Sketching Tip: Reproducibility & DIY Stickers

20161009_tranquility_tape transfer_sig.jpg

Reproducible methods (and results) are a key part of rigorous science. And reproducing art has been part of doing art for centuries.

So this month’s tip making stickers – an easy and cheap way to make reproductions of your own SciArt.

20161009_Justice_tape transfer_sig.jpgMake your own SciArt stickers.

You might recognize this as “packing tape transfers.” I learned this method in an undergrad photography class, and still have the pieces I made using the technique. Try it out, and see what kind of artwork you can reproduce!

  1. Print out one of your own* science or natural history drawings or texts on white paper. Note that black-and-white line drawings reproduce best.
  2. Flatten packing tape over it.
  3. Rub the tape firmly into the paper.
  4. Soak the paper-tape in warm water for at least 5 minutes.
  5. Rub the paper off (in running water if necessary).

The end result should be a “sticker” with your sketch transferred onto it.

Click here to view step-by-step and video instructions.

*Click here for more information on why it’s important to use your own images, or images you have permission to use.

About the images:

The images in this blog post were created using the packing tape transfer/sticker method described above. The sketches are of Black Angus calves I sketched almost a decade ago. The texts are poetry excerpts or “truisms” from an almanac. The stickers were applied to shards of glass I found while walking along the Clark Fork River in Missoula, MT. I opted not to clean the back sides of the glass pieces, because I thought the caked on dirt was both evocative and helped increase the visibility of the lines and small font-size of the text. There’s definitely potential to integrate ecological considerations, such as litter, with this drawing reproduction to create thought-provoking artworks.

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