Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Goodbye, old Scanner

Due to an Internet failure (see the current "Orangeness" posting) I was unable to upload a By-Product. My connection has been restored, at least for now, so here it is again. This image is copied from a 16th century collection of woodcut illustrations by a gentleman named Jost Amman. They are a treasury of costume and equestrian and military details, as well as theatrical and ceremonial characters. It's yet another edition from Dover publications, who have been supplying artists with images and instruction for decades.

I copied this cavalryman from Amman, for the purpose of working on Photoshop coloring of monochrome drawings. He came out pretty well for a tiny drawing, although the linework might look better in black than brown. This is how modern color graphic sequential art (comics) is done. 

This type of art using Photoshop needs a scanner to import the drawing into the digital world. In the days before Photoshop, I'd simply make the ink drawing and then color it with watercolor. This is still an option if I want to sell it to a collector. But the scanner is the portal to any digital work you want to do. And after all these years of work, my scanner was full of dust.

Dust in the scanner, all we are is dust...in...the...scannner...No, really, the device was not only dusty but an obscuring film was collecting on the inside part of the glass deck. This had happened before, and back then I had managed to unscrew the plastic halves apart, pop it open, clean the glass and blow away the dust, and then re-assemble the item. This time I couldn't do it. I realized that in order to get it apart, I'd have to do violence to it. And I wasn't willing to attack. 

This scanner was part of my father's gadget hoard and I appropriated it at least 10 years ago in a pristine state. Now it was time to let it go. I felt a genuine sadness that I would have to throw away a machine that had served me for all these years without recalcitrance or failure. Uncounted thousands of scans had originated here. It was like an old horse after the cavalryman has gone to his rest. I brought the partially disassembled machine to Staples and left it on their desk for recycling. Staples had plenty of fresh new scanners but I didn't get one. Not yet. I know, I need it for work, and will buy a new one very soon, but let me observe a proper period of mourning for my old friend.

Cavalryman is brown tech pen ink on sketchbook page, colored in Photoshop, about 4 1/2" x 3 1/2", September 19, 2015.

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