Saturday, November 18, 2017

What Are Ben Day Dots?

       The Ben-Day dots printing process, named after illustrator and printer Benjamin Henry Day, Jr., (son of 19th Century publisher Benjamin Henry Day) is a technique dating from 1879. Depending on the effect, color and optical illusion needed, small colored dots are closely spaced, widely spaced or overlapping. Magenta dots, for example, are widely spaced to create pink. Pulp comic books of the 1950s and 1960s used Ben-Day dots in the four process colors (cyan, magenta, yellow and black) to inexpensively create shading and secondary colors such as green, purple, orange and flesh tones.
       Ben-Day dots differ from halftone dots in that the Ben-Day dots are always of equal size and distribution in a specific area. To apply the dots to a drawing the artist would purchase transparent overlay sheets from a stationery supplier. The sheets were available in a wide variety of dot size and distribution, which gave the artist a range of tones to use in the work. The overlay material was cut in the shapes of the tonal areas desired—i.e. shadow or background or surface treatment—and rubbed onto the specific areas of the drawing with a burnisher. When photographically reproduced as a line cut for letterpress printing, the areas of Ben-Day overlay provided tonal shading to the printing plate.

 Pop artist Roy Lichtenstein's work

       The use of Ben-Day dots was a hallmark of American artist Roy Lichtenstein who enlarged and exaggerated them in many of his paintings and sculptures. Other illustrators and graphic designers have used enlarged Ben-Day dots in print media for a similar effect.

Expertly drawn textured textiles

       Both of these fashion plates were drawn in 1920. The fashions were exquisitely feminine and the illustrator used cross hatching, stippling, shading and very delicate line work in order to communicate a wide variety of textures in his or her work. These fashion plates would be perfect to include in your journal both to copy and remember how to imitate fabric patterns and variations.

Undergarment from 1905 for women

"Puritan knitted underwear is the best" from 1905 greyscale advertisement.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Safari Tan!

"Be immaculately sun-tanned on your beach debut! The amazing new sun protection & sun-tan created by Paul Duval." 1940 personalized cosmetics

eve's apple by Peggy Sage

"It's the new, captivating color from Peggy Sage. A pure, flaming red -- as tempting as the original as Eve. On your fingertips, it sparkles--wickedly--with the diamond-bright, diamond-hard radiance of the exclusive Paggy Sage Crystallin finish." ad from 1956