Art Institute of Chicago Archive

Another potential source of images for your inspiration and engraving fun has gone public.

Students, educators, and just regular art lovers might be interested to learn that we’ve released thousands of images in the public domain on the new website in an open-access format (52,438 to be exact, and growing regularly). Made available under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license, these images can be downloaded for free on the artwork pages.


Cool stuff… :sunglasses:


Very nice.

Interesting, one of the first paintings on the site is this one:

The restoration of that painting was the subject of a great tiny documentary:

Painting restoration videos are very satisfying, if you havent had the pleasure. Enjoy!


This would look pretty on leather.

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doo iiiitttt and post pics. I want to see how it turns out.

This is begging to be engraved on bone, some straight up scrimshaw.


I don’t have a bone big enough, though I do have leather big enough…maybe. We will see.

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My favorite museum site for high quality images is the Riijks Museum in Amsterdam. Think Rembrandt and Vermeer. Drawings and etchings are also available. Almost all of their collection is on-line and they encourage designers and artists to use the images.

I usually spend time in photoshop cleaning the images, adding pattens, adjusting contrast, and trying to make the image laser friendly. Explore!


I am going to do it, but I’m first going to look at frame options to get a good size for hanging.

My first thought was “no link?!” Cold.


Quick, somebody engrave this!!!


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Heh,heheheh. No. :smile:


Oye! I don’t like it with the dingy background, but that would take Inkscape FOREVER to convert to SVG. The ships thing took at least half an hour.

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Why would you covert it to svg at all? Throw it in your favorite raster editor, convert to greyscale and then adjust the curves on contrast to get the background to pure white.

Engrave it as vary power and it’ll be amazing.


Convert to svg still faster and easier than the raster manipulating to get the same effect, provided everything can keep up with it. The vector is easier to clean up and manipulate after, at least sometimes.

The problem for me is that if you go vector you lose all your greyscale on the engrave.

It’d be interesting to do a side by side.

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Good point for the image from geek2nurse. The ship one I am doing is line art.

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The image above just needs some Photoshop time. Here it is after 15 minutes.

It still needs some work with scratches and smudges. This too is a “line drawing”- an etching.


In process, pass 1 of 2. (1 pass cant get the dark I want without scorching the leather.)

I might end up reprocessing the image and do a new run.



(I’m surprised at how much I like this song, it’s catchy. I’m sorry…?)

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