Monday, September 26, 2011

How the power of pens happens...

This is how I draw, by that I mean the process of translating an idea from my brain and physical putting it onto paper with ink. I have just completed an art work for NOWCON, and thought it might be interesting to take pics of it at various stages. All my work is drawn on 220 gsm Canson Paper ('C' grain). The pens I use are Faber Castle Pitt Pens (types S and M). So here is how it all happens in some vague kind of order...


First inking - By this stage every thing is in place, the main physical features of the characters and I tend to redraw every line at least twice by this point. The initially mapping the picture it is a very light, tentative yet fairly decisive straight ink sketch on paper - any mistakes made have to be incorporated into the 'wonkiness' of the aesthetic or...you start again. But that rarely happens and I hate to waste good paper, so I always aim to make it work. Generally this is the most time consuming part of the whole process, it is the skeleton upon which your whole idea is built upon. And if the skeleton doesn't work those same things will be bugging you at the end. You don't have to get it right but for myself, I have to be happy with the artwork up to this point for it to continue. 







Details - 'Treybor' (pictured) is a tree / man that wears clothes, as you can see form the pictures above. These I classify as details; the things you add to the skeleton. The wood pattern looks like a lot of work but it is only ever light pen lines that are not re-inked, and takes a matter of minutes.  Once you add the wood pattern you have to make a choice; a white suit? A white on black suit? A black white suit? A belt that is black or white? I felt that fine detail and solid colour work well together, plus is an all white suit really practical in  a forest?





More inking - Large areas of black, arrgh! It looks good but it is a bit time consuming. I mean I am not bored to death but it is something I feel I have to commit to for the good of the drawering overall when required. I tend to render solid areas of black with my 'M' pitt pen, which has vaguely similar drawing point to a texta (only better). The initial layer of solid colour is lighter, but inking along the form of the figure is important to me instead of just scribbling the area black. I feel forming the solid black over the figure gives the suit more integrity, actually looking like the figure is a part og their outfit and vice versa.



Creating some kind depth - Here we see 'Garr' having the wood pattern added to make him look more like a mystical flying tree stump. He along with Treybor have the thickest outlining because they are fore ground figures, along with Julian his is floating right beside his team mates. Bruce who is in the bottom right corner looking untrustworthy is outlined to a lesser extent but has a similar amount of focus and detail. Lance in the top left corner is the least outlined of all five characters. This is not because I don't like Lance, it is to create some kind of depth in a relatively flat picture plane - the degree of outlining making figures more or less prominent.

 

Finishing Touches - This is the stage where I sit back and say 'It needs something, there are spaces that need to be addressed' or I say 'No, less is more' and leave it at that. In this case I felt text was needed, to depict names and add to the character of this drawering. Also the top right corner needed was really bugging me and the team nedded a name - because you don't just whip up a team like this and let them namelessly go on their merry way to have adventures! Every drawing is different in the how, when and what of finishing touches and how the become apparent. It is generally a small amount of work that is the most crucial element of the picture.
So now the power of pens has been revealed, you know a little more about me and the processes I undertake to create a drawing. The only other variable not mentioned is the time it took to complete an artwork. In this case Team Forest Force was drawn over two nights and the good part of a quiet afternoon, with roughly 4 hours work in total. 

If you are curious about seeing this artwork in person, come to NOWCON this Saturday (October 1st, 9am - 5pm) from and view the other entries in the black and white art competition. Should be a great day of geek culture awesomeness at the Wesley Church Hall in Nowra. Hope to see you there! Stay tuned.








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