Monday, June 27, 2011

comes a time

I really must start this Q&A post or I'll continue to put it off. It could be very long so I'm not sure whether I should do it over a few posts or just keep adding to this one. Any ideas on the best way to go about it? Anyway, here are some of the questions I am asked the most and they are about the tools I use.What is the 'sepia' pen that you use?

It is a Pilot G-Tec fine liner. I have recently found other brown pens but the Pilot is still my favourite.
And, which black pens do you use?

I use a whole load of different black pens. Sometimes I use ballpoints, but for the most my drawings are made with fine liners. Again, I use the Pilot G-Tec fine liner, but when it comes to black pens I'm not fussy about brand names as long as they are very fine fine liners! I have used Faber and Castell's Pitt pens in the past but my current favourite is the Uni Pin. I like this one so much because they seem to be have the finest of nibs.

When it comes to fine liners I usually have a variety of nib sizes, to do various jobs. When I get a fine liner that I like I'll try to buy it in 0.5, 0.2 and 0.1 sized nibs. I find all are useful, in fact I find they are all essential.
What ballpoint pens do you use?

When it comes to ballpoints I will use any. I have made drawing after drawing on that subject (just enlarge the drawing above to prove it). I am no pen snob. I'll give anything a go. In my ballpoint pencil case (yes, I have a pencil case specifically for ballpoints) there are Bic, Staedler, Faber and Castell, PaperMate, amongst all sorts of others. There are the freebie pens that you get from charitys and shops, as well as the very cheap packs of ten that don't even have a brand name - they are THAT cheap.

People have often asked about the quality of ballpoints and the blotchyness, and I'll talk about that in future questions that come up about the quality and longevity of ballpoints.

What paper do you use?

For the one off drawings I use a heavyweight cartridge paper. I'm not that loyal to a brand, but Daler and Rowney and Windsor and Newton seem to be the best on the market (I'm NO expert, though!). I always use a heavyweight paper as it needs to be able to handle all the cross hatching that I throw at it. And, that's a lot of cross hatching.

I also use, as you'll know if ever been to this blog before, Moleskine sketchbooks. I adore the paper in these skecth books and always have a few on the go. They are an obsession for me.

Do you ever experiment with other media?

I've used all sorts in the past. I used to do a bit of painting, but it seems an awful lot of faffing around. I’m a bit lazy like that and can’t be bothered with washing brushes and all the setting up process that painting involves. And, anyway I always ended up drawing with the paintbrush as opposed to painting with it.

I've also used graphite pencil. I always thought that my work would be suited to it. After much practice I found this not to be true. But I’m not a fan of pencil at all. I enjoy seeing other people use it but it’s not for me.

I do love colour pencils, though, and all my colour work is made with colour pencils and colour ballpoint.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

just to get close to

So, I am still going to do this Q&A post (I should know, by now, to never say that I am going to do something on a certain day) but it's all taking a little longer to get together than I'd thought. I am trying to go through as many of the emails, I've received in the past, to gather the questions. It WILL happen in the next couple of days.

Leading up to my exhibition I went through a big ol'drawing funk. During that time I couldn't sit down and do one of my trademark, highly laboured, drawings. It just was not happening. I did, however, start this new Moleskine. I bought it specifically for sketching - because I do so little of that. I love drawing SO much that I want to continue learning and improving my skills and that means doing things differently, pushing oneself, from time to time.

In this Moleskine I intend to draw stuff that I wouldn't normally draw. All free hand, no pencils, just ink on paper. I also intend to not get caught up in the whole perfection thing. Here are a few pages from that book. I do feel exposed posting these sort of spreads, but, again, I want to care less about that kind of thing.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

the place i love is overgrown now

So folks, I believe, what I am doing here is known as selling off the family silver. The time has come for some of my drawings to fly the nest. There are no pretences here. I'm skint. Mine is the age old story of the poor scraping artist in his garret. But what is the point in having all that lovely silver cutlery if you cannot afford to put the food on your plate?

Yes folks, I'm putting some of my original drawings up for sale, in my Etsy shop, at very very reasonable prices. This is your opportunity to grab yourself a bargain. In fact, I've been doing my maths and I've worked out the prices on a $0.0000000000000000000002 per cross hatched line basis. I cannot possibly make them any cheaper. But what is the point in me sitting here in this cold damp dark attic when I have a box of lovely drawings?

Dramatic? Me? Never!
Over the next couple of weeks I'll be adding new drawings, including the ones in this post, on a (possibly) daily basis. See my shop HERE.

Oh, and don't worry about me. It's not that bad. I've just got a few bills to pay.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

ink on a pin

For probably about two years now I've been meaning to do a FAQ post. It would then provide me with a link that I can send to people when they write to me asking about pens and stuff. This week, while I'm being all pro active, that is what I am going to do. I originally thought I'd do it today but I'm going to push it back to the end of the week, to coincide with my birthday (eeek). It feels right to do it on that day. I don't know why.

