrying the ink. The paper was placed onto this and rubbed down on the reverse side with a bamboo baren.

Bench hook and roller on studio bench.

Bench hook, roller, rag and bucket on studio bench. (Photo by Michael Hill)

Materials used included water based ink and paint, rags and cloths for smearing, cleaning and wiping the ink, and a plentiful supply of running water for washing the blocks and brushes as well as my hands.

Water, cloths, sink and block.

Water, cloths, sink and lino block. (Photo by Michael Hill)

Despite the implied reference to woodblocks in Japanese print techniquess, it need not always involve woodblock printmaking. The wood may be replaced by other materials such as vegetables, fruit, leaves, string, rubber or other found objects that are sufficiently flat or pliable that they may be inked and pressed onto paper. The creative print (sosaku hanga) approach places the emphasis on the act of making the print. Oh joy!

Printmaking attire.

Printmaking attire. (Photo by Michael Hill)

For a visual diary record and time-line overview of this project, see all of the BLOTTING PAPER production reports. Issue #1:   No.1   No.2   No.3   No.4   No.5   No.6   No.7   No.8   No.9   No.10   No.11   No.12   No.13    Issue #2:   No.14   No.15   No.16   No.17   No.18   No.19   No.20   No.21   No.22   No.23   No.24   No.25   No.26   No.27   No.28   No.29

BLOTTING PAPER The Comic: Production Report No.19

Art, Blotting Paper, Comics December 23, 2012

Continuing the series of regular reports documenting the production process of the first and second issues of my artist book/comic Blotting Paper: The Recollected Graphical Impressions Of Doctor Comics, Chapter 1: The Ingurgitator and Chapter 2: A Blot On His Escutcheonthis post focuses on the various print layers that were put together to create the intended cover design of the first issue and not used but may be in the second issue.

Uninked title block drying in the sun-© 2011 Michael Hill.

Uninked title block drying in the sun-© 2011 Michael Hill.

The type is assembled in reverse so that it reads the right way round when printed. A plywood block was used as a base and the rubber letters glued onto it.

Background texture formed the first print layer-© 2011 Michael Hill.

Background texture formed the first print layer-© 2011 Michael Hill.

Colour overlay on background-© 2011 Michael Hill.

A blue colour overlay was printed on the background to form the second layer-© 2011 Michael Hill.

Working in a tiny studio I had no available bench space for drying. Letting the prints dry outside on the ground in the Spring sunshine proved a fast way to obtain the dryness. On the other hand the prints were susceptible to a breeze that arose and falling frangipani flowers in the studio garden.

Prints on the grass.

Prints on the grass making a run for it–© 2011 Michael Hill

Some of the prints took advantage of the wind and jumped onto the grass. Accepting any randomness in my print process I didn’t mind when some of the wet prints landed face down on the grass and were smudged.

Typographic design of title on overlay and background-© 2011 Michael Hill.

Title design printed on overlay and background-© 2011 Michael Hill.

The final stage involved printing the type over the blue overlay and brown background.

For a visual diary record and time-line overview of this project, see all of the BLOTTING PAPER production reports.

Issue #1:   No.1   No.2   No.3   No.4   No.5   No.6   No.7   No.8   No.9   No.10   No.11   No.12   No.13   Issue #2:   No.14   No.15   No.16   No.17   No.18   No.19   No.20   No.21   No.22   No.23   No.24   No.25   No.26   No.27   No.28   No.29

BLOTTING PAPER The Comic: Production Report No.18

Art, Blotting Paper, Comics November 16, 2012

Continuing the series of regular reports documenting the production process and progress of the second issue of my artist book/comic Blotting Paper: The Recollected Graphical Impressions Of Doctor Comics, this post focuses on the image-making aspect of the project, in particular, the role that printmaking is playing in the portrayal of spirits, ghosts and apparitions in Chapter 2: A Blot On His Escutcheon.

Monotype print in sumi ink of etheric body. (© 2012 Michael Hill)

Monotype print in sumi ink of etheric body. (© 2012 Michael Hill)

In this chapter the Doctor Comics character is teleported into the supernatural world via a dream experience. To materialise a shadowy and vaporous landscape and some of the ethereal figures he encounters sumi ink blot patterns have been manipulated on soft paper and absorbed as monoprints. Over and under-inking the blocks has resulted in intense black or under-inked white patches on the printed paper.

Monotype print in sumi ink of etheric body-© 2012 Michael Hill

This fantasy dream sequence called Dreaming Time occurs toward the end of the chapter wherin Doctor Comics confronts a few fearful looking, ghostly figures or apparitions that step out from seething, textured backgrounds. The monotype printing method and the use of sumi ink enabled the generation of experimental images with a restricted palette. The incorporeal characters were manifested and embodied in this manner. Examples of these are in the two monoprints of the etheric body and the shadowy phantom directly above and below this paragraph.

