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Old 07-25-2008, 06:24 PM
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KatherinePlumer KatherinePlumer is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Oak Run, California
Posts: 233
Default Re: Katherine's Contest Submission (Scrimshaw woo hoo!)

Alrighty, so as I said I'd work front to back on this, so the first thing I did was scrim and ink the branches. They're not necessarily finished, but they're at least pretty darn close:



And then I set out to scrim the "base coat" of the tree trunk. I'll be working back into it extensively to get the right amount of shadow and the texture of the bark, but all I wanted at this point was to get the basic form down so it has some roundness and isn't white. Normally I scrim a tiny bit, ink it, scrim, ink, repeat endlessly, but for the sake of being able to throw an inking demo in here I did the whole trunk (well, except that little bit at the top) all at once.

The trunk is fully scrimmed/dotted/incised/whatever you want to call it here, but of course you can't see that until I ink it (unless you get the light at just the right angle):



I use etching ink. Some people use oil paint, some use India ink. I don't really think there's any right or wrong ink, I just figure etching ink is designed to stick in etched lines, and I like working with it, having done a fair amount of printmaking. I always inked metal plates by "squeegeeing" ink across them with a bit of scrap matboard, but since I don't want to accidentally scratch my scrimshaw I just use my finger. It hasn't killed me yet:



It does give one a chronic case of "inky pinky" though. You can always tell by my hand whether or not I've done scrim on any given day, and I have to be exceedingly careful to clean that up, since I'm often bouncing back and forth between scrim and drawing (colored pencil and graphite) and don't want to accidentally ink my drawings!):



Next step, wipe the excess ink away. In ivory I usually just use kleenex but this micarta is a little reluctant to part with excess ink so I'm using my lovely paint rag as some added elbow grease:




And then here's how it looks right now:



So the next step is I will be putting the detail on the tree (bark, more shadow).