Saturday, May 30, 2009

Rainbow Pencils and Harry Clarke

I went to see the Harry Clarke exhibition in the National Gallery on Thursday and while I was waiting to meet my Mum and brother I bought a rainbow pencil in the gift shop. I used to hate rainbow pencils when I was a kid, but I was looking to try them again recently. There were several different colour variations and this was the last one with the CMY primary colours. It's a lot of fun to sketch with, I don't know if I'd use it for a finished picture, but I am thinking about it.

The Harry Clarke illustrations are amazing and so detailed. The lines are so skinny, I've inked lines ten times the size of his and been worried about them dropping out in print. He took seven days to complete one piece, I have to say I wish I had a deadline that would allow me to put that much into an illustration.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Pan's Labyrinth stage 3

I did some more work on Pan's painting, it's still not finished yet. Click here for the previous stages. I closed the sketchbook too soon and the pages got a little stuck together, most notably on the chin.

There's been building works going on next door for the past two days. The house was vibrating with noise, but that's nothing compared with the alarm that went off a few doors up at 4.20 on Saturday morning and lasted until 9ish. After an hour went off again, it was impossible to work or even think (never mind sleep) so we left for town. It's lovely and quiet at the moment, just some birds chirping outside, bliss.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Some Good Support

My bank card got swallowed by an ATM today, fantastic!

Anyway here's a little story about paper. This is the paper I used to paint on:

Daler Rowney have fairly recently changed the smoothness of this paper (and the weight). It's now just cold pressed but it used to be so shmooth. The advantages of the old stuff were several fold: a paper capable of taking ink and watercolour; good for glazing techniques; readily available in big newsagents; affordable enough that you can just muck around on them and not feel like everything you do on it has to be a masterpiece.

Now that it's just cold pressed like every other pad of watercolour paper next to it on the shelves it's lost the first two qualities.

Here's some stuff from 2006 on the old paper:

The paintings in my first post were also painted on this stuff.

I was trying out some Arches Hot pressed and these were the results:

This paper's a lot pricier, but I got this block for free from my wonderful and kind Stephen. It is really, really nice, but it doesn't handle the dip pens as well as the old Daler Rowney Aquarelle.

DR Aquarelle:

Arches hot pressed:

These are the exact same zoom and size. But it is VERY zoomed in. It's more something you notice when your drawing.

Well, I've yet to test out every other hot pressed paper under the sun and that is fairly probable.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


You know you're busy when going to the loo counts as a holiday. I'm just working away as usual, but I will be taking half a day off soon to go see Star Trek (punches air).

The first of the sketches above are cartoonyified self portraits, not very much like me, but that wasn't the aim. The second one was a little acrylic sketch I did on some left over paper from my current illustration work. I had to order the paper in specially for this project. I'll post some of the highlights of these illustrations after they've been published, for now they will remain a tantalising mystery.