Monday, February 7, 2011


This is a 'digital lithograph' (d0n't kill me, printmakers) each color was done on a separate paper, by hand, then scanned and registered digitally. Color was added to each layer to simulate different color runs. This is a mock cover for a short story written by Laura Jennings about Psychic Dolphins who fight Aliens in Space. Yes. You heard me. Besides it being an interesting short story in and of itself, it was just way too good to pass up the opportunity to draw.

Lithography was invented in 1796, and is still in use today in mass printing (known as offset lithography) It relies on the play of fine wax resist (sometimes applied by hand with a crayon) to a smooth, limestone surface for each color run. Oil based ink can be passed over the stone, and print is made based on the natural resistance of the ink. It was the first printing technology that allowed normal work flow for the artist: prints are made as they are drawn (only in reverse) and do not have to be carved out. This allowed new art styles to flourish, such as Art Noveau, Alphonse Mucha's work was largely produced by lithography. Lithography also advertised the west, with artists such as C.M. Russell, and even Thomas Moran used lithographs. It leaves a subtle stone texture, which looks often looks like fine stippling or rough paper. The crayon used to make the stone plates can also affect the image: it can be quite fine, or can appear very much like a crayon drawing (as in, Crayola crayon drawing)

Today, offset lithography uses a polymer on an aluminum plate, which can be bent to a cylinder and allows for faster printing with multiple colors.

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