View Full Version : Just something interesting.

03-22-2014, 08:35 AM
One of the many things I do is collect old books. Not antique but old, most of them are over 100 years old, some from the 1700s. One of my shelves was about to fall apart thus requiring the removal of the books. I looked at a set I have from the 1890s about artists. Two years ago I wouldn't have appreciate them, now I do. One of them is about Japanese woodcuts, I saw a drawing that I found interesting. It was a woodcut made from a drawing made by someone's fingernail, presumably the finger was still attached to the person. I posted the image and the cover of the book showing the date.


Victor Osaka
03-22-2014, 12:20 PM
Fantastic. I am also a collector - first editions of Gustave Dore are my pride and joy. You've reminded me to bring them out and enjoy them.

03-23-2014, 09:20 PM
I have an old German book I can't read and I don't know what it's worth either. Where does one look for such things? I enjoy old items.

It's some kinda children's tales book. I'll have to dig it out and get the name and author. I think it's stuffed away in an old chest along with many other old objects. Being a family historian... folks tend to give me lots of interesting old things. I have a stein that's from Germany that's dated about 1812, it's missing the lid though. Along with several other books, a porcelain doll from the 30s-40s (I think) and various knick-knacks and even a sewing box. Oh, and a 6 generation recipe for chicken egg noodles which is totally tasty but never the same as dear old granny used to make... :(

03-24-2014, 12:22 PM
I have a few German ones, beautiful ones, I can pick out some words but not all. I have some from the 1830s in French. I have a classic in the original Chinese format written by madam Chang Kai Shek http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soong_May-ling, it's a real cool book.

Victor Osaka
03-24-2014, 12:39 PM
Here is a Doré image that I would like to tackle someday. Any ideas or suggestions on how to get etching like strokes in ArtRage4?


03-25-2014, 12:44 PM
Maybe a very small rake brush or making a canvas just for that purpose?

D Akey
03-26-2014, 02:30 PM
Cool. I have a bunch of old books with plates of old engravings as well. Thanks for sharing.

Yeah, Japanese prints were a huge inspiration back in Van Gogh's time and with himself in particular. Seeing such prints give insight into the artist being inspired and translating it into the practical workings of his paint and drawing methods.

And as to how to go about doing this yourself? Pretty lofty aspiration. I understand why you would want to, but it's probably a little out of your reach at this point. I can tell by your question.

Why not try something less advanced to begin with. He has several things going on there it looks like, not to mention an insane level artistic ability in several areas. And who knows how much this art was reduced.

I would recommend looking at old comic book artists like Bernie Wrightson for their BW compositions and marks. It's got a similar eye for light against dark compositional quality, only less refined. more comic book illustration-esque. And even though the subject is often gothic, you will learn a lot about composition and how to use values for staging.

03-26-2014, 06:06 PM
you might zoom in on it to determine what kind of strokes you are dealing with in the many small areas. but it would have to be a series of strokes of varying shades of gray and it would probably not be all that convincing as an etching after an enormous amount of work. you could sure use it as a model for a drawing or painting. a drawing on black background might be as close as you could come.

Victor Osaka
03-26-2014, 06:27 PM
Yup. I figured it would be a Herculean task. Someday I hope to do this etching justice with my own illustration using ArtRage. Going to use ArtRage4 - not even going to attempt it on the iPad. I think I'll tackle two figures in the same environment with a similar dark tumultuous feel.

I do like a challenge!

Victor Osaka
03-26-2014, 11:00 PM
But, I am so excited to work on the Dore illustration I gotta ask you all, is starting from a black background and painting white is a good idea? I've made my first pass in pencil on white for the layout but this is going to take a lot of time to create so I though I'd ask now.

D Akey
03-27-2014, 12:58 PM
Personal opinion: Yes. Working light over black in a case like this is reasonable. I don't think he did it that way based on looking at how he built up the rock. But so what? Much depends on how you are going to work and what values you want where. You can even segment and mix and match light over dark, dark over light, middle value and go darker and lighter.

If you're going to trace over and exploit layers, then you have your target values right under your mark maker and you can toggle his pic on and off to orient yourself every centimeter. Ordinarily though if you were doing an original, you would need a vision either through being able to visualize values really well in your head and just generally building up. Or I think he probably would have done a value study to mirror. Or heck, he may have had some way of doing the painting tonally and then scratched away to work as a printing plate. Not my area. So I can only guess how he did it.

Remember though, that if you get in over your head, and your values are getting away from you, you can always adjust the tone of the board lighter or darker to pull it all into the right values.

Good luck. And keep mindful of everything you do and what happens as a result so you can maybe use the technique again in future, but get there quicker. But unless you want to get to the level of a forger, it's your art from this point forward, not Dore's though you would attribute it to his original, so whatever you do is your call.

Victor Osaka
03-27-2014, 02:43 PM
D Akey, thanks for the advice! Gives me something to consider.

03-27-2014, 08:43 PM
Wow, that wood cut is amazing. I wonder how long the nails were by the time it was finished :-). Incredible.

Victor Osaka
04-06-2014, 08:39 PM
Had some time today to work on the Doré tonight. My start is an interpretive hand sketch on the right. The ArtRage iPad sketch is on the left.

I find it a bit difficult to get the hang of sketching out my base drawing in ArtRage. I'll get better quickly I hope. I purposely changed her arching back and the angle of his head.