This week we worked with dip pens and Indian ink. It’s something I’d never used before and I love to learn new things so I had a lot of fun (and made a mess :D)
It is so different to using normal pens. It is much wetter and so much blacker. Even the most black of my drawing pens don’t get such intense results. Making marks is really different too, it’s scratchy and lacks some of the smoothness that I’m used to with my drawing pens.
Once we’d got the hang of the pens, our teacher encouraged us to copy a picture, and try to work out how all the marks were made as well as experimenting with ink washes. I chose a picture from Ronald Searle’s Big Fat Cat Book
I’m pretty pleased with my results (if you ignore the giant splodge on the scales!)
What I’m struggling most with is that I can’t get smooth lines. The combination of my shaky hands and the scratchy nib means that all my work looks really messy. I want to get it to work though, the blackness makes scanning so easy, there’s depth that I just can’t achieve with other pens. I will keep at it and maybe share some more of my results in the future.
Have you drawn with dip pens?
It was my second illustration class on Tuesday night. I would have blogged sooner but the rain destroyed what I had done on the way home so I had to re-do it all!
We looked at colour this week, using gouache paints. I had used gouache once before and hated them but this time round I think I like them a little more. I think I could get used to them.
After using Photoshop to do so much of my colour work it was fun to get messy and use paints, mixing up different colours. First we made a simple colour wheel and then went on to add white and black to create different shades of colour.
I love discovering new illustrators who inspire me. I was browsing in Foyles yesterday and came across ‘A Home for Mr Tipps’ by Tom Percival which I instantly fell in love with. He’s probably more well-known for the Skulduggery Pleasant series which to be honest I’ve not really ever looked at. Being a sucker for any book with a cat on the cover I knew I had to check this one out. The story makes me think of our lovely Oscar, a poor little cat living at the end of a garden, by a bin, who takes a while to trust anyone but then becomes a happy little house cat.
I love it! The pictures are a really cool combination of photography and artwork which seem to work oh-so-well.
I was lucky enough to get a signed copy :D
There’s also a super cute animation.
Last night I went to my first illustration class. I decided to do an evening class at the Bristol Folk House. I love doing classes, I don’t spend much time with other people so it’s nice to be doing something creative when I do venture out. I’m always a nervous wreck when I go to a class for the first time but I think a lot of people feel the same.
We had to introduce ourselves to the group which is always scary. I seem to lose the ability to form coherent sentences when talking to a group of people! We then did some basic observation exercises to get into the swing of things. I’m sure lots of you have done them before in art classes – drawing with your left hand (if you’re right-handed), drawing without looking at the paper, drawing something with one continuous line. I’m quite embarrassed by my scrawled attempts at it but I promised myself to blog about each class so here are some of them. The object I chose was a small hip flask.
Being a neat freak, I’m so out of my comfort zone posting these!
We then had to pick a word randomly and I got ‘menacing’ so I had to draw a menacing hip flask! It was quite a challenge and was something I’d not tried before. After that we were given a new object and a new word. I got a walnut and the word ‘melancholy’.
I’ve done these exercises many times in various classes over the years but I think they still help. I am looking forward to getting stuck into the more interesting stuff though!
Are you doing any classes?
I don’t think there’s anyone out there who hasn’t come across Simon’s Cat.
I still remember seeing the first video he did and I was totally in love with his style and watched it many many times. I think it’s still my favourite of them all.
I got his first book as soon as it came out and I might have to treat myself to the more recent one. Perfect coffee table book for cat lovers!
If you haven’t already, head on over to the Simon’s Cat Website and check out the films section. They are all awesome and definately worth a watch.