Scanning new drawings

Every year , I go through a predictable drawing production cycle: create new drawings, have the drawings scanned, and get the images printed. Last year, a new problem emerged. The graphics company that I had been using for years was no longer able to do large format scans because their machine had become inoperable. My standard format for large drawings is 14″ x 17″. I started working with this size decades ago and have become accustomed to it. When I complete a new drawing, the first step in producing reproductions is to have high resolution scans made of the image on paper. The output of the scanning process is a large Tif file at 300 DPI. Once the scans are made, I have an archive of the image and the Tif files can then be printed from a digital printer. So, a solution had to be found, since I had several new images to be scanned and a few old images to be archived.

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Amazingly, after extensive searching and many phone calls, I found that no one else in the city of Huntsville could make high resolution scans for an image size large enough for my paper size. This seemed hard to believe. I began to consider the only alternatives at hand. One possibility was to have my drawings photographed, and use the photo image file for digital printing of my art reproductions. This avenue was deemed unsuitable due to the very fine detail in my drawings. Another possibility was to have the image scanned in sections on a smaller flat bed scanner and have the sections re-assembled using a graphics program such as Photoshop. In some cases, such as panoramic images of landscapes, this process is totally acceptable. My local printer offered this service as an alternative to large format scans as it had been determined not to repair their broken scanner. This option, however, cost almost triple the cost of a flatbed scan.

After some further searches, I was able to find a an artist contractor that was willing to try this process at a much more economical cost. With no other apparent options available, I decided to try this route. When the scan was complete and the images stitched together, I examined the image on my home computer. Initially, it looked perfect. But, after careful examination, I found one detail, a single object in the image that was ever so slightly offset. Even though the detail was very small, and certainly not obvious, I decided that the possibility of introducing such defects into my archived digital images and reproductions for sale was unacceptable. It was at this point that I decided to widen my search for graphics scanning and reproduction services outside of Huntsville. Soon, thereafter, I found Chromatics. Located in downtown Nashville, they offer scanning and reproduction services specifically for artists. Most notably, they offer scanning services using their Cruse Scanner, a specialized, large format scanning device used to create high resolution scans of high archival quality.

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The Cruse Scanner is well known as a precision machine and is used by iconic establishments such as government agencies and museums around the world to create high quality scanned images. At this point, I had 5 new drawings that needed to be scanned, so I decided to have the scans made at Chromatics. The result was very satisfactory. The Cruse Scanner is an impressive device (see photo). It is large enough to scan several of my 14″ x 17″ drawings at a time. During my visit at the facility, it was obvious that graphics reproductions for artists is a principle component of their business model. The resulting 300 DPI scans are Tif files about 60 mb in size. The only drawback is the fact that to get scans made, I have to make two rounds trips to Nashville by car. One trip to deliver the artwork, the second trip to pick up the scans. However, the scans are very high quality, the staff is very professional and they seem to take extra care to make sure the product is as near perfect as possible.

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Merovingian accepted to international art competition

I entered an international art competition called the Art Olympia, a contest for new and emerging artists. The contest accepts artwork from all over the world, then all art will be judged in Tokyo, Japan. Yesterday I received a notice that my drawing Merovingian was accepted as one of 80 pieces of art from the United States that will compete in Japan! 2,838 artists from around the world entered the competition and 414 artists entered in the United States. Artists in the US submitted 737 pieces of art for consideration. Merovingian is one of 80 works of art accepted from the United States to compete in Japan. On June 10, 14 jurors from New York, Paris and Tokyo will choose the prize winners. I’m very honored that my drawing was accepted in the competition.

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Merovingian

Merovingian is a departure from the symmetrical mandala format. It’s an experiment in pure mechanical form inspired by nineteenth century lithographs of mining and industrial machinery and printing presses. Depicted in this drawing are wheels, pulleys, gears, bearings and axles, electric motors and cam shafts and a variety of mechanical forms assembled in a random collage. The design for this drawing was spontaneous improvisation. In this type of design, I draw a basic outline and add each detail in a way that strengthens the contrast and focuses the form into a logical assemblage. The overall goal is to create a structure whose individual parts appear to have a functional purpose. The arrangement of the mechanical forms should also fit together to provide form and contrast.

Purchase archival quality prints of Merovingian here.

Merovingian8x10Details of Merovingian:

 

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Vessel of the Quancing Grig

Vessel of the Quancing Grig is meant to be an enhancement and expansion of the ideas I explored in Craft. The new design is more streamlined and compact but is an almost identical copy of the central cockpit theme in “Craft”. The fine pitched background shading was an experiment to add contrast to the image. For this drawing I used a .25 mm Rapidograph pen and black India ink. The initial design was created using a pencil, compass, ruler and protractor. This drawing is a recent re-design of the original drawing “Craft”. This drawing is available in 8×10, 11×14, and 16×20 archival quality prints. The 16×20 print has the same dimensions as the original drawing, just printed on slightly larger paper.

Trivia question: Do you know what science fiction TV show the name of this drawing comes from?

Vessel 8x10Here are some close-up views with more detail:

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Craft

The machinery and technology of spacecraft and aeronautics are fascinating and provide imagery that I enjoy blending together into a symmetrical structure. Propulsion and navigation systems, gauges, instruments, riveted bulkheads, landing gear: these are all parts of a space vessel which is partially transparent to expose it’s interior. In the center is the cockpit and pressure hatches leading to the interior of the craft.

Craft is an early 14 X 17 pen and ink drawing, drawn using a .25 mm Rapidograph pen and black India ink. The initial design was created using a pencil, compass, ruler and protractor. After creating an initial drawing concept in pencil, I drew all of the detail with ink. All shapes are drawn completely freehand.

Purchase copies of this drawing here.

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Here are some close-ups of the drawing so you can study some of the detail.

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