Sunday, January 18, 2009


A few viking head doodles, done on the train commute home on my tablet PC.

Friday, January 02, 2009

First Post of 2009 is the last Picture of 2008

I finished this piece on Dec 31 at about 11:30 pm, just in time. This piece is titled "Madonna and Child". Its pen and ink, mainly brush, but also a healthy amount of crow quill pen, and is 23" wide x 15" tall. Since this is the second image in what is probably going to be a new body of work, I thought it might be interesting to post some images of the process I'm using. I usually don't take the time to keep records of the image in progress, but I did this time. The following images are various steps in the process, with notes for those who are interested.

1. Initial Sketches. A few months ago, I churned out a bunch of sketches on these themes. I taped them all up around my drawing desk. Here's a shot of some of the images around my desk as well as the specific image I used as the starting point for this piece.

2. Digital Layout. I decided that I wanted to do a more elaborate image than my original sketch, so I did a rough layout in Photoshop, sketched on a Wacom tablet. This allowed me to quickly experiment with combining elements from multiple sketches and refine the composition. I printed this image out when I was done and taped it on my desk for reference as I worked on the final piece. I did not want to trace the image or follow it exactly, but just use it as a reference.

3. Pencil. Next I created the pencils for the final image. I used a red colored pencil on smooth bristol paper. My intention was the for the red lines to show through in the final image, so the pencil lines were pretty dark. I also didn't use an eraser at all, as I wanted a record of all of the lines I made in the final image.

4. Final Ink. This is the same image that is at the top of the post. After finishing the pencils, I used a brush (Series 7, size 1) and a crowquill pen (hunt 102 nib) to work on top of the drawing. I did some spattering with a larger brush as well, and used a bit of white acylic at the very end to carve some shapes out of some of the bigger black areas.