Thursday, August 29, 2013

Book project, home stretch...

Guys, the book project is set to launch in January! This is not really a sneak preview, just a sideways glimpse of my favourite illustration of the bunch.

Pentel brush pen, Hunt 512 bowl nib with Noodler's Bulletproof Black. I have used this ink for nearly the whole book (plus other things) and after 100 or so drawings with washes, I have barely gotten past the shoulders of the 3oz bottle. Awesome.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

coffee: how do you take it?

'actually I feel like every day is coffee day' ... because it is.

Mitchell Copperplate nib (because I wanted to complicate my life), Jorg Hysek fountain pen ink. Note on this ink: it is not waterproof, and it smells like grade school paste. Regardless, I love it. I do wish I had a Jorg Hysek pen to put it in, though, because those things look like props for Star Trek.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

visual notes

More sketchblogging from the square Moleskine.

The pillar-like thing on the bottom left is one of the water fountains that stood outside the villas in Il Borro, a resort in Tuscany.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The Bodhisattva of Action

This may be one of the most comic-book-like of the bodhisattvas I have drawn. May have something to do with the fact that I don't have my rubber stamps, and therefore my usual mixed-media approach necessarily has to change.

Skin colours laid down first.

With flash.

Without flash.
Based on the deity Zaou Gongen, a being with a rather mixed history. Instead of standing for aggression, the clenched fist represents emptiness, and therefore detachment. The flames represent inspiration, and the sword confidence.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

pots & pans: cotman compact set

When I first arrived in the UK and was giddy with the high of being in London again after 5 long years HUZZAH, I may have staggered into the London Graphic Centre during a summer sale and bought a set of watercolours for less than £10.

The Winsor & Newton Cotman Compact Set is actually one of W&N's most downmarket colour sets. W&N is the everyman paint company, and Cotman is its budget brand for students.

Still, some of my best work was done with really cheap kids' paint--Golden was the cheapest, but Prang tempera is still one of my favourite art materials--so I was excited to give it a try.

Since I got this set I've used it pretty often, as you will have noticed in the past few posts. It's not as waxy as Prang but just as bright. It comes with 14 colour pans, but you can also buy individual colours. I swapped out 2 pans, because I am a little bit crazy about Prussian Blue and Payne's Grey and cannot conceive of leaving them out of any art set if I can possibly get them.

Because of the construction of the box, though, I can still pack the Chinese White and Pale Cadmium Red in the saucer that fits in the thumb space (seen here clipped to the side). I can even fit my mini Sakura Koi waterbrush (thanks, Mom! ♥) in the central groove, alongside the surprisingly usable synthetic brush that comes with the set.

One word of caution though: I had to fix the pans to the bottom of their trays with dabs of blu-tack, as they tend to pop out and spill everywhere and are a pain to sort out again. The paint blocks eventually stick to the trays with use, but I helped them along by wetting the bottom of the blocks and sticking them down, like votive candles. Otherwise, this is a really cute little box that is a pleasure to use!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

locks and pens

This isn't exactly a page-a-day thing, but I have been a little caught up, and I would like to make time in my day to sketch regularly. I'll be posting my doodles here. My friend Jamie gave me a great Moleskine squared notebook, and it takes to dip pens very well (although, as always, I have to watch out for smears!)

Tried using a copperplate nib I picked up for 80p at the London Graphic Centre to draw a door lock from the Duomo in Florence. It's stiffer than the nibs that the oblique holder uses, so you really need to use pressure to get any variation. And because of the funny shape, my feel for the nib was off and one side of the lock ended up stretched out--a totally unforeseen effect!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Writing blog!

I started a writing blog!

And here is the illustration I used for it, adapted from some work I did for HitREC: