Wednesday 27 July 2016

Indian Ink brush pens

I had wanted to try out a few different products from my local art shop and saw these Faber-Castell PITT artist pens which are available in a choice of 2 barrel sizes and different nib sizes - I chose the small barrel size with broad nibs. Their colours are bright and vibrant as they are Indian ink based. They don't blend but they can be layered on top of one another to create rich vivid tones and are waterproof.

Using the wooden model I manipulated the figure into the pose I had in my mind's eye. I then drew it in pencil. This would be the basis of the finished figure.

After taking photographs of my own hands in these positions I sketched more detail.

please feel free to download 
this ink drawing to colour

Inked up with a UniPin fineliner and erased the pencil lines. It was at this point I thought having used a coloured pencil to 'ink' might have been better, as the colour would merge better into the FC colours. Emanating from the figure's arms and hands were moths and across the back of the figure was a broad band of flowers, drawn from photographs online.

Copics in Light Hydrangea and Phthalo Blue coloured the figure and some of the flowers. I added Promarker in Amethyst and Letraset flex marker in Sorbet. For the heart-shaped moths I laid down PITT pens in Crimson and Carmine and found that I could move the ink around somewhat with an overlay of copic if I worked quickly enough. Wings were feathered in all three Indian ink colours including Ultramarine.

The mottled background was done with Letraset flex markers in Sorbet, Pale Pink and Dolphin Blue. I bought about 20+ of these markers at £1 each from my local art shop as they're getting rid of their stock. I've been told that Windsor and Newton, who've taken over Letraset, still do a Brushmarker but some artists feel the ink is not the same quality as the Letraset range was. 

'Moth Guardian'

I outlined the figure in the Ultramarine PITT pen, the flowers in Crimson and the tiny moth hearts in Carmine.  I omitted creating shadows as I liked the glowing effect the 2 Copics gave the figure. A final outlining and highlights of white gel pen finished the piece.

This was intended to be another in the 'Mother of' series but the figure looks more amorphous than feminine. The PITT pens were unusual to use and I'd like to try a wider range of colours. There is a good range of colours including neons and a gold but there isn't an Indian ink soluble blender available (I don't know if such a thing is possible). The method of using the pens is very different from using Copics or other alcohol markers.


Copyright © 2016 by Roisin O'Hagan/bloowabbit
All rights reserved. The artworks/illustrations or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the artist except for specific permission granted with a free downloadable.

Monday 25 July 2016

Art journaling

I've looked at art journaling done by different artists. It's a way of decorating pages to write upon, creating a foil of colour and texture for your thoughts. Some methods of decoration are complicated, others simplistic. When I came across MyLifeMits's 'Journaling by 5's With A Twist / Hobinichi Techno' video I felt she'd found a good happy medium. She in turn had watched Shannon Green's video of a similar title (linked below). Although Shannon's video contains a lot of more detailed information I find MyLifeMits's a good straightforward video to watch.

Journaling by 5s is a simple step by step process to create an art journal. In Shannon Greens info she lays out basic choices of application and decoration:
Step 1:
Step 2: collage...recycle
Step 3: stamps...stencils
Step 4: words...images
Step 5: pen...pencil (journaling)
MyLifeMits works on a number of pages at once within her Hobonicho Techno journal, separating each by using baking paper sheets to prevent smudging.

I worked on 7 double pages on my existing Paperchase journal to create an art journal over the period of a week. Each day had a different colour theme. Monday - pinks, Tuesday - oranges & yellow, Wednesday - reds, Thursday - greens, Friday - blue and turquoise, Saturday - purple & lilac, Sunday - browns. 

My choice of inks and paints were alcohol markers and gouache paint. I preferred to dry each page with a hair drier before moving to the next page rather than separate each page with protective paper. Step 2 included pieces of magazine pages from Daphne's Diary, Indian papers, vellum (normally used for Pergamano or Parchment Craft) and tissue paper glued and applied crumpled. I had a collection of stamps and stencils for Step 3 but if you don't have any then potato stamps could be easily made and stencils created from scrap card with cutout shapes. I used ink pads designed for stamps and alcohol markers with the stencils. Paint with a roller could used for homemade stamps and with a brush for homemade stencils. 

