Saturday, 30 March 2019

The Drawing Force Surrounds Us

For a long time now I have been struggling with drawing, the thing I love the most. Above is a sketchbook drawing made using a brush pen, in the park, a few weeks ago. Using a brush allows me to 'mark make' and abstract away from pure line work in a way that dip pens and their like didn't. Cutting out some of the frustration I was feeling. Silhouettes become stronger and it allows the drawing force to take over. (The drawing force is something I believe in. I have been drawing for myself and others since I was 16 so if practice does make perfect, I should be a lot better than I am 36 years down the line).

I scan the sketchbook image in Black and White A4 at 600 Dpi. This gives a nice solid feel to the page, to the extent where I lose the squiggly bits I added in after with white paint, but I'm all right with that. It makes the image fresh to my eye again. I clean up the centre line, resize it from A4 to A3 at 300Dpi in Photoshop and rewrite the date. I have colouring plans for this similar to the Same Tree pages I did but that is for another day. 

Friday, 15 March 2019

Black Brush Line Colouring Process

Recently I have been using a Black Pentel Colour Brush to draw with. I love the brush tip although the ink that comes with it is not waterproof, I've tried refilling the pen with a waterproof ink but it's not the same. So to colour my sketches I have been using Photoshop which give it a graphic look I' liking.  A few people over on Twitter were asking how I went about the colouring, being unsure if the colour was digital or traditional. Hopefully this post might explain my process a bit.

I was conscious that the drawing was looking a little like Dave McKean (even though Kim Gung Gi is the current Pental Brush Pen poster boy). It wasn't until people started to mention the similarities to Cages from the colouring down to the nine panel grid that I started to see them myself. All accidental, I just wanted to get the idea down and out as quick as possible.

The black brush pen drawings are scanned Black and White at 600dpi. This gives a nice solid line to work with. I'm trying not to use my stylus pen so much, I end up spending too much time drawing with it. Instead, the mouse is the tool to use. This is all coming from working on a big commission recently which used dip pen and ink, watercolour and a lot of tweaking. It killed my enthusiasm for drawing. I'm trying to claw my way back to enjoying my mark making. 

Molly Brooks explains the 'Isolating Line in Photoshop' a lot better than I can. This basically puts the black line on a transparent layer which is how I did the white rain effect and is a brilliant way add effect to a line drawing. I was shown how to do this way back in the Nineteen 'Noughties' when I was working as a concept artist at a computer games company. As Molly suggests, adding it as a Photoshop Action saves so much time.

Having said all that, these arrived in the post today and mean I could apply watercolour over the brush pen drawing without the ink dissolving.

Sunday, 10 March 2019

Same Tree, Different Rains

Sunday Morning. Went running in the cold and the rain. Maybe it was the act of running past different wooded park scenery with vertical rain linking each stride which triggered the mantra (and the comic strip) in my head? It really was ghastly weather to be out in.

Friday, 8 March 2019

Exercise Hurts

I'm out doing the Thornes Park Fitness Trail after a six month hiatus and it feels like I'm starting from scratch. Core aches and there's a weird cold pain in my solar plexus. I've been working  a couple of jobs recently, freelance illustrator and as an employee in a part time job and the exercise habit kinda just fell to the wayside. In these times of austerity there's not much left to give up for Lent so I'm going to 'take up' something instead. I've decide to go running and jumping twice a week until Easter.