Not Martha

the rasterbator, attempt #2

I was eager to try another version of my picture through the Rasterbator since I wanted something larger than my first one, so last night I went back to work. I changed the width from five sheets of paper to eight, and the dot size from 15 mm to 50 mm. Here are the new dot sizes next to the old dot sizes:

It came to 40 pages. Thinking of my poor ink catridge I phoned Kinko’s to see how much it would cost to have it printed there – 89 cents per page for a total near $35. More than I wanted to spend, but still not a bad price for some really big artwork, especially if you don’t have a robust printer. I snapped a new color cartridge into my printer, set the print quality to Draft and had at it.

I really like the result (compare to the first one):

But this is interesting, it’s easier to make out my face in that photograph there than when you are actually stand at that spot and look up at the picture. You can only really turn this into an image of two faces if you stand in the far corner of the dining room and squint. It wasn’t entirely successful, if I had the energy I would change it again so that it was the same width but using a 35 mm dot size. I do think it’s neat that I managed to make a picture so large that you cannot actually view it while standing in the house, or something like that.

Here is a detail of a few pages hung up:

· comments [15] · 08-10-2007 · categories:the home ·

15 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Teri // Aug 10, 2007 at 8:38 am

    I’m sure you’re not looking for comments like this but: I liked the other one! Well, except for the green instead of brown. In addition, I realize it IS your house and all, so I’ll go back to lurking.

    Happy Friday!

  • 2 Melissa A. // Aug 10, 2007 at 8:57 am

    I think that’s really neat. Even though people seem to use it on a large scale, I wonder how it would work on a smaller scale. I am moving into a new place and might attempt to decorate, but my printer stinks.

  • 3 megan // Aug 10, 2007 at 9:05 am

    Teri – I liked the first one better as well, but I did want it bigger to fill the wall. When I have the time (and the paper, and the ink) I’m going to redo it so that it gains back the detail. I always intended this wall for artwork that is easy to change out, and I’m excited to be able to rip things down just because.

  • 4 Patti // Aug 10, 2007 at 9:35 am

    Oh, that’s what I was going to say – I like the bigger one in the stairwell space, but I want more detail. This is so cool, I’m going to try one. We live in a very old house and don’t have big wall spaces, darn it.

  • 5 courtney // Aug 10, 2007 at 11:24 am

    Okay, I have been toying with doing one in black and white for my office/craft room, since I have 2 very large very plain walls (I figure this on one wall, and shelving on the other). However, I just keep wondering if it looks like I hung several pieces of paper on the wall. I have thought about using photo paper to maybe make it look a little more professional.

    So what is the quality like “in person”?

  • 6 megan // Aug 10, 2007 at 11:44 am

    Courtney – I used regular, everyday ink jet paper, I trimmed the images all carefully along the cut lines on all sides and lined them up together fairly carefully. The paper does want to curl, and the sides are curling outwards. It doesn’t look professional but I don’t think it looks bad either. Up close the progression of dots in interesting to look at, and far away the image that forms keeps you from inspecting the quality. You could do thicker paper (32 lb. or so). I suspect it helps to mount it on a white wall so the paper edges aren’t as obvious – if not you might want to trim only some sides so that each page has a little overlap with the next to the side and the top or bottom.

    But I myself don’t care so much about the finished look, I like that I can change the image on a whim and make it really big.

  • 7 shakespearedave // Aug 10, 2007 at 2:50 pm

    tried a b/w shot i had taken of the washington square arch, color-shifted to bluegreen, but came out as a big, thick jumprope. but on the face=better principle, did a great render of l’inconnue. unfortunately, a cyan shortage kept me from printing it. darn internet, making me spend money again. argh.


  • 8 Minnie // Aug 10, 2007 at 3:59 pm

    If you get a version you LOVE and want to make it nicer/last a little longer, maybe you could by an inexpensive art canvas. The craft stores sell them, you don’t have to have anything fancy.
    You could use “mod podge” to glue to images down, decoupage the the image onto the canvas, and seal coat over the top of them.
    Then they wouldn’t move or curl…and you could move the canvas over 1/2″ if you wanted, without having to move each page separately.
    I think I just talked myself into trying this…oh no…

  • 9 Shelley Noble // Aug 10, 2007 at 11:05 pm

    So cool. Love Minnie’s canvas suggestion too!

    u know… if you wanted to get extree, extree fancy… you could reverse the image and transfer the inkjet or Xerox© images onto the large stretched canvas, either blank or painted(!) with any medium of your choice, and/or then paint over the dots after the image is on the canvas thereby making AN ORIGINAL PAINTED ARTWORK of yurselvees!! yay!

    Great job, Megan!

  • 10 Shea // Aug 11, 2007 at 9:01 am

    When I did this I used the Post-It removable photo paper. I would not suggest using it in a real humid area however. All the edges are curling up now and it looks terrible.

    Megan – do the clear mounting squares work better?

  • 11 Kristina // Aug 11, 2007 at 9:25 am

    I made a black and white picture of my dog and posted it on my site, check it out, I Love It, i just keep staring at it.
    My son put it together, that’s why you can see tape on the front. Now he wants a huge penguin on his wall.
    Thanks for the idea!
    {I like the bigger picture but the smaller dots, I’m thinking this could get addictive and expensive!}

  • 12 Jennifer // Aug 12, 2007 at 7:26 am

    Hi Megan,

    I love this project! You have inspired me to try it with a picture of my baby. Do you have any recommendations in terms of number of different colors in the original picture? Did you choose to use the picture that you used because it is a cute picture of the two of you, or because of some particular properties of the shot?

    And just because everyone seems to be weighing in: I like both the scale and the decrease in detail of the second one better. At least from the pictures you posted, it looks more Chuck Close than the first attempt.

    Thanks for a great idea!

  • 13 megan // Aug 12, 2007 at 7:59 am

    Jennifer – I chose this picture because it’s a cute picture of the two of us, and I’ve been seeing a lot of huge portraits lately. The first image I tried was of Mount Rainier but it didn’t look nearly as good as faces do. Honestly, the way I take pictures it’s more like taking notes, it’s rarely about capturing beauty so much as capturing a detail or idea, so I didn’t have a lot of good photographs to choose from.

    As for colors, go for more colors than I used here, since we both have similar hair color everything in my picture turned out peach and brown.

    I did look around a bit on Flickr for CC licensed pictures of figs for a while but couldn’t find anything that was quite right.

  • 14 Kellee // Dec 8, 2008 at 10:16 am

    Hey Megan,

    This is great and has inspired me to do something similar – we’ve just moved to a rented place which has very high ceilings and lots of empty walls so this would be aperfect and not too costly a way to decorate a wall. Just wondered how you actually stuck the pieces to the wall though-don’t really want to fix anything too permanent as we rent and don’t want to ruin the walls!

    Any ideas? Thanks!

  • 15 megan // Dec 8, 2008 at 10:27 am

    Kellee – I used 3M clear mounting squares (see here). They are clear and it’s sort of a gummy material that comes off cleanly. 3M also makes a square foam removable poster mounting adhesive that I’ve used for a number of posters around our house that I like as well. Warning, the adhesive cost might add up quickly.

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