Wednesday, May 25, 2011

deep print knowledge

I was mad at my 93 year old mom-n-law former art teacher and artist in her own right, for fussing about art materials. We were trying to get her interested in perhaps doing a little art to combat boredom. She has this tremor in her hands so that she can't hold a brush well or draw without squiggles. In her mind, as sharp as ever, she thinks she can do as she has done earlier in her life. Therefore she demands the best materials from the top shelf. I try to suggest cheaper alternatives because it would be a waste of expensive materials and a heartbreak when she can't make them do what she knows they can do. We haven't settled yet but I think she will win both the top shelf and the heartbreak.

I thought I would be immune to this, but as a digital artist, I am finding myself always looking for better equipment and materials. I bought a 4 ink inkjet printer, now I wish I could have afforded a 6 or 8 ink inkjet printer. More colors or gradations of the primary colors mean finer quality prints. I did buy a workhorse printer so it will handle more than business type papers and it has the after-market possibility of extended ink supply mechanisms. It also prints up to 13" x 44", that's a lot of creative possibility there.

What I did discover is that art printing is lightly touched even in Photoshop books. Photo printing however is made point-n-click easy, even red-eye removal is almost automatic. There are lots of tutorials on altering and fixing photos. Artist who draw and print are at a disadvantage, mostly all the books are geared to photo work or web graphics.

My printer prints fine on photo papers, though it does require tweaking to get it right. The real impressive work is on matte art papers, I could not believe the richness of the color even for a 4 ink print. 4 ink? Yes, CMYK or Cyan (blue), Magenta (red), Yellow and Black. Printing is a science by itself and takes as much effort as the techniques of putting brush to canvas. The outcome of the image is greatly effected by the printer, the inks, the paper or media. And even though all images that pass through a computer to a printer are the same (a digital file), photos and drawing require different considerations to make the outcomes as they are suppose to be.

So, I am getting fussy. Fussy means we take what we find off the shelf and make it more or less than it was to get the results we want. What's next a halo-deck? Hummmm!

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