27 February 2010

evolution of the ghost

I have had quite a few people ask me what materials I use, and how my pieces are made. Here is a fun little blog post to answer some of the questions I have recieved while following the creation of my newest piece~ "The Ghost"

Q. {What kind of wood do you use?}

A. I use various types of recycled plywood panels. Right now I have cherry, hickory, fir, maple, and pine in stock.
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Q. {You say your wood is recycled.  What do you mean by that?}

A. A lot of my pieces were rescued from my father-in-law's cabinet shop. During the brief time that I worked there, I noticed that there were tons of usable pieces that would make excellent canvases.  The wood scraps were too small for any further cabinet use, but just the right size for me. I am so glad that I was able to save them from the fire! I also received a generous donation from one of our local lumber companies. They had some large scraps of ply that had been damaged. All that my husband and I needed to do was cut them down, and discard of the damaged parts. So, every piece of wood that I work on was saved from the fire pit & discard.
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Q. {What types of pen & pencil do you use?}

A. I use Sakura Pigma Micron pens in varying sizes, and Prismacolor colored pencils.  I love that the Pigma Micron pens are archival, so that my lines will stay crisp and clean for years to come.  My Prismacolor set was a Christmas gift from my husband a couple of years ago.  The colors that come from these pencils are incredibly rich and wonderful to work with.
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Q. {What is your favorite type of wood to work on?}

A. I am always spoiled by cherry. It is so easy to draw on, and soaks up the color beautifully.
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Q. {Have you ever made a nerdy and clearly amateur start-to-finish YouTube video of your work? Perhaps one that only uses photos and has no music?}

A. How did you know?  You can watch it below. 
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Q. {Is there anything you do to make you feel that the piece is "complete"?}

A. Absolutely!  I feel like I have five steps to finishing all of my work.  After the illustration is complete, I like to use a woodburning tool around the edge.  It creates a frame for the work, and gives it an old portrait feel. I then use ink to darken the sides of the panel.  This way, there is absolutely no need for a frame.  Next,  I spray the piece with a fixative to protect the color.  I love the way the fixative brings out the grain of the wood, and creates a smooth semi-gloss finish.  A hole is then drilled in the back so that the piece may be cleanly hung on the wall.  And finally, I title and sign the back of the illustration.
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Meet "The Ghost."
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Q. {Did you just say that you drill a hole in the back after you've finished the illustration?}

A. Yes.  It has to be one of the dumbest things that I do.  I have yet to drill through a finished piece, but the day I do it will be very sad~ and my own fault.  I need to schedule a day to just drill holes in the back of all of my blank panels. But that doesn't sound like very much fun...
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Q. {Where can I buy your work?}

A. I have an etsy shop called Unconventional Ida  where you can find my:
Original ACEOs, prints, postcards, hand-illustrated moleskine journals, pins, pocket mirrors, & magnets.  I also have a small handful of originals, and older work that I have placed on sale listed there.
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The majority {and newest} of my originals are available at my Big Cartel shop.
I am constantly updating both sites. Later this evening I will be listing "The Ghost."
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Thanks for following me on this journey!
I hope that you have a lovely day~

3 comments:

Linda S. Wingerter said...

Awesomeness! And look at that beautiful wood. Your work is beautiful.

aimee said...

your illustrations are so cool! thanks for sharing your process and use of materials - i love that you drill the hole after it's finished. totally something i'd do!

k*smith said...

Thank you Linda & Aimee!
You both have lovely work~

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