16 March 2010

ACEO: Leonardo's Clockwork Scarab

One of my fellow Etsy Steam Team members offered some very cool copper and brass etched ACEOs (Art Cards, Edition and Originals) to trade and I piped up saying I'd make a tiny linocut. Well, turns out 3 1/2 by 2 1/2 inches is really tiny. Not that I can't do a lino that small, it's just that I came up with a design I really liked, but which was way too complex for lino. So instead I did an ink drawing and scanned it, then added some gears in Illustrator (thanks to the "Gears" typeface from Scriptorium which came in a pack of faces I bought a while ago for doing titles for my comics).

Then I wrestled with my laser printer for a while until I determined that it wasn't going to print onto printmaking rag paper no matter how I cajoled or threatened it. So I printed the images onto rag paper with my lovely Canon Pixma Pro9000 photoprinter instead. It may be time for a new laser printer. Here are some of the cards, not yet coloured.

Next I have to see if the photo inks will withstand water. If they do, I'll tea-stain the paper to age it, and then hand-colour with watercolours. If they don't, I'll carefully tea-stain only the very edges, then hand-colour with pencil crayon. I need to get these done, because the one I'm trading for was in today's mail.

So if you want to trade, let me know. I'm doing 15 of these, and one's spoken for, plus I'll keep one or two. Whatever's left I'll put in my Etsy and ArtFire shops.

And, in case it isn't obvious, it's a scarab beetle, with clockwork, and wings inspired by one of Leonardo daVinci's flying machines. I think I'm still going to attempt a tiny ACEO linocut, but not a scarab flying machine. Maybe just a simple beetle.

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