Curious to see the process of creating a digital art print?

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2008

I print my artworks in an art gallery / photo studio specialized in artwork reproductions and large scale prints. I always print them myself because I prefer having total control on my final artwork: Who said digital art prints are not “hand made”? I use one of my two favourite EPSON printers: Stylus Pro 9800 or Stylus Pro 10600, using the 8-color Epson UltraChrome K3™ ink technology that produces very high print quality. This printer can handle paper up to 44-inch wide – the length is illimited. Here’s Epson Stylus Pro 9800 – First step: I choose the appropriate kind of paper, in this case a watercolour 24 inch paper roll (24″ is the width of the roll), because I wish to plot a 24×18 inch art print:

Epson Stylus 9800 Printer

The next step is opening my digital file and making some printing tests. We call those printing tests “test stripes”. This means printing a small portion of the picture, like for example 2 inches x 24 inches – this is just to test how the paper reacts to the file, on several areas of the image. For example, canvas absorbs more ink than fine art paper. Or watercolour paper absorbs more ink than glossy paper. A print on glossy paper looks completely different than a print on canvas or on matte paper, even if you are using the same digital file. So I have to adjust the colours, in order to have them on paper exactly or almost exactly as I created them on screen. I print a test stripe and compare to the screen. If I don’t like the result, I modify my file or modify the printing options, then print another test stripe. And this goes on until I am satisfied with the printing result – as soon as the result is satisfying, I print the complete artwork. In case you are asking yourself what “colour management” means: It’s all about trying to make sure that the colours of the artwork I created on screen match with the colours of the print as best as they can.

Test stripes

Yes I know, I create a mess on any desk I use… As you see on the picture below, the test stripe on the right is a little “orange toned”, the one in the middle is a little dark and the one on the left is actually a succeeded one – light sepia / brown tones, like on my digital file. I juxtapose them and compare…

Test stripes

And here is my digital file – it’s a tribune to Auguste Rodin’s “Eternal Idol”. The artwork name is “The Kiss #7 – Variation Sepia”:

The Kiss #7 - Variation Sepia

The printing stripe was OK, so I proceed to the actual printing of the artwork.

Epson Stylus 9800 Printer printing digital artwork

I favourite watercolour paper for this kind of digital artworks, because it has a rough surface structure that gives my works a “drawing” aspect. It’s luxurious, thick, soft and resistant. And here is the final print. It has a white border that can be used instead of matting: the surface of the watercolour paper makes a very nice mat.

Epson Stylus 9800 Printer - Final print

Like this print? If you wish to buy a print, just leave me a comment here – your e-mail address will be visible to me but invisible to all other visitors of the blog. You can also buy this print at

Thanks for your feedback or questions!

Rodin Eternal Idol: new wheat variations

Friday, January 4th, 2008

Here is my first wheat variation on Rodin’s Eternal Idol:

Ina Mar - Homage to Rodin - Eternal Idol, Variation Wheat

I had the idea in 2002, started creating it, left it for some years, then finished it 2005. Rather neutral tones with some colour touches: brown, gold, black, some white and light purple, creme, light yellow, a couple of green touches and a little bit of color work up in the top right corner. The wheat texture is more concentrated on the woman’s breasts, the man’s face and the woman’s belly, to put the accent on the moment of the kiss and on erotism. His chest and her torso are well defined with shadows. The man’s body is mixed with dead leaves and wrapped paper textures, to give it a “rigid” aspect. On the top right corner, I put an intense light, to symbolize strong feelings that make all thoughts “vanish” during the erotic act.

My “Eternal Idol” variations play with the notion of eternal versus the notion of seasonal. They address the conflicting relationship between the notion of sculpture as permanent and tangible and the seasonal lanscape as a symbol of perpetual change. The “eternal” idol is thus transformed into a living, changing object while the “seasonal” landscape is petrified into an unchangeable eternity. Wheat fields in summer, rapeseed fields in spring, dead leaves in autumn, icy lakes in winter – those elements transform Rodin’s Eternal Idol into a chameleon, an Idol in Eternal Change.

As commissioned by a client, I am now trying to create a horizontal wheat variation. I came up with the following four variations, but I am having difficulties choosing only one (as “official” version…). In order of creation:

Ina Mar - Homage to Rodin - Eternal Idol, Variation Wheat
This one has more yellow tones, more intense colours than the vertical version. It’s 12x16in / 30x40cm.

Ina Mar - Homage to Rodin - Eternal Idol, Variation Wheat
This one is intense yellow and warm brown, with more contrast and more defined edges. 12x16in / 30x40cm.

Ina Mar - Homage to Rodin - Eternal Idol, Variation Wheat
I think this one is my favorite. The tones are more neutral, there is a wraped paper work in the woman’s genitalia part, some blue-green touches, warm tones. It is almost square (40x45cm / 16x18in) and the man’s chest is complete.

Ina Mar - Homage to Rodin - Eternal Idol, Variation Wheat
This one is pretty similar to no3, same dimensions, with a bit of colour work up in the top right corner.

I appreciate any comments and feedback!

Rodin Eternal Idol: new wheat variation

Friday, January 4th, 2008

Still working on that horizontal wheat variation, commissioned by a new client… I have created four different variations, some in yellow tones, some in neutral tones, using combinations of wheat and dead leave textures. I will be posting them as soon as they are ready!

New “Homage to Rodin’s Eternal Idol” variation

Tuesday, December 25th, 2007

Homage to Rodin’s Eternal Idol - Variation Green Field

Here’s a new botanical variation for my “Homage to Rodin” series. As requested by many of you, I am now adding some horizontal variations. Click on the picture to see the printing and framing options.

This variation is mixing the Rodin kissing couple (The Eternal Idol, 1889) with botanical elements, namely a green grass field in the Rhön Biosphere Reserve in Germany (Biosphärenreservat Rhön). I visited the Rhone Biosphere Reserve in May 2006, really exceptional landscape:

Rhone Biosphere by Bel Phos

Visit the official Rhön Biosphere Reserve web site for more information.

Now working on a horizontal wheat variation…