Sunday, 29 September 2019

Inktober Preparation 2019

Sunday. Spent some time preparing for this years making a drawing in ink each day throughout the month of October AKA, Inktober. I have done a few variations to the official rules over the years from 'random drawings' to 'making up a story' to 'a drawing made outside each day' to last years 'diary comic pages'. This year I'm going to have a go at illustrating a well known text that lends itself to black and white, you know, like a proper illustrator.

Although I love the films, radio adaptations, comics and even lived next to Whitby for three years, I haven't actually read the book all the way through. So this would be 1. A good way to actually read the story over the month of October and 2. Do something other than draw trees in the park.

Like I said I don't follow the official Inktober prompts, coming up instead with my own internal set of rules to get me through the month. I could have used a PDF from freely available on the internet, for the text but wanted something physical to work from. Last weekend I mooched around a few charity shops in Wakefield looking for a cheap second hand copy of Bram Stoker's Dracula. I haven''t been in a charity shop for years. I found myself cursing the continually downward spiralling circles of charity shop hell as I thought that something that I had seen a lot of in my time was suddenly nowhere on their shelves. I ended up buying a brand new copy for £5 from Waterstones.

  • I cut up some large sheets of heavy weight cartridge paper into 32 pieces measuring 250mm x 210mm. These will fit onto my A4 scanner, so no problem with gutter shadows which happens with a sketchbook.
  • Divided the 400 page Dracula book up into 31 days, approximately 12-15 pages for each day. The first eight chapters falling within a chapter-a-day, after that it gets a bit random.
  • Selecting my drawing tools and making sure I've got enough. For awhile now I've been using dip pen and ink and really enjoy the process of using them. The black is really black. The same tool can create very thin or very thick lines. Writing looks good. I thought that maybe I should break out of my safety zone and use maybe a Unipin Brush Pen but realistically I know that I would end up after a few days of frustration back with the dip pens.

Of late, I don't 'pencil' my work preferring to draw freehand with pen and ink or cobbling together line drawings in Photoshop if they need it. I might use a blue crayon or a light pad to create an under drawing but inking freehand makes my work look fresh and more inspired to me. And there is always white ink if things go badly.

The nib is a Perry & Co No. 227 (EF) scratchy and quite flexible and although that's a Black Magic plastic ink bottle it actually contains Winsor & Newton Black Indian InkThe idea of cutting up the book into pages, white washing and drawing on them occurred to me but  keeping the process simple will help in completing the month with my (in)sanity intact.

Saturday, 28 September 2019

Drawing The Batman

This week I ended up drawing a Batman. I'm not a Batman comics fan although you can't really ignore the history. From the sixties TV series to Neal Adams depiction of the Dark Knight to Tim Burton's Cinematic take, to the modern day Goliath film industries using him to print money. The Batman is part of our culture. 

Started by doodling, there are so many versions that different creators have brought to the 80 year old character. I own Arkham Asylum and Batman: Year 100 collected comics, although Batman: Year One is perhaps my favourite.

I doodled with a variety of pens but ended up going back to my old favourite, the dip pen. I enjoy the process of the mark making with a dip pen, it can be like day dreaming or a meditation... when it works, it works right. I coloured the ink drawing in Photoshop using texture and scanned brush marks to make it a bit more interesting than standard Photoshop type brushes. I do like the black and white version.

Sunday, 22 September 2019

Sunday Sketchbook

Autumn is definitely here. Leaves  are falling and the temperature is dropping.

Saturday, 21 September 2019

I Drew A Dredd

I drew a Dredd from memory on #BatmanDay

Thursday, 12 September 2019

Spilling Ink

Drawing in the park this morning. Didn't feel great first thing so it was late morning before I sat down on grass, in the shade, to draw the Circus Rio big top. Had a little day dream about running away with a circus. A bit shocked to find one of the big trees I like to draw had been cut down. I guess whoever did the chopping had more insight into the state of the tree and that I don't possess lethal tree killing vision when I spend so much time drawing the blasted things!

Spilling ink intentionally and not-so-much-intentionally. It was a messy, enjoyable time drawing.

Sunday, 8 September 2019

Contemplating... The Length of Dog Leads

Scan and photos from today's sketch in the park. Another gorgeous day attracting lots of people, mainly families wandering around. Dodging dog leads, strewn across pathways like cats cradles. Where I was drawing in the shade I could see squirrels scampering about in the branches, a butterfly fluttering above my head as well as a small bird picking bugs out of a rotten branch.

Thursday, 5 September 2019

Tree Guidance

Out in the park again looking for old trees to stand by for 20 minutes or so. To draw and to cool down after my morning run.

Sunday, 1 September 2019

People Are Weird

Back using my favourite drawing pens. Yes, an old fella did jokingly try to take off with my bike while I was drawing in the park today. No - I didn't know him. People can be weird.

This is what Tom Wrigglesworth's Dad sounds like.

The squirrels were interesting. Four of them hanging out  mostly upside down in a tree foraging and nibbling what they could find. They sounded like the rustle of heavy rain through trees.