Printmaking Process 1

Where to start...I guess from the beginning. I could probably write another blog devoted solely to the cover of "Roy and the rhino", but 1 blog is enough for me to handle presently. The original idea for the cover was to use an interior picture in full color and call it a day. Flashback about 4 1/2 years ago, my sister was in town visiting and she suggested I look into a Printmaking class at a local Community College (Tri-C). I had done quite a bit of Screen printing and thought it would be a good distraction for myself at that time. I enrolled in the class and never came close to doing any Screen printing, but what I did end up doing and becoming obsessed about was the art of Intaglio. Homemade and Storebought Etching tools -  Scrapers, Burnishers, Needles etc...

Detail of acid etched zinc plate.

I ended up taking the Printmaking course maybe 6 times and learned a ton. The first few times I took the class I had to follow protocol and learn all the different etching techniques. I did a lot of experimenting knowing that I was eventually going to make a plate and prints of something that had merit. I decided that I would make the cover to this book my Dad and I came up with so that I could jumpstart this part of the project (The final artwork and Publication of our book, I had done quite a bit of preliminary artwork up to this point, but no finished pieces). I talked to my teacher Mike Gubkin (A very knowledgable instructor well worth seeking out ) and he suggested I take the class as an Independent Study Course so he could school me on some of the finer points of Etching.  Now all I needed was an idea for a picture and I would be off and running and falling and getting back up and...

The image for the cover came about as an inside joke (will explain later). The sketch above is the initial rough idea. I decided to pay tribute to one of my favorite artists and homage to one of the most recognized works of animal art.

Albrecht Dürer and his Rhinoceros

My first serious attempt. Don't laugh I must have drawn this with the opposite hand and my eyes closed.

Looking better. A lot closer to the image we all know and love.

That's all for now I will continue with more next week. By the way I have not seen it for myself yet but I hear there is a print of the Dürer rhino at the Allen Memorial Art Museum in Oberlin, Ohio. I need to go check this out. Oh and one more thing I went to one of the stores selling our book just to see if they might need to restock their inventory and much to my surprise noticed not one of the book's have sold yet. Why is everyone waiting? this book could seriously save a life. I have to admit the book looks good sitting there, you couldn't ask for better "real estate" but I would love to see that space vacant, begging for more copies to occupy it. Thanks for looking.