Saturday, October 16, 2010

MOBY-DICK, Page 408

Title: It smells like the left wing of the day of judgment; it is an argument for the pit.

15.5 inches by 10.75 inches
acrylic paint and ink on found paper
October 14, 2010


  1. love it, love it, love it. Way cool.
    Matt, do you use a scanner to get your work in the computer? I need to get one trying to gather info on what people use. inexpensive but good. Your images are really well presented. What do you use?

  2. Thank you Kathryn, this one came together quickly and very well, I think. It's a very direct offshoot of some of the things I was exploring in my illustration for page 389 as well as a comment from Lizzy in France.

    As for scanning, that's an interesting question with a long answer. Here goes.

    Up until a month or so ago, I was using a combination printer / scanner from Dell. The scanning bed (where you place the art to be scanned) was standard size, about 9 inches by 12 inches. It was an older model, purchased (new) back in 2006 some time. I believe the maximum resolution it was capable of was 300dpi, which is fairly high res and what I scan all of my art at.

    However, when the old computer died and I purchased a new laptop, I needed to also purchase a new printer / scanner since the old one would not "talk" to the new laptop. I bought a brand new Brother wireless model for around $89 and it works amazingly well. It was a bit tricky to get things set up and working properly, but once that was taken care of it worked like a charm. Amazing that in a few short years, this new machine can now easily and quickly scan at a maximum 1200dpi instead of the old 300dpi. I still use 300dpi since that seems more than enough for posting online and also high enough quality for the eventual book. The size of the scanner bed is identical.

    Since most of my art is slightly wavy at first (due to all of the materials I work with and the worn nature of the found paper I use) I put the art on the scanner, drape a towel over the lid, and then weigh the lid down with a toolbox. Enough to keep the art flat, but light enough to not crack the glass of the scanner bed or hurt the lid.

    I scan the art as a 300dpi TIFF, then I open the TIFF in Fireworks (an image managing program)where I crop out any white borders from the scan, marginally tweak the colors and contrast so the online image looks as much as possible like the physical image, scale the TIFF down to a maximum of 800 pixels tall or wide, and finally convert the TIFF to a JPG for posting. And that's that.

    Hope that helps a bit!

  3. Oh, one more thing. Often I will create a piece of art that has to be scanned in two or more pieces and then pasted together with software. This is one of them.

    I scanned the left half and right half as above, and then I used the PhotoShop automerge function to join them together. It's really simple, but complicated to explain, so let me know if you'd like me to go into it.

    After I automerge in PhotoShop, I save the TIFF as one image and then start in Fireworks for the rest, as above.


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