Using gel and ballpoint pens for Step 4 I drew images onto each double page and then with brushpen wrote words and phrases that jumped to mind. I had no specific plan as to what I would write or journal on the final step.

I like to write with a black fineliner and found the variety of surfaces interesting. The original journal page was smooth, the Indian paper soft, soaking up and slightly blurring the sentences I wrote. Magazine paper was slightly shiny and the vellum made the pen ink difficult to dry. It was enjoyable to write not only on decorated pages but on the various surface textures.

When journaling I followed the shapes of the images I'd drawn making the written words into an artistic image on top of the decorated pages. Some writing followed curved lines, others were written sideways. Things I wrote about varied. Some pages contained a rant about the world whereas others had reflections about my own life and what path I hoped that would follow. The individual brush-penned words and phrases acted as triggers.

I think I'm going to try this again using a slightly thicker paper, perhaps watercolour or multi media paper, which will take more working. Perhaps decorating pages and then binding them into a book to prevent the 'hard to close' effect that decorating an existing book creates. I feel that this process reflects the journaling of an artist better than simply writing on plain pages. It takes more preparation but that in itself is an enjoyable creative process. 

I doubt if I would take the time to journal like this every week or month as it is labour intensive and would take away time from my other art and writing. But it would be a pleasurable method to follow during the beginning of a season, a special occasion or as a supporting piece of work to an exhibition.


Copyright © 2016 by Roisin O'Hagan/bloowabbit
All rights reserved. The artworks/illustrations or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the artist except for specific permission granted with a free downloadable.

Friday 22 July 2016

Drawing Anatomy

If you're going to draw realistic figures then it can be useful to know what lies beneath the skin. It can be time consuming learning Anatomy (with Physiology perhaps) indepth. Sometimes just a little understanding goes a long way. Twenty years ago I studied short courses in both Human Anatomy and Physiology to support a course in Aromatherapy - helps to know where the muscles are and what happens to them when you work with them - and some of that knowledge has stuck with me. However I'm am not an expert by any means and am currently striving to improve my figure drawing.

At art classes in school and in the life room at art college I did a lot of figure study but it's a thing that needs constant usage and over time I've gotten slightly out of practice. 

When I create a doodle styled drawing that is freehand, without planning or pencil sketch, the figures are not perfect and the emotion or concept of the art is more important than accurate anatomy. When I create a more planned piece the figure is more accurate. Check out blogpost Updating old work.

from '101 Top Tips for Fantasy Painters' by Kevin Crossley
check out blogpost 'review: Art Book'

You can source tips and tricks of drawing anatomy in books, in blogs or in videos. I like a mixture of sources, looking at simplified breakdowns of the bone and muscle structure, copying from art and watching how other artists draw figures. 

Plus I get out my mobile and snap a picture of my own head/hand/foot if stuck and draw from that. The hands of 'Mother of Butterflies' were drawn from photos of my hands.

A fun tool to use is a wooden movable mannequin although details of fingers, toes and muscle curves aren't indicated - it is a help if you already have a level of anatomical knowledge in your head or want a certain pose and then source anatomical details.

A resource available online to purchase and download is the Anatomy Reference Pack from Jazza's Studios - Jazza also has a few YouTube channels which are worth a watch. I've bought the ref pack and refer to it whenever I need to source a full figure to draw from. The photographs are clear plus each stance is photographed from different angles, some holding swords or pikes.

However the best anatomy resource I've found are the free downloadable charts from Sycra on YouTube with videos to follow. This artist studied Anatomy in order to understand the cause and effect of every movement from bone and muscle, sinew and tendon. He admits it took him a long time and to make things easier for other artists came up with the stylized charts. While they are not entirely accurate anatomically they show where and how to draw curves and planes on the human body plus they help the artist understand the relation of each body part to another. A great resource from a very sharing artist.

I hope the information in this blogpost is of use to you. There are other websites and videos linked below, some are filled with more information than others. I think you've just got to pick up a pencil and draw not worrying about perfection. But the use of anatomy resources with a little practice can only improve your quality of figure drawing.


Copyright © 2016 by Roisin O'Hagan/bloowabbit
All rights reserved. The artworks/illustrations or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the artist except for specific permission granted with a free downloadable.