Making Bongo's portrait in time-lapse!
The video shows the whole process of making Bongo. From my initial drawing to the cutting and assembly of the final artwork, all set to my tribal beats. More details below.
Bongo's portrait started with a photo-shoot to help decide which was his best side. My pictures show him from 5 different angles, but the photo which we eventually chose was taken on a mobile phone by Bongo's owner. As is often the case, the best pictures are snapped when your pet is relaxed and just being themselves.
The mobile phone picture we chose was quite dark and a little blurred, so after a little enhancing to sharpen it and lighten it, the first step is to make a drawing. The digital drawing is then tidied up and tweaked to create the black layer. In Bongo's case this was destined to be cut out of vinyl, but sometimes it becomes part of a Giclee print.
The video briefly shows a plotter laboriously cutting out the drawing from a sheet of high quality Avery cast vinyl, a process which can take several hours.
Once cut out, everything becomes even more time consuming; it's a good job i'm possibly the world's most patient person. The vinyl layer then has to be 'weeded' which involves removing all the bits you don't want. Bongo's vinyl layer took about 3 hours!
Next job, adding all the colour. This is also a digital drawing, and is created as a 'layer' which goes behind the black drawing to just show through in the gaps. Rather like colouring-in, but not quite. This layer is digitally printed in very high resolution with special UV inks to ensure it won't fade for many years.
You'll see in the video the colour and black elements coming together to create a complete image. If Bongo had been a Giclee print, the black and colour layers are combined digitally then printed as one.
Finally, as it's hard to resist feeling the surface of Big Vinyl Art-works, the portrait gets several coats of museum grade UV ultra-matt varnish to protect it from greasy fingers before being simply framed in black aluminium.
So, If you'd like to order your own Big Vinyl Art portrait, now you know how much work goes into making it! Phew.