Stepping back: comparing the ink project


I decided that it might not be a bad idea to take a step back and look at the inks I’ve been working on.

For those that haven’t been following (I know, I know, no one has been), I started doing ink cards and ink works late last year as a way to learn more from photos and film.

I wanted to learn more about lighting, about texture, and about things that I can’t just pull from my head. Most of the work over the years has been right from my head, either as an original piece or based on a story.

I’ve listened over time to other artists talk about working with photos and with still life, to better improve the work they do. I agree with what many of them said, that working from photos or, even better, from real life, allows you to see things that your mind may not have taken into account.

There’s a certain chaos, a certain randomness that occurs, and my mind may not catch that. Being self taught especially, I follow certain rules and guidelines in the way I do my work, and that strictness may not allow for the randomness that you get in real life.

At the same time, I wanted to get back to trying out ink works again. It’s been since the early 2000’s that I actually published anything as ink art, and I loved doing it back then. So, I dug out the tools, the ink, and the paper, and went to it.

By combining my resurgence into ink works with my desire to try more portrait/real life style work, I’m hopefully killing two birds with one stone.

It’s not exactly that simple, but it’s a start. For one thing, I want to capture the intent of the photo or model, not the literal copy of it. So, many of them are close to the original, but not exactly alike. That’s perfectly fine with me, and in fact I’ve noticed as I’m working on them I start out looking at the images a lot. By the end though, I hardly look at the photo at all, I let my imagination run with it and change it however I’d like.

It’s been a great experiment, and many folks have said they really like what I’m doing. I’m going to keep at it, and if anything the plan is working. I noticed working on some digital work for a publisher last week that I’m starting to approach things differently, even with digital.

Below are a number of the inks that I’ve done, including a few with digital color versions, and the photos that inspired them.

Let me know what you think. What I’m hoping is, like I said, that I captured the intent of each one. With many of them, I intentionally changed some things that I thought would be cool, if on a subtle level.



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