So, if you have any questions you'd like to ask about my work then please do. You can ask them in the comments and I'll answer them to my post.

Another thing I am going to be doing is a pen review. This drawing is me warming up for that. Click on it if you'd like to read the low down on this selection ballpoints.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

why don't you come over to my house?

This is the first time in ages that I have not had some kind of deadline looming on the horizon. And, after the stress of some of those deadlines I cannot believe I'm actually going to complain about that - but I am. I'm suddenly feeling so restless. I want something to work toward. Some project. I don't know what sort of project but I'll figure it out. I'll make something happen.

In the meantime, here's a new drawing. A few months ago my coin purse fell apart and I temporarily replaced it with an old purse that had belonged to my niece - when she was about five. It was ridiculously childish purse for 'a lady of a certain age' so, I decided I must replace it and went out to buy a new one. And, yep, you've guessed it; I came home with this much more grown up cloth owl.

This little guy is available for sale (the original drawing, not the purse) HERE.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

reminders of it all

When I found out that my work had been accepted to be exhibited at the Buxton Museum and Art Gallery I'd imagined that I'd have one of the gallery rooms. You know, the kind of thing, a nice clean white space. However, I'd been allocated the reception, or foyer, area of the museum.

And, of course, being a museum it has all sorts of objects and artifacts dotted around the place (including a very random Police motorbike that you can see above). When I went to check on the space I thought this was going to prove to be a problem.

But, over the last few weeks I've spent a lot of time at the space and now I couldn't be happier about the weird random room I am exhibiting in. In a funny kind of way my exhibition has become an extension of the Museum's collections.

The display case, above, features the work created for my woodland children's book, although you could be mistaken for thinking it was one of the Museum's natural history cabinets. I like that. I really like that. In fact, I think this was the perfect place for me to hold my first solo exhibition.

I went back there again, yesterday, to do a 'Meet the Artist' afternoon. And, I took these snaps. Unfortunately, there aren't any photos of the pictures on the walls. But that's what happens when you have your camera set at Macro. Again, I'm happy with these shots, with my drawings reflected in the glass of the cabinets.

One more thing, it got me thinking it would be good to do an 'Meet the Artist' session here on the blog. I'm always being asked questions about my work, and I feel really guilty about not replying to everyone, even though I have good intentions of doing so, I just do not get the time. So, what if we did it here? On say Monday? If there is anything you'd like to know about pens, or my technique, or my inspirations or ANYTHING then please come back and ask me.

So, that's a date. See you here on Monday.

there is your song from me

Right then, I have been neglecting this blog for way too long. BUT, NO MORE. Over the next week or two I am going to post lots. And, LOTS. In fact, I have decided that I am going to create an event. I want to make something happen.

I want to do this so that I get back into blogging. I miss it. Also it will be a way of saying a big thank you to all of you who keep returning to my blog and to say hello to all the new visitors (really, this blog used to be very active).

So expect to see a lot of activity here from now. I promise to make at least one post a day, who knows, maybe two. Plus, I'd like to do some other stuff; there will be bargains to be had, prizes, knows? I've literally JUST come up with this idea. Do you have any ideas? Please let me know. Get involved. Let's make something (I'm not sure what) happen.

(This drawing is now for sale on Etsy, HERE. And, if you think you've seen these socks before then you are probably right; LOOK.)

Saturday, June 11, 2011

i remember it was that Wednesday

This is actually a new drawing, although it might look a little familiar. The original washing machine drawing that I made was a personal favourite and I wanted to rework a couple of my favourite pieces for my current exhibition (see last post). I'm never sure about doing that kind of thing. There is something in the spontaneity that's lost when you go about doing something again. This is a larger drawing too. I always felt this subject deserved bigger paper and wanted to give it more impact. The colours, although different from the original, look quite good, I think. But what the hell do I know?

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

all i wanna do

Finally, I feel my life is my own again. My exhibition is up and running at the Buxton Gallery and Museum. I am exhibiting over forty drawings. Please call in if you are in the area. It's running until the 14th of August.

My exhibition began on June 4th which, coincidentally, is the same day as world Drawing Day. Or is there any such thing as coincidence? Whatever, I rather like the fact that both of these days coincide. Drawing Day has again set the annual challenge of uploading one million drawings so get on over there. You can read more about it, and upload your drawings, HERE.

I hope, in some way, that both of these events will inspire people to get drawing. Sheesh, I hope they inspire ME to get drawing! I'm desperate to get back to it. It's not good for me when I don't draw. So please keep coming back and I'll reward you with all the drawings I've been suppressing for far too long.

This post really must hold the record for the use of the word 'drawing'. I think I am trying to tell myself something. Something like "Draw, Joseph, DRAW!".