Flight

Painted completely within Inkscape - March, 2022

Printed on Hahnemühle German Etching paper made from cellulose material - archival standards

1 print

With the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the cold dreary weather, I wanted to create something bright and cheerful.

Like many "abstractions", this project took almost 3 months from start until completion.


There's a cute story about my children and Flight.

When they were kids, they all attended Sunday together.

One day, the teacher asked them to prove the existence of God.

My son and older daughter wrote a lengthy, logical, discussion.

Juli, my youngest daughter, thought for a moment and wrote "Because there are butterflies!"

When creating Flight I though about Juli and her proof of the existence of God.


Some people quickly throw ideas out on canvas or paper.

With my engineering background, I have to develop the initial idea, then sleep and work on it on for many days.

(I frequently wake up with another idea to try.)


My work now incorporates many of the benefits of vector graphics.

Probably one of the most useful tools is creating and editing filters - which is heavily used in Flight.

This helps me create unique backgrounds and also provide textures and designs to any line.

(I rarely use the plain vanilla filters within Inkscape. The Filter Editor tool allows one to modify and create unique ideas.)


The big negative to using filters is the amount of computation that is required when exporting the final image.

My workstation has an Intel i9 core with 64 GB RAM and an SSD Drive.

But even with this design, creating an output file for Flight takes over 100 minutes.

Each time I made a change in Inkscape, I had to wait 1-3/4 hours.

After the output file is created, I then use a regular print control tool to further adjust colors and contrasts.


I created at approximately twenty 8-1/2" x 11" prints of Flight, each one checking out different features.

Then I ran made the full size of 29" wide x 17" height.

Here too, I noticed things that were missed in the smaller format, and went back into Inkscape, made changes, and exported again.

Painting on a computer has many benefits. But one needs to be extremely patient and work through issues.


The Final Print

Hahnemühle's German Etching paper is very heavy at 310 gsm - it is almost like board stock.

The weight means a lot of ink can be absorbed by the paper - producing much richer and darker colors.


The paper's texture also helps accentuate lines and textures.

The swirling lines all jump off the paper - which a photograph or a jpg can not demonstrate.