Cute kitten, inked on May 13, 2010

13 May

The idea was to make something almost anyone can make, and to have a cat as its subject.

For this experiment I used the match stick depicted on the top right to create this inked drawing. I also used regular Indian ink, an old photo of a Burmese kitten, a color scanner, a color printer, and a piece of thick drawing paper that fit in the paper tray of the printer.

Cute kitten, inked on May 13, 2010

I first scanned the original photo, edited out most of the background in an image editor (I used the free GIMP, but I guess Photoshop or Photoshop Elements will do just as well), turned it into a blue and white picture**, which I printed on a piece of thick drawing paper.

After inking the drawing, I glued the (now broken) match stick to the drawing, used an unused stick to balance and scanned in color. By decomposing in CMYK and removing the CMY layers, I was left with the inked drawing, while removing the printed "underdrawing". Finally, I leveled out the image (31, 1.00, 241) and saved it as a JPEG.

** Note — I used this technique: 1) desaturate the image, 2) invert the colors in the main layer, 3) create a new layer, 4) fill it with #d76e30 (R=215, G=110, B=48), 5) set the new layer’s layer mode to Multiply, 6) flatten the image, 7) invert the colors.

BTW I used a match stick instead of a regular brush or dip pen, because it makes you less precious about the outcome. It should be about having fun, not about skill and technique. You can’t be very precise with a chewed match stick. Yes, I chewed on the non-business end of the stick, to make it flatter and more flexible, like a brush.

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