A few people have asked me to provide additional examples of how I develop a print and my thought process. This blog will provide some of the details on the development of "Twilight at Castellano". This image came from one of my sketchbooks and is originally dated January 31, 2013. It has taken me four years to convert in into a print. Its not that I didn't like the image but I have so many ideas and can only execute a portion of them. This idea came from a visit to Italy many years ago and the location is completely from my imagination. I had been thinking about birds flying in formation (ie geese) and the spaces between them. I came upon the idea of doing a tessellation with birds and bats to contrast light and dark. The Figure 1 image was taken from my sketchbook and Figure 2 is a refinement of the image.
I transferred the image to tracing paper and had a lithographic stone prepared by my master printer at Muskat Studios. I choose to make the image a black to white scratch drawing from a black tusche background, It required the use of razor blades and knives to remove the tusche and build the light from the dark background. I started with a completely black background and scraped away at the stone to reveal the lighter portions of the image. This was not my first reverse image. I created "Above and Below"(See the Tessellation Art Gallery) through a similar method. Figure 3 depicts the transfer tracing I used to transfer the iron oxide paper image to the stone. Figure 4 depicts the surface of the stone as I removed the tusche. You can see the outline of the iron oxide on the sides of the drawing. Figure 5 depicts the final image on the stone (note: I flipped the image so that you would see it as it would be seen in the final print.)
Michael Wilson has been creating tessellation art for over 40 years and is preparing this blog to share thoughts on the subject.