Inking, inking and more inking ...

It's been a busy few months leading up to the new year. Lots of work commitments. No holidays [insert sad face]. But since Inktober 2017, I've been committing to more art study and daily sketches. Even if it's nonsense.

Building on visual memory, trying new styles, improving on weak areas ... and publishing them. Albeit, on Instagram. Making it public nonetheless. So, starting a piece, finishing it and moving on.
I have the tendency to get bogged down with details and fixing imperfections. So this has been good exercise. Happy with the results and will keep going.

In late December, I accepted an invitation to go hiking/rock climbing at Pages Pinnacle. Infamously known for its uncomfortable trek up to the crag. It's like climbing a broken escalator for an hour with 10kg on your back.

Rather than post pics of the hike, I decided to sketch the ordeal and stick a few speech bubbles for added value.

Pages 5.jpg

Trust india ink and micron pens on paper.

More fridge magnets!

Dug out the rest of the die cut boards and made more fridge magnets. 


I tried a few new things ... Mod podge and terry towel ... transparency paper over acrylic.
Here are the results ...

Once I do the photo shoot, I'll put them up on my ETSY store. They will be available very soon!

Adventure time with watercolours

I've always admired the simplicity and technique involved with watercolour paintings and decided ... it was high time I experimented.
So, I purchased some mid range Steadtler aquarelle colours. Not too expensive for a starter kit with decent amount of pigment, that you're not scarring the paper with re-strokes.
I chose to do some portraits of Adventure Time characters. A little homage to my favourite cartoon. 

After some YouTubing on how-tos and different techniques, I dove right in ...

Here are some pics of the process.

Started with a light India ink wash to block out the shape.

Started with a light India ink wash to block out the shape.

Then began with careful layering. Since watercolours are delicate and not opaque, like acrylics. The colours can accidentally mix into something you weren't expecting. Lighter, darker, or worse ... brown! Proceeded with caution.

Activating the aquarelle with a wet brush and smearing the pigments

Activating the aquarelle with a wet brush and smearing the pigments

Very carefully layering colours. It was similar to colour pencil techniques but there was the extra step at the end where you moistened the pigments and allowed them to spread and stain the paper.

Although I used heavy 300gsm Canson card stock to tolerate the wet media, I still sprayed the back of the paper with water to counter the paper warping. Very good idea.

Sprayed the finished painting with a graphite fixative. Voila.

... and done!

... and done!

If you've done Finn, next would naturally be Jake ... here goes!

The colour palette I used

what a cutie

Let the experimenting continue ... next up Ice King.

His magnificent crown in aquarelle

His magnificent crown in aquarelle

For the Ice King, I used a combo of inks and watercolour. Specifically to make the blues brighter than what the aquarelles could offer. Then accentuated the highlights and shadows.

Handsome devil

And lastly, a little companion for the Ice King ... Gunter the penguin.

Roger ... and more Roger

Some old WIPs of a little late night sketching, for ... posterity 😉

India ink on watercolour paper. Used some rusty old nibs to get those fine lines.

The Saint

The Saint

Tribute sketch to the late Roger Moore.

What you need is ... magnets!

What to do with die cut mdf bits and some paint ... anything you want really!

I have been decorating these little things for years. Mostly as gifts. But now ... they will be up for sale on my etsy store.

Each piece is hand decorated in various styles, techniques and finishes.

Here are some progress shots.

Some end results ... ta-da!

A study in Pyrography

So x amount of years ago a purchased a beginners pyrograph kit on a whim and haven't really experimented with it ... till now!

I wanted to test it out (burn) something small. I had bits of compressed MDF (the beginnings of a bad idea) ... and decided to try out dots and lines. Everything was burn-y and smokey. But we're getting somewhere ...

The Hot Poker

The Hot Poker

It's best to hold it as far away from the tip as possible ... if you value your fingernails. This will also affect your accuracy (my accuracy!) I had to wrap the handle with a leather work glove while working. It. was. hot.

So ... I was over the MDF boards. Searching around the house for other stuff to burn and I came across ... my Ikea chopping board. It broke. One half couldn't live with the other half anymore. The glue that held them together, disintegrated over time. A short period of time. Like weeks. Wasn't meant to be.

So ... repurpose it is.

This is a beech wood board (according to the website). Being thicker and harder, it handled the heat a lot better than the MDF. It also took a lot longer to burn every. single. dot. All without burning yourself and your house down to the ground. 

As I was overloading on Samurai X, I thought hmmmm ...

Now I present, the second half of the chopping board. Repurposed with Kenshin Himura's face on it. This was much easier than Pacman holes. After a solid outline with deep grooves, everything else was aesthetics. Shading. You have to gentle, careful and precise. If not you'll burn things you're not meant to. Like the picture below.

Nothing is complete without a photoshoot.