These magical ghosts are derived from my favorite photograph of my grandparents. Years ago I created a series of linocut prints, using various inking techniques and color combinations. These are new variants: digital art created from one of the old linocut prints.
I modified the oil based ink print, using watercolors to create soft curtains of transparent color, before working on the scanned digital image.
I continued to fuss with the shading etc. on the original, trying to modify the color saturation. My final effort there is shown in the second, lower, row above, along with a digital variant. I prefer the second version of the original, but I liked the digital variant of the earlier version. So I kept working on the digital variants from the final version, to get back a bit more impact and drama.
It is wonderful to transform an unfinished/unsatisfying artwork into a finished piece. I need my work to take me somewhere, if only for a moment; art should magnify, or otherwise transform reality, creating another space for our emotions. And now this piece brings me joy! Now I see again the magic I found in the original photograph that inspired me: the magic I want to put into, and take away from, all my art!
Three drafts of this piece, with the physical paintings at left, digitally manipulated photo variants at right.
I sketched this piece in water-soluble graphite on board, taking photos of three drafts. I do this for documentation & evaluation, AND because I love the possibilities of digital magic. Often the simpler, rougher sketches are the best basis for digital transformation into new, quite wonderful artworks. These are best online, but can make very good prints also…
I decided to continue with the original, which was pale and ineffective in graphite, and try my hand with acrylic paint. I do use acrylics, but usually work in mixed media, incorporating textures, pieces of prints, etc. such that the paint is a secondary material. Not sure what will happen here!
Of course I am still photographing at every step, and still creating digital versions as I work. The top images are most recent, the images at left are the original photos, and those at right are digitally manipulated.