|| Creating animal stencils and taking prints from them ||

As seen before, I created several paintings of animals, I took one, the sloth and copied  it on to a piece of cardboard to create a stencil, I did this in red ink by using the direct trace method – putting oil paint on the back of the drawing I did and putting it paint-side down on the cardboard and tracing around the lines to make the sloth drawing transfer on to the card;  wherever I pushed on  the paper with a pencil, the paint would print through  onto the other cardboard.

I used a blue pen to outline a new outline for the sloth to put my new in depth information into what makes stuff cute. I made the eyes slightly bigger, rounded the head out a bit more and gave him a friendly smile. I then went on to create texture on and around the sloth to create unique prints when I print it. When playing around with the cut out in a casual manner, I discovered that I could turn it into a mask if I were to cut out the eyes and make eye-holes; this explains the picture below. 

To create the texture that can be seen below, I peeled the top layer of cardboard around the edges of the sloth, to expose the corrugated board underneath. I used two different types of to create different effects once printed; one used was masking tape, this one being the more absorbent of the two means some of the ink will be absorbed by the tape while some of it will print faintly. The other was duct tape, and I used this to cover the whole body and this tape does not absorb the paint meaning it would print a more solid shape of paint compared to the other areas on the ‘stamp’ that would absorb some of the colour.

I left the claws/nails bare without any texture making items on top because I felt as though they were  isolated from any other flat surfaces and would print without issue. One concern I had when putting the different textures down was the duct tape overlapping may cause off lines across the body that I was not happy about.

Above and below are pictures of the cardboard after the application of the ink with a roller. Looking at these on their own as a separate piece of artwork makes the prints look a lot flatter than it. Because of the obvious differences in height and textures, the original cardboard ‘stamp’ looks nicer and has a touch and feel element to it. 

What I like most about this technique is that no print would come out the same, because of the variation in thickness of the layers of ink used, how the paper takes the ink when pressed down and even how much ink the cardboard has retained and not let go of when pressed on to the paper. This method of creating pages for a children’s story book would make for very interesting pages, that kids would be very attracted to, when printing with this method the entire page gets covered in ink because of the edges of the cardboard where the ink reaches. I think creating complete pages with this technique would create very colourful and attractive pages for children. creating the background separate to the animals and events happening in the foreground could easily be photoshopped together, and colours changed around to make the printing process easier, in that if I were to print only using one colour I have the ability to change the colour of specific things, such as the floor of the background to separate it from the sky, or the different shades of fur on an animal, that could be printed in small sectioned of areas using duct tape. I think this idea has potential for pages in a children’s book and is definitely something I would like to try out.

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