Wednesday, October 1, 2008

If At First You Don't Succeed

This particular project has been driving me crazy.

On Saturday I decided I wanted a scroll or parchment seized during the raid on Innsmouth. I already had a few design elements finished, most notably the "Seal of Dagon" I posted last week, but I hadn't put any of them together into some kind of cohesive whole. So I fire up the scanner, break out the graphics editor, and start fiddling around.

This is the result:

Yes, that is indeed my shop light in the lower left hand corner. Manse Propnomicon's photography "studio" isn't a very high-tech affair.

That aside, I just hate the results. Let me count the ways:

1. While the individual elements turned out well (the Dagon seal, the tribal-style deep one, and the stylized R'lyeh) I'm not happy with how I put them together. The design gets across my vague conception of a "Contact Deep One" scroll, but there's still something missing.

2. The font is just too big and layed out in too regular a fashion. It needs more randomness.

3. The whole thing looks way too fresh and clean.

Most of this week's posts will probably involve attempts to fix the various problems. The biggest is the need to make it look more distressed and ancient, since my traditional acid staining of the paper just isn't cutting it. I used a basic dip-and-dry technique, saturating the paper with tea and then drying it on a flat glass plate, followed up by some spot applications of tea crystals to the damp paper to produce age staining. The results seem flat, so I'm going to try a full blown dye treatment followed by some spot bleaching, a grunge wash, and a faux-deckled edge with staining.

We'll start that tomorrow.


MitchDap said...

Well, sounds interesting. Some days, it would be great if you share some of your technique. I'm just familiar with tea/coffee stain and 'oven' ageing techniques..
one of the happy european "Miskatonic Artic Expedition Patch" owners...

Propnomicon said...

If you're looking for information on technique I think you're going to like the next couple of days. When the whole "Ponape Scriptures" thing is done it should be a guide on aging and distressing ancient-style paper props from start to finish.

Well, that's the plan.

Propnomicon said...

Ack! I just clicked through to your website. You should probably be giving me some pointers! That's some excellent miniature work.

MitchDap said...

One day, I should post about my own Mythos props.. But there're not as great as those I can see over there...