Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Making Old Art New Again

I have a ton of old screen prints, linocuts, and intaglio prints from college sitting around collecting dust. Many of these items are over 10 years old and have been sitting in the basement in art portfolios and storage bins. Most artists probably have similar issues.  Any art pieces you personally are not thrilled with get tucked away and forgotten about.  I was thinking to myself today, what should I do with some of these things?  I am a mixed media artist, and have been using a few prints in my dylusions art journal, but what about the rest?

I found one screen print in particular that I was always on the fence about.  It was close to being awesome, but never quite made it.  Today, I scanned that image into photoshop and posterized it into 3 colors. I then removed/cut out all of the lightest color so that those areas would be transparent. I have several digital scrapbook papers that I had purchased a while back, and decided to use one to fill in all the areas that were transparent.  There are several ways to do this depending on what photo software you use. I ended up compressing the layers into one image so I could remove/cut the other two colors from the image. All that remained was the digital scrapbook paper where the lightest colors in the image are.  I ended up printing this over the original screen print using my ink jet printer.  Viola.... the old art is new again!

I do want to point out a few things before you try this.  Firstly, do not attempt to put a painting, photograph, or non porous surface through your printer..... it will not print on that smooth of a surface and you will end up with a big mess.  This would work best for alcohol ink drawings, screen prints on paper (as long as the surface is smooth), and matte surfaces.  Secondly, the digital image will probably not match up perfectly with the piece of art.  My ink jet printer is a beast and as you can see from the image above, the digital image did not line up perfectly with the art.  I personally kind of like that for this type of project.  I wouldn't recommend this technique if you are looking for perfection. Thirdly, make sure you put your art in the printer the right way! If you have a printer that jams every time you try to print, I wouldn't try this technique. Lastly, ink from an ink jet printer is not permanent and will react with water.  It is best to use fixative on the art when the ink is dry.  The ink may take a little longer to dry since you are printing on an alternative surface.  For best results, let the ink completely dry overnight before applying spray fixative.  I like to use Krylon, but it is up to you.  Acrylic medium or Mod Podge may reactivate the ink and therefore might not be the best choice for sealing your project.

I hope you try out this idea!  Please comment and share your results.   ❤ Tia - Copper Blossom Paper Gallery