A short series of illustrations on wood
With this series I was experimenting with using plywood as a base for illustrations that mixed hand-made and machine-made elements. Some of the documentation was on the playfull side.
The forest is the first piece in this series. I was considering calling it the “pull string cat”. The idea is to place this same character in different contexts and every time another character pulls a string on the cat he or she responds accordingly. The idea came from reading this Zen master story:
-as told by Claudia Altucher
My process for this kind of piece starts with a hand-drawn sketch that I scan and trace using a vector drawing software like Illustrator or Inkscape. I often leave the vectors unedited because I want that hand-drawn feeling. Then I use a desktop CNC to carve out the pockets and outlines. I do find it funny that I want the hand-drawn feeling and yet I use a machine to do the carving.
In this case the CNC lifted some of the veneer leaving those darker streaks but I thought it was a happy accident. I roughly sketched the trees and started drawing them with a quill pen and acrylic ink. The quill works surprisingly well on wood. I mixed white ink and black ink as i went along to create the receding effect.
The pockets for the side panels were filled with white gesso. I was going to paint the frame entirely black as I’ve done with other similar pieces but this time I wanted the wood grain to be more visible to I stained it with black gesso diluted with water. The outline was colored with pencils. Using a 1/8″ bit on the CNC creates a rather neat groove for that.
The little side pictures are inspired both by comic books -where the panels tell part of the story- and the paintings of Hundertwasser. He often used black frames and added little details to his paintings that make your gaze go around the image.
This piece is 7″x7″ and it was painted on 3/4″ birch plywood. Mix media (acrylic inks, gesso and colored pencils).
Into space is the second piece on the red cat series. The basic idea was inspired by a previous drawing. I wanted to draw a scene where the cat is jumping into a cosmic adventure. I also started this one with a sketch on tracing paper that became the template for the CNC cutting.
For the circles on I used a combination of watercolors and diluted acrylic inks. These bleed a little bit on wood but I think that added to the piece. I enjoy the look of the wood grain.
In this case I painted the frame with black gesso (instead of just staining it as with the previous one). I painted the double edge with colored pencils and the waves with red acrylic ink.
the back with notes on all the pigments used:
This piece is 7″x10″ and it was painted on 3/4″ birch plywood using mix media (acrylic inks, gesso and colored pencils).
For this one I posted a series of playful videos on my instagram account documenting its creation. I compiled them in this short 1 minute video: