Thursday, February 19, 2009


The final step: screen-printing. Above are the separations for each color that were printed on acetate and then burnt into emulsion on a screen. Concetta Barbera was kind enough to photograph the printing, so rather then explain the process (which is not the point of this), I'll let her photos guide you through...

All in all they turned out pretty good. Screen-printing is truly a labor of love; its a big hullabaloo if you don't have the tools directly at your disposal, but the end result trumps digital prints any day. Below is the digital mock-up; the prints came pretty damn close. Thanks to my brother, and Timmy for help printing, and Concetta helping out with the photography.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


After years of avoiding the computer, with much coercion from professors and voodoo priests I formed a way to make my images by hand and use the computer in the end to get a result I was both comfortable and happy with; Line work followed by one or several ink washes and texture layers on semi-transparent layout paper, and lastly, put together on the computer. This gives me much more control over each aspect of my image, and to a sense replicates the form and file of Photoshop whereas each separate layer can be manipulated within the larger image. Original method? Far-from it. But it works for me. (see below for line work)

The funnest part of the line-work is by far the meticulous texture in the hand and face. After a few straight hours of being inches from the bristol your eyes start to cross and you can no longer focus on the hatching, your hand knows what to do and continues, but you are off somewhere else; a bomb could go off and you'd be none the wiser.
The ink washes I used in this piece are not par for my course. Gray-scale is tricky when screen-printing, and unpredictable. Normally I do several washes for tone, dark and light shadows, highlights, and separate washes for fine features; in this case I did one wash that will be turned to half-tone. Half-tone looks badass silk-screened. Really. You'll have to wait for step three to see it though...

Hand lettering typography has always been a guilty pleasure of mine. Guilty because it often looks like shit, but in this case I think it works. The standard is do multiple versions of each word till it clicks... I did one. And for some reason when it's white punched out of black there seems to be a larger excusable margin of error. (see type layers below)

Again, the type needed to be tied into the concept, and not obviously an afterthought. Not to toot my own horn, but I think I nailed it. From here I scan in each layer, adjust layers to get the line-work and shadows right, piece together the ink-washes, and get the type ready. This method of layers minimizes the use of the computer quite a bit and you don't have to use the infernal pen tool to get juxtaposition right. The next step is making the layers into silk-screen ready separations and then on to the printing. Check back soon for the finale...


Figured I'd hop on the ol' ban wagon and start posting my process step by step. I was asked by 'parade of flesh' show booking to do a poster for Woven Hand at Club DaDa out in Texas. Show posters are 2/3's the perfect job: Little if any art direction, free advertising, other people hang your work all over the place, and music stuff is always fun. The only down side is it pays peanuts. In this case, there was no art direction. The bands name being what it is, I took the low road and did the most obvious thing that came to mind. (see below for first sketch)
When you don't have sketches, thumbnails, or color comps due you have to be your own art director, and if you're not a dick-head art director you're going to end up with a lack luster piece. Why the cow skull? Well...I like drawing them. Does it add anything to the concept? Nope. Problematic? I hate you. Fix it. Pretty picture, flawed concept. Bring it full circle baby. (see second sketch below)

At this point I was a little happier with the concept. I was even happier because I did this sketch in its entirety between four specials sitting at Bob and Barbra's. And I was exuberant because the people sitting around me actually knew who Woven Hand was. Rock. (see below for type resolution)
At this point I go to the Ink and Brush. Next step: Separations... alot of em. After that: Screen Printing. Check back in a day or two folks...