I started by finding a good source image of Hedy. There are a lot of really gorgeous pictures of her on the web, but I wanted something that I could manipulate to change someone’s perception of the image. I eventually found this image. I really love the bedroom eyes and the dress hanging suggestively from her shoulders. The more I look at the photo, however, the more she looks a little ‘checked out’ and the shadow over her left eye (to our right) makes that eye look a little lazy. This was perfect for what I was going for.
My next step was to make a quick concept sketch of what I wanted. To the left is the concept image of one print block and the right is the other image and a light outline of how it is supposed to interact with the first block. It’s rough, but I was just trying to get the concept right.
My next step was to make detailed sketches to be transferred to the print blocks for carving. I spent a lot of time on Hedy because it needed to look like her. If I got it wrong it would suck. I cared quite a bit less about the headcrab, which is fine with me. The headcrab changes the image, but is meant to be more iconographic and representational than detailed like Hedy.
The image above is about 4 x 4.25″. Hedy was first sketched in pencil. I then added sharpie over the areas I was confident I wanted to keep. Eventually all the areas I wanted to keep got sharpie on them. It looked good. I worried a bit about having too much detail, but figured I would cross that bridge when it came time to carving. To transfer the image to my print block I went back over everything with pencil again, making sure to put down a lot of lead, and then placed the image face down on the printing block. I then rubbed the back of the paper with the blunt end of a pencil and the image transferred well enough for me to carve.
Carving is pretty straight forward. Cut away everything but where there are pencil lines. Again for Hedy I went over the pencil lines with sharpie to make things easier. Here are the carved blocks.
After carving you need to make some test prints. I did these and found some areas that I needed to carve a little deeper so I didn’t get ink where I didn’t want it.
You can see some ink on Hedy’s forehead and chest, and right on her shoulder. Lamarr had issues as well. I eventually cut away most of the block leaving just the headcrab figure left with little block around it. Here are some other test prints that I’ve done.
In the above images you can see what I’m going for with Lamarr & Lamarr, which is why I chopped off the back legs and part of the front legs on Lamarr. The final prints will have Lamarr chomping into zombie Hedy’s neck.
So, I’m working on some final prints and I’m considering maybe doing a run and selling prints or cars or whatever for $1-2 per. The question is, would you be willing to buy a print?