Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Zatoichi Sketch Quick



Excuse the upside down video. It was in the way so I moved the tripod  I was using thinking I could rotate the clips in Windows Media Maker. Turns out I had uninstalled WMM at the last big Windows 10 update and it's not available to download any more. So I've been downloading and learning Lightworks, which is okay but different enough to WMM to make me SCREAM!

Monday, 10 July 2017

Some pens are better than others

I'm probably going against the grain with popular artistic drawing practice but I definitely draw better with some pens than I do others. And after 35 years of drawing as an amateur, enthusiast and professional I can’t answer why. Here's a gun slinging mouse drawn with a variety of pens...







It used to be Dip Pens that I used with confidence. Over the past year life and work have changed direction and slowly the confident use of the dip pen has dissolved. The Pilot Parallel Pen has stepped up to replace the dip pens. Why does this matter, surely an artist can use anything to create. They can, although it’s the tool that enables me to express my ideas the simplest. The only thing I struggle with is the continuous refilling of the pen with Carbon Pen ink.

This may all change when I wake up tomorrow.



Thursday, 15 June 2017

Zombie Prime Minister



Zombie PM Theresa May walks an apocalyptic wasteland of her own making.

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Vintage Nib Test Drive



Vintage shop emporium Eyewood in Wakefield gave me a couple of boxes of vintage pen nibs that they picked up in Bruge for a few Euros, they were happy for them to go to a good home.



The Perry & Co No. 227 (EF) Nibs are brilliant dip pen nibs. Fine lines and flexible enough for broad strokes giving it a good range of ink mark making abilities.




Heintze & Blanckertz LY 6 95 nibs, these look different to most dip nibs with 3 vent holes punched along the shank and the tip is angled more for calligraphy than drawing. I thought these were just old nibs and surface corrosion was interfering with the ink flow. I persevered and struggled with them only after researching a little further, it turns out these are left handed nibs. I had a quick scribble using my left hand and they do work although it feels like patting my head and rubbing my belly with a huge serving of lack of coordination jelly.


It's very rare to get something for nothing in this world so a big thank you to Robin and Natalie at Eyewood, seriously this is a life times supply of pen nibs.

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Frankenmay Process

I had this idea for a political cartoon. Theresa Maybe and her cobbled together monster of lifeless Conservative  policies. After a year spent dismantling public services she is suddenly all for the working classes in the run up to the snap general election on June 8th 2017. That was the nub of the idea. Cobbled together policies and a slogan that is so 'We're all in this together' bland and meaningless she might as well be saying 'UP YOURS'. The one thing the UK is at the moment and that is STRONG and STABLE. I live in the North of England and it is particularly GRIM, especially for anybody involved in the 'creative arts'.

I digress, back to the illustration process business in hand. Above is the blue pencil sketch which was to become the underdrawing to this piece. Using a lightpad I drew with a dip pen and ink. It is NOT TRACING but using the sketch as a layout guide. I use a dip pen because I find, it is difficult to get precise lines and creates a more spontaneous and lively looking drawing.


Saying that, I liked parts of the drawing but there was something about the monster's open mouth, a lively and spontaneous decision I decided to go with when I was drawing that now didn't feel quit right. Was the lifeless monster crying out in pain? Laughing? Listening to dance music? Focus needed to be on the creator, the real monster in the piece. Also I didn't like the lettering, it looked a bit rushed and I knew I could do better.


There were a lot of lines and time involved in that first inking attempt. I did the next  drawing with a Pilot Parallel Pen which  is a thicker mark making tool an was a little bit quicker to ink with. I loved the look of the monster  in this one, stoic in life or death, putting up with the madness of an evil social engineer. Wasn't too happy about her hand though and the face was a bit off too. In the tradition of the best editors I liked a little bit of something from each drawing, "Could you just use the best bits from both drawings and..." Gah!


Which is what I did in Photoshop. Overlaying the two inked layers and erasing the worst bits and keeping the lines I really liked. A bit like cobbling together my very own perfect monster of a drawing.


"Alive, ALIVE! The drawing is ALIVE!" That line coincidently comes from the 1931 black and white Frankenstein film, I viewed this scene on YouTube for reference and the next line is "Now I know what it feels like to BE GOD!" which is quite apt for the way the Conservative's money grabbing low wage poverty inducing polices have been sneaked into place. The money, OUR money is still there, it's just trickled up to the top. STOP IT!


I threw a back and white tint* over the top just to reference the original film a bit more and it helps to push the speech bubbles forward too.


*Which became a colour tint (see previous post) It works better.

Frankenmay and Her Monster