Monday, January 25, 2010

These art the last two inked images from the circus story.
I don't believe I'll ink the whole story. These were meant to show a single character drawn in several different images. Portfolio pieces for children's book publishers.
The first one is the boy swallowed up by a snake.

The second is a visit with the circus monkeys.

Both were drawn with a mix of pen, brush , and ink.


This is todays self portrait.
I drew this one in my sketchbook using pencil and brush & ink.
Time: 20 - 30 min.

I realized the other day that drawing these on Monday morning, or any other morning, doesn't show me "at my best. But I like the results so far.
For todays drawing I decided in advance that it would be drawn with brush and ink.
I'm working on my control of the brush.

Friday, January 22, 2010

3 birds inked

I finished the inking on the 3 birds. This is the final art.

Let me know what you think.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

New inks

These are a couple of pieces that I started yesterday.
This one is a circus train being pulled by a clown car.

I'm wondering if it needs a background. Nothing fancy. Just a pattern or something.
If you have an opinion, let me know what you think.

This second one is still a w.i.p.

It's also a piece that was done in color previously.
I am changing it for inking. 
As you can see by the hat on the top bird I am planning on adding texture and pattern to the piece. I stopped here to scan it so that I can save this stage so I can print it out on paper and do some experimenting before committing to the final image.
I need to decide how to treat the sky and grass and I'm not sure what I want to do yet.
Again if you have any comments, let them fly.


Here's this Monday's self portrait.

What's that you say? It's Wednesday.
I do believe you're right.
I spent most of Monday working on my resume, trying to make new contacts on "LinkedIn"and job hunting on the web.
You wouldn't have wanted to see how I looked on Monday. I know I didn't want to look in a mirror that day.
Tuesday I was called in to be a sub for a High school math class.
So I took art with me to ink while I was there.
I'll post it after this.
Subbing for High School is nice because the kids are usually well behaved enough that I just have to be there to  hand out the work the teacher left for them to do or start the dvd player so they can watch a movie.  Then I can sit down and draw while scanning the room every couple of minutes to make sure no one is using there Iphone or whatever.

Most of the time they don't even realize that I am drawing. Teens are very self absorbed.
When they do I usually end up with a group of kid looking through my sketchbook.
I kind of nice to see what they like or think is funny.

Today is Wednesday and I finally sat down to draw the self portrait.
This was a quick one. About 20 min. on paper with ebony pencil.

Monday, January 11, 2010

#2 self portrait series

Here's the second self portrait for the year.
The plan is to do one every Monday Morning.

Pencil on paper. 16/20 min.
There's no measuring proportions or preplanning. It's just a quick observation.
Since It's winter here in the midwest and it's been snowing on and off for the past 4 or 5 days I am dressing in my winter gear.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Inking 102

Here's another revisited piece of art for my Black on white portfolio.
It's a piece featuring Vincent Van Gogh and Toulouse Lautrec.
The main reason for revisiting this piece is that the original painted version was damaged by a colored liquid of some sort.
The secondary reason is to continue my inking development.
So this was the original line art for the painted version...

It was never intended to be final art.

In order to do an inked drawing from it I reduced the size to fit on an 8.5 by 11 piece of bristol paper. Then I reduced the opacity of the art to 10%...

and printed it out on the bristol paper.

The result is that I had a basic outline to start with that wouldn't get in my way if I wanted to alter anything. And I did change a couple of things here and there.

The first pass at inking came out looking like this...

I like to scan the art in stages so I can see it on my screen and save the art. That way if I do something to it later that I don't like, I can print out the saved version and start again without completely starting over.
I looked it over and decided that I needed to do something about the lady on right. She was much to white, which made her the center of attention.
I also decided that the dog on the bottom left ,the flower pot, the two guys faces, and the background needed more work. 
This is the result...

I scanned it and looked it over.
I felt that the background , some of the painting of the lady, and Van Gogh's hat needed to get darker.
This is the result...

I also thickened the border to hold it all in.
Overall I'd say it's a successful drawing.
Here's a close up...

I'll do more like this for the portfolio.


Cheap bristol paper.
Faber Castell Pitt artist pens - XS and S.

I liked the way the ink from the pen soaked into the paper quickly and didn't smear or bleed.
If I had to cover large areas in solid black it would be a problem like when I used it with the brush. I would most likely fill in the big areas in photoshop to get a solid black and save ink.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Going back to the circus

I previously stated that one of my goals for this year is to do more inked art.
My first project will be to re-illustrate, in black on white, the art I recently painted for an emergent reader.
Here's the original line art....

It was never intended to be "finished art."

Here's the newly inked image...

If you compare the two you'll notice that I changed some things.
To start with I made the boy's nose much smaller.
I also sent him to the dentist to have that gap in his teeth fixed.
The result is a more normal/appealing appearance. 
I decided to change the title to avoid any © infringement issues.

I used Speedball Super Black India Ink and Windsor & Newton #1 and#4 brushes to ink on some cheap bristol paper.
The brushes aren't the best for inking. The #1 brush wouldn't keep a nice point. The #4 worked alright.
The paper sucked up the ink and made it hard to get solid black coverage.
I manipulated the art in Adobe Photoshop after the art was done to get a solid uniform black.
As far as inking with a brush goes I like it. I have a lot of practicing to do to be able to get a nice smooth stroke though.

I like the way this turned out so I will do the rest of the pages with these materials.
At the same time I will be experimenting with ink pens/markers and other papers.

If anyone has any recommendations of materials that have worked well for them please let me know what they are and I will look into trying them out.

Monday, January 04, 2010


It's a new year!
It's fresh. It's clean. And ready to draw on.
So I've been considering what to do with 2010.
First off, I picked up this book...

I be reading it from cover to cover this month and then applying what I learn from it to my book art throughout the year.
I will review the book either as I go along chapter by chapter or as a whole. This is my first book review so I'll figure that out as I read it.

Secondly, I have decided to take a lesson from the "Old Masters" and do some self portraits.
The plan is to do one a week. Probably on Mondays.
This is the first one. Pencil drawing done in about 20 min.

They will be done however I feel like doing them that day. Pencil sketch, watercolor, whatever.
The plan is to help develop my observation skills.

Thirdly, I will be doing a lot of black and white inked art this year.
I have noticed lately, that when I go to the book store, I am attracted to the line art of the chapter books for boys/girls.  

Forthly, I will be searching for a "focus" for my children's art.
I will be playing with creating a small group of characters to star in my art.
I have a few ideas, but I will be experimenting in my sketchbook for the next couple of months to see what comes up.

I have also decided to focus on the "Old Masters" in my own way.
Particularly, Vincent Van Gogh. He has been a favorite of mine for many years and I find myself thinking of him a lot lately. I believe I will be writing a story featuring Vincent. I don't know if it will be fact or fiction or a mix of both.
I have this idea of doing some cartoony fact sheets. Each would focus on an "Old Master."

That's all I have figured out so far.
We'll see how it goes.....