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).