Monotype print in sumi ink of shadowy phantom-© 2012 Michael Hill

And it’s not all ghostly as there are also some light-hearted moments in this chapter of Doctor Comics collecting graphic novels, interacting with his cats, cooking, creating and reflecting.

For a visual diary record and time-line overview of this project, see all of the BLOTTING PAPER production reports.

Issue #1:   No.1   No.2   No.3   No.4   No.5   No.6   No.7   No.8   No.9   No.10   No.11   No.12   No.13   Issue#2:    No.14   No.15   No.16   No.17   No.18   No.19   No.20   No.21   No.22   No.23   No.24   No.25   No.26   No.27   No.28   No.29

BLOTTING PAPER The Comic: Production Report No.17

Art, Blotting Paper, Comics October 5, 2012

Abstract drawing(© 2012 Michael Hill)

This is another report documenting the production process and progress of the second issue of my artist book/comic Blotting Paper: The Recollected Graphical Impressions Of Doctor Comics. The new chapter  A Blot on His Escutcheon continues the experimental approach to image-making. It involves experimental approaches to drawing including abstract drawing, contour drawing and blind contour drawing. It’s having fun with paper and pencil and the drawing process.

Abstract contour drawing(© 2012 Michael Hill)

Using line as an element of construction and expression, the drawn line as well as the printed line and written line, although restrictive is potentially quite expressive to me. I find that drawing details very carefully of constantly changing scenes with accompanying alterations in point-of-view leads easily into abstraction.

Abstract drawing to music(© 2012 Michael Hill)

Drawing anything that comes to my mind whilst listening to music invariably produces a pattern of abstract lines on paper that is most expressive. I look at the lines whilst I am making them and try to keep up with the tempo of the music. No erasers! A quick tempo produces less inhibited lines and surprising shapes.

Blind contour drawing of toy(© 2012 Michael Hill)

Another fun with drawing exercise I have utilised is to draw a character or object without actually looking at the paper I’m drawing on. I try to follow the outlines of the object but don’t look down to see how the drawing looks. Without the constant checking things tend to drift and shift out of perspective and registration. The contours can be accurate but might be out of place.

For a visual diary record and time-line overview of this project, see all of the BLOTTING PAPER production reports.

Issue #1:   No.1   No.2   No.3   No.4   No.5   No.6   No.7   No.8   No.9   No.10   No.11   No.12   No.13   Issue #2:   No.14   No.15   No.16   No.17   No.18   No.19   No.20   No.21   No.22   No.23   No.24   No.25   No.26   No.27   No.28   No.29


BLOTTING PAPER The Comic: Production Report No.16

Art, Blotting Paper, Comics August 21, 2012

Work continues on the production of the second chapter/issue of my artist book/comic Blotting Paper: The Recollected Graphical Impressions Of Doctor Comics. In this report we look back at two of the characters from the first chapter and ahead to some of the images in the next, made by means of printmaking and drawing. First the feline characters Cohl and Busch, the funny animal characters and the cats of Doctor Comics.

The cats in the Blotting Paper comic. (Felt pen drawing-© 2012 Michael Hill)

Cohl and Busch are named after famous cartoonists Émile Cohl and Wilhelm Busch. They live in the apartment with Doctor Comics as his companions. They l-o-v-e fish! They also know about comics, as much and possibly more about them than the doctor. In lecturing mode Doctor Comics has been known to channel Cohl who is incredibly well read but with a distinct bias toward bandes dessinées.

The subconscious landscape. (Monotype print-© 2012 Michael Hill)

I am continuing to experiment with monotype prints of a sequential nature, a hangover from my animation days in which I made heavy use of the technique to generate the large volume of artwork needed in that medium.

Dreaming time I. (Monotype print-© 2012 Michael Hill)

Dreaming time II. (Monotype print-© 2012 Michael Hill)

And I have been drawing more bones.

Bones of the hand, heel and hip. (Pen and ink drawing-© 2012 Michael Hill)

For a visual diary record and time-line overview of this project, see all of the BLOTTING PAPER production reports. Issue #1:   No.1   No.2   No.3   No.4   No.5   No.6   No.7   No.8   No.9   No.10   No.11   No.12   No.13   Issue #2:   No.14   No.15   No.16   No.17   No.18   No.19   No.20   No.21   No.22   No.23   No.24   No.25   No.26   No.27   No.28   No.29 There is also my Cats In Comics series in which I profile cats from other people’s comics: Doraemon,   Krazy Kat,   The Rabbi’s Cat

BLOTTING PAPER The Comic: Production Report No.14

Art, Blotting Paper, Comics, Japanning June 28, 2012

This is the first in a series of regular reports documenting the production process and progress of the second issue of my artist book/comic Blotting Paper: The Recollected Graphical Impressions Of Doctor Comics. In this blog the new series of reports continues on from the those posted during the construction and launch of the first chapter/issue The Ingurgitator (see linked blogged posts #1-14 below). The new chapter, A Blot on His Escutcheon, goes deeper into the establishment of the character of Doctor Comics, the environment in which he lives and some reflected moments from his life in comics. I am making progress with this and hope to have self-published it sometime next year. The book is based on my memories of a career in education in Sydney at an art college and design school, working within the disciplines of art and design in the specific areas of film, video, animation and visual communication. Comics came up quite a bit, as a method of teaching storyboarding, as a word and image project and as a medium in its own right that included the study and research of it, presentation of lectures and conference papers, the staging of conferences, symposiums and exhibitions and the writing of a thesis. It has fictive passages as well as the auto-biographical elements. Printmaking is being employed again as an image-making medium including the Japanese sosaku hanga method, along with pen and ink drawing, collage and found materials.

Proposed title page for issue #2(Pen and ink drawing and collage-© 2012 Michael Hill)

I’m currently learning to draw bones by reading the osteology chapters in anatomy books and studying the illustrations really carefully, but more of that in the next report. For a visual diary record and time-line overview of this project, see all of the BLOTTING PAPER production reports. Issue #1:   No.1   No.2   No.3   No.4   No.5   No.6   No.7   No.8   No.9   No.10   No.11   No.12   No.13   Issue #2:  No.14   No.15   No.16   No.17   No.18   No.19   No.20   No.21   No.22   No.23   No.24   No.25   No.26   No.27   No.28   No.29

BLOTTING PAPER The Comic: Production Report No.13

Art, Blotting Paper, Comics, Japanning April 21, 2012

Composed from elements of drawing, handwriting, collage, photography, typography and printmaking Issue #1 of my artist book/comic  Blotting Paper: The Recollected Graphical Impressions Of Doctor Comics involved a range of graphic tools. These were displayed at the launch with a description of my work methodology.

Searching for inspiration with sketching and sake. (Photo by Michael Hill)

The first stage of the process is finding inspiration. This may involve reading and research, travel, visits to galleries to look at art and objects and make sketches. One sketch book in the photo below shows a collaged image of a fictitious Japanese monster Shitake Man. Some sake also proved useful at this preliminary stage.

Sketch book collage and sake cup. (Photo by Michael Hill)

Concepts and images come to mind in the second stage, design. Sketching determines the shapes that will be obtained through image-making techniques.

Printmaking tools: chisel, carved blocks, rubber type and sharpening stone. (Photo by Michael Hill)

Bamboo baren, seals, string, sumi ink, brushes and printed postcard. (Photo by Michael Hill)

Where printmaking is involved the third stage brings out brushes, ink and paper for the printing part of the project. A baren which is piece of dried bamboo that has been stretched over a board is used to ensure that the paper makes good contact with the inked block. The pressure applied can be varied to produce the degree of intensity of the ink. The autumn postcard print in the photo above has been constructed from 5 layers of print.

Bench hook, brushes, bamboo jar. (Photo by Michael Hill)

On completion of the work the sake may re-appear to accompany a session of reflection on the creative outcome.

For a visual diary record and time-line overview of this project, see all of the BLOTTING PAPER production reports relating to Issue #1:   No.1   No.2   No.3   No.4   No.5   No.6   No.7   No.8   No.9   No.10   No.11   No.12   No.13

BLOTTING PAPER The Comic: Production Report No.8

Art, Blotting Paper, Comics January 12, 2012

I’m getting closer to completion of the first issue Chapter 1: The Ingurgitator. Drum roll! What I had hoped to have out by the end of 2011 is now looking certain for early 2012 so some celebratory banging on my own drum is in order.

Testing out type. (Photo by Louise Graber)

There have been changes to the script. This has resulted in compressions, extensions and deletions. I found that I needed more space to convey some sequences. The consequence of this meant shortening some parts in order to keep to the 40 page total that has progressively crept up from the planned 20. Some sequences weren’t working so they had to be cut although they may appear in a subsequent chapter if I can get them sorted out, and some parts, whilst working in script form, were just too difficult for me to draw.

My box of type. (Photo by Louise Graber)

The type in print.

The other interesting development has been the photographic part of the project. Initially employed as a reference device for locations, objects, figures and gesture positions that would in turn be converted into drawings, the lens art has now become more of a feature. Some pages are even starting to look a little like sequences from a Mexican foto-novela or picto grafia comic. This was not my intention. There is still the anticipated drawn, collaged and printmade elements along with the traditional rubber stamped text (see the photos above). Anyhow, I expect that the next report will confirm my suspicions of the forthcoming completion of the first issue of the comic and contain the announcement of details of publication place and date.

For a visual diary record and time-line overview of this project, see all of the BLOTTING PAPER production reports relating to Issue #1:  No.1   No.2   No.3   No.4   No.5   No.6   No.7   No.8   No.9   No.10   No.11   No.12   No.13