Friday, January 13, 2017

1326 - Lock Picking

Today is Friday the Thirteenth, and the thirteenth day of every month is Ungood Art Day on JSVB.  It's where I present art that I made that started out well enough, but through certain techniques or choices, turned out less than good: Ungood. 

In this instance, I take a piece and make it ungood and then struggle to make it good again.  A few days ago, I had commented on a lock I was drawing, and how I had spent an hour and a half working on the metal loop on top, and this with the whole piece being maybe a couple of inches stall.  So for Ungood Art Day, I decided to show all my work.  

The image at the top left is the pristine reference image, which I cleaned up in Photoshop using a high-pass filter.  Then I painted on top of the image to add some detail.  The lock on the bottom left is the final result, with all the other locks in between being iterative saves.  

I recall reading an article on  Katsuhiro Otomo, the master manga artist, and his ambivalence towards whiting-out mistakes.  Absolutely as he inked, a line would go astray, and he'd brush on some correction fluid to cover the error.  Then the line would go wrong again, and he'd correct the correction.  Sometimes, the errors would be so bad that there would form a mound of white-out that had built up and encrusted upon the artwork like a miniature Mount Fuji.  An epic centimeter-tall mound of corrections meant that the paper had to be handled carefully lest the dried fluid crack and break off.  

With Photoshop I can put each correction on its own layer, and then simply make the mistakes go invisible.  If I save all my layers and bring them back one by one, I can show my progress, like in the piece above.  I admit, though, that when you look at the locks shrunk down for JSVB, they all look mostly the same, and the piece looks like modern art.