This 1950's Swiss poster, from illustrator Martin Peikert, was in good condition... except it was missing the bottom two corners. Those two corners, particularly the left, were also the most detailed areas of the entire poster.
|The poster before linen backing and restoration work began.|
This isn't one of our biggest projects, but there is something so satisfying in these medium-sized projects. The turn around time gives us long enough to get to know the poster, but we don't get to a point where we're tired of looking at them.
For this poster, prep was pretty straightforward. After the poster had been linen backed, I cut out patches and mitered them into the holes, giving Gabe a flat surface to restore.
Gabe's first step was to figure out what the missing areas looked like. One of the hidden costs of restoration is often the research time. Sometimes this means a simple Google search, but often times we comb archives to find the right image and then spend time photoshopping that image to get the right scale for our artists to work from. (Sometimes we can't find any reference image at all, in those rare cases we work with the client to come up with the best solution.)
Once he has a reference, Gabe does a line drawing and breaks down the different areas into colors so that he knows how many masks he has to do for airbrushing and what can be accomplished by pencil and watercolor.
Airbrushing is one of the tools in our arsenal, although we always warn clients that it is not reversible. However, for lithographs like this poster airbrushing allows us to approximate the dot pattern of the original printing technique. And similar to how lithographs are printed, each color was painted separately and the layers all worked together to create different patterns.
|Freehanding the left side|
Gabe estimated that just for the small area in the left corner he did about 8 different colors and masks. Each color gets its own mask and then the colors are built up so that eventually the final result is as close to the original as possible.
|Getting the larger shapes in|
|Getting the details just right!|
|With the sky painted, the left corner is done!|
The final step was to silkscreen the missing text into the right corner.
|Just a little blue ink...|
And the final product:
So proud of our team! This poster is a great view of what we do every day and the final product looks awesome. If you love this poster it is still available to buy from our friends at Antik Bar in the UK: https://www.antikbar.co.uk
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