Wednesday, April 04, 2012


We rarely see art on the web at really high resolutions. Everything looks sharp and perfect, but relatively small. Even when we work on paper, we eventually scan and process our work via the computer. The impulse is to clean things up—to remove what appear to be imperfections in the digital realm. Make whites white— blacks black. Get rid of all the dust and scratches.

With this snow scene (posted at the end of 2011), I purposefully didn’t clean up the scan (inked on paper, by the way, with a Pentel pocket brush pen). I experimented with my coloring and layering on top of the ‘dirty’ scan to make the image look like it was silkscreened or letterpressed. It was fun!

These are all screenshots at a zoom of 100%, from a 600 dpi image in Photoshop.

I like that you can see the tooth of the paper and the jagged edge of the ink. Which is somewhat interesting to preserve on a screen, but entirely unnecessary in print.

As the web slowly becomes HD, I wonder if more artists will reject the impulse to clean things up. Or if we’ll become even more hyper-perfect.

The content of this post originally appeared on my tumblr.

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