Friday, 8 January 2016

Drawing On Black Card

black card drawing
A4 sheet of black card at the ready
Drawing on black card is more of an experiment for me and so lets do this!

Black card comes in a range of different sizes and surface texture, but the ones I prefer are the smooth thick black A4 pieces of card and are perfect for drawing on with white ink pens or other similar pens or acrylic paint.

When drawing on black card with a white pen I always try to draw the highlighted areas and leave the black to show the shadowed areas. This looks effective and quite cool looking and plus you can always black out areas you've messed up on with a thick black Sharpie marker or something similar.

It's a good idea to draw the absolute outline of your idea on the paper to get the drawing that you want, then you can move on to the infinite details (as I like to call it!)

One thing with pens of this kind is similar to any other gel pens. They have a tendency to clog a lot and this can be quite frustrating, but it is best to try and plough through it. Try and warm the pens up first beforehand to get the ink a bit more fluid, that usually helps and try not to leave the pen without drawing for more than five minutes to assist with the clogging issue.

If pens aren't for you consider white acrylic on a thin brush, just be prepared to have patience and a steady hand.

drawing on black card
Using a Sakura White Gelly Roll ink pen, an outline of the concept has been simplified as a basic outline.

I think with these black and white illustrations it is a great idea to establish where the light source is coming from and that is illustrated in the picture below. So everything on the right hand side will be whiter than the left hand side, creating the illusion of more depth and light.

draw on black card
Establishing a light source helps guide you through placing the white areas and leaving the rest black.

The important thing to remember is that, if you want to, you can break the rules of the light source if you wish or add more things to the drawing which we'll cover later. There are always them Artists out there that will look down on illustrations were you have broken the perceived rules and I say "Bollocks to em!"

black card drawing
Realizing texture of the creature heads can be done by varying the hatching away from the edges of where the light source is coming from.
Don't worry too much about the white ink dominating the drawing, because you can scale it back with black ink markers or black paint if you wish. It's better to get all the details down that you want so that everything can be blitzed later with white paint splashes and other dark detailed stuff.

In the drawing now, you can see that a more interesting thing is happening as I go along with the design. I'm figuring out dribbles and other textures of the flesh. Notice how the tentacle parts have a tree branch look to them.

sketch on black card
The white color of the ink is making the illustration shine more here now. It's at this time that I want to start to think about expanding the illustration further beyond the basic outline I did at the start, there is the rest of the black card to draw on.
Having worked on this for over an hour, there is a small issue with finger prints that has been annoying me slightly. I suppose I could wear surgical gloves to avoid greasy fingerprints, in fact that is a good tip, Yay! go me! lol.

In the photo below I've added a couple more small tentacles and details all around the design, was contemplating adding more to the surround design, but wasn't sure what to add.

I think more experimentation is needed to test out the full capabilities of white on black card...The next thing to do is test out some glow in the dark type that would look cool.

What do you think?

Monday, 4 January 2016

Top 10 Best Selling Ink Pens For Artists

Over the years I've acquired a vast experience of using many different ink pens and the best selling ones to use are listed here with a little review for each pen. Some pens are cheaper than others, but for the most part all pens are useful and have good points in some way.

So, lets begin with a top ten of ink pens for Artists

1. Pigma Micron Pens

The first Artist pens that I want to take a look at are the Pigma Microns which come in a range of different sizes and colors too. I personally use the black fine line pens for inking as they are waterproof and fade resistant like all profession illustration pens should be. The other ones that are really cool to use are the brush pens.

Sakura 30067 8-Piece Pigma Micron Pen Set

2. Letraset Promarkers

The newest promarkers which are now called Windsor and Newton Promarkers are pretty good ink markers used for large areas of color on illustrations. Even if you find the older ones listed, they are still good markers, just a new company sponsors them. I use these marker pens for larger areas of coloring for my illustrations and the colors are very bright and varied and you can over layer several shades of one color to make some great tones. I did a longer review of these art markers here - Letraset Promarker Review

3. Gelly Roll Sakura White Pens

I found these back in 2013 and they are awesome for highlighting over black inked areas on your illustrations, perfect for adding depth to your art And also the best for building up cobwebs on some horror artwork.

4. Sharpie Markers

Sharpies are permanent markers that come in a range of different colors. I use the fine tip sharpies and the broad tip black pens with the chisel tip for blacking out larger areas on some illustrations. And the metallic range are useful to use too. See a review of the metallic sharpies here

5. Faber Castell Pitt Brush Pens

Bought some of these recently and the quality of the brush tips are excellent. These pens are fade resistant and the ink is waterproof acid free india ink. I do prefer brush pens at times, because you can reduce the size of the ink line by applying the pressure on the brush tip or decreasing the pressure to create a thinner line.

The best thing about these markers is that they don't dry out easily. Expect a review of these brush pens soon.

6. Copic Ciao Markers

Copic ciao markers are top quality pens for illustration professionals with the range of quality tones and shades available. Considered the more expensive range of markers you can get, but you can purchase refills for them and the other Sketch Copics, so they could last a life time. These are double ended tip pens with a chisel tip and a brush tip for various effects.

7. Copic Sketch Multi-liners

These black ink pens are similar to the pigma microns and the uni-pin pens. Thick and thin lines. Also there are color ones too, but I use the black pens for inking primarily. You can usually get a free multi-liner with a small pack of ciao copics.

8. Tombow Brush Pens

You can't have enough brush pens. I own a couple of these, but need to buy some more, considering a large pack as the few I had were excellent quality and there is just something great about using the markers like a paint brush. I remember some other Artists who said that these were good markers to have, even if you have just a smaller pack, just to test out.

9. Posca Paint Pens

Heard great things about these, not used any personally as yet, but I'm definitely going to buy some at some stage. The colors look bold and bright and you can draw on most surfaces.

10. Letraset Aqua Markers

Lastly these markers look nice and they seem to work very well almost like watercolors. Blending the inks is key. and the light fastness is great. Like the other ranges of Letraset Promarkers the 12 pack comes with a blender pen, but you can also use water to blend some of the colors together.

As I said previously, I will be doