Saturday, February 19, 2011

Illustration Friday: Sweater

I was a bit late for last week's IF topic, but I still wanted to finish the idea, so here it is.
To start off, I wanted to ramble a little and share some of the materials that I use for my art work (it's my blog so I guess it's OK if I ramble a little, right?) Though I enjoy using a variety of media and materials, these are the basic materials that I use for my illustrative work. First, which is not shown in the pic, is Strathmore 300 series cold pressed watercolor paper. The reason I why I like using this paper is that it's not only cheap, but it is better in quality than it ever used to be (20 years ago I hated using this brand of paper, but it's so much better now). I can't remember the actual price, but I usually get it on sale which makes it even better. It comes in a pad of 15 sheets and is acid free.
Second, I use Higgins waterproof black India ink. I've heard that there is no such thing as the perfect ink, and I agree, but this stuff will do until I find the perfect stuff. One thing I like about this brand is that the bottle comes with a dropper on the lid which allows me to drop ink into my pen nib rather than dipping my pen. I prefer this method of putting ink into my nib because I feel it is less messy (or maybe I'm just too uptight).
Next are my Crowquill pen nibs and nib holders. The holders are just made out of plastic. I use one pen for black ink and the other for colored ink (which is also Higgins brand).
My other drawing tools are my Scepter Golden sable synthetic blend #00 and #01 round brushes. Though I can't remember the price of these, I do remember them being quite expensive. The only reason why I don't have pure sable brushes is that they are even more expensive that the sable blend ones. However, few things are better with increased expense; the two things I know for sure are chocolate and brushes. I've never regretted getting these brushes, though my waist line probably regrets the chocolate! With the brushes I use an old jar lid to drop in ink and dip the brushes.

So with this project, as with most, I did a lot of thinking about what I might do before I put it to paper. This first study was drawn in my new Cranson XL series Recycled sketchbook, which I am finding I don't really like that much. I prefer Strathmore 400 series sketchbooks because the paper is heavier. With this study I just drew from my imagination to get the idea down so I could have something tangible to think about, analyze and critique. Notice the notes on the lower right side of the paper.

For the next study I had surfed the Web for goat imagery and decided to use a goat used for cashmere (the pashmina goat, just in case you wanted to know). Since I really liked the pose for this study I decided to use tracing paper to transfer the pose to my final support.

Here is the tracing paper version. What I did was lay the paper over the sketchbook study and trace the image. Then I taped the final support to my drawing table as well as the tracing paper, and placed a piece of carbon paper between the two (I make my own carbon paper by rubbing a soft graphite stick on the back of a sheet of paper). With a ball point pen I drew over the lines of the traced drawing, which transfers the image to the final support.

With the final drawing I used pen and ink to render the form and the shadows of my image. I used a single hatching technique. Then I finished the drawing with minimal line to pull the image together. I decided to not use the brush this time.
And so the finished piece is of a pashmina goat knitting a cashmere sweater. There was something about this idea that I found humorous. Maybe because most humans would find it gross to have a sweater made from human hair, yet have no problem adorning themselves with the hair of other animals (I not making any deep statement, just an observation).


BarbaraB said...

This was fascinating to read about your materials and your process. Not a ramble at all. And an interesting point about what we humans will find appropriate to appropriate from animals.

Alex said...

Interesting illustration, and thank you so much for sharing the process of your work! =) I think that most of the time the journey is much more fun and experiencing than the destination itself.

magpie said...

i also enoy the details - technique and tools - that go into the work.

love these sketches - subtle humor combined with great technique wuill get me every time.

Dan Kent said...

Great drawing. And I so appreciate the discussion of the process. Very helpful for me.

Cathy Holtom said...

Great idea for the topic, and I enjoyed your 'ramblings'. I must try making my own carbon paper too!

David R. Vallejo said...

I'm glad you all like the sharing of the process. I really enjoy reading the process of other artists too. I also think it helps me to write it down because it allows me to clearly think through how I create.

raena said...

I enjoyed your ramblings about process! Well done!

Spring Flowerchild said...

This is a great illustration. I like the technique you use to make your own carbon paper. I'll have to try that sometime.

nanke's stuff said...

Very interesting post and I love the drawing! Also, your observation about us and our preferences was quite amusing! nancy

ElasticUnicorn said...

Why what a jolly good drawing. And of course, finding out what pen and ink you use and your process is fantastic.
Really strange as I was looking for a goat or stag to draw a kind of half man half stag - pagan staglord type of thing. In the end, I found a stag but liked it so much I just had to draw the whole thing.