Saturday, April 26, 2014

noodling and doodling: blue

Once you start, it's hard to stop. Some materials are very addictive.

Maped fountain pen, Speedball dip pen with C4 nib.

Brause 361 and Hunt 101 nibs.
(Here an aside: I have always been fascinated by the fact that Sauron chose to use an Elvish alphabet to write in the Black Speech of Mordor. Tolkien used this device wonderfully to show off the beauty that cloaked Sauron's darkness, something I think none of the media based off his work has been able to do successfully.)

Joseph Gillott 404 nib.
This sketch, while nominally an illustration for my merboy story, is also a little nod to a painting by Caravaggio, one of my favourite artists: The Inspiration of Saint Matthew.

Noodler's Bad Blue Heron ink in various pens, Winsor & Newton cartridge sketchbook.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

post christmas

It's Easter, so naturally that means I can write about Christmas.

I forgot to post about the Christmas cards I sent out! Now that everyone has received them, I can show you my favourites.

They are a little haphazard, mostly scraps from Christmas catalogues, but that's part of the fun, I think. Mixed media on D'Arconte monogrammed cards.

Happy Easter everyone!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

pens: Noodler's Nib Creaper flex pen

Originally I wanted an Ahab, but at $20-$24 each, it was definitely more expensive than the $14 standard flex, and since this was my first flex-nib fountain pen, I didn't feel comfortable spending that much.

What is a flex pen? It's a fountain pen with a flexible nib, which is designed to give you as much variation in line as a dip pen. Noodler's is especially famous for coming up with an affordable version that is also adjustable.

Here is the pen:

I will draw a veil over the slight struggle I had with the adjustable feed and piston-fill mechanism, and move on to how it writes (and draws!):
(No, I can't write in Elvish, why do you ask?)

Noodler's Heart of Darkness ink in Daler-Rowney cartridge journal,
Winsor & Newton artist's pan watercolours.

I'm very pleased with it. It looked a bit cheap in the seller's pictures but feels nice and solid in the hand. There is a strange smell at first, which the Fountain Pen Network says is normal for resin pens from India, but I'm not too bothered.

It's quite tricky to use right out of the box though (look it up on the forums for instructions on how to adjust it to your own style), but for me it's a small price to pay for a fountain pen that draws like a Mitchell copperplate nib!

Friday, April 11, 2014

On the fly: Philippine holiday

I still haven't got the hang of travel sketching - I am still not very good at drawing on the fly; I am too nervous and hesitant. But here are some attempts.

Drive-by sketching in a Manila taxi. Copic Multiliner 1.0.

My cousin's friend had a gig at a club: it was too dark to see his face, and our table was off to the side a bit, but I did my best with pen and coloured it in later. Pen & Ink Sketch fountain pen with Lexington Grey ink, Faber Castell brush markers.

If there's anywhere I really love to hang out in my hometown, it's the Art District: a trendy area that grew out of the parking lot of a local department store. 

Bars, restaurants and clubs grow on top of one another, and street artists are invited to cover the walls with murals.

I went to an improv show and had some great mojitos in the lovely tropical weather. Didn't get much drawing done, but had a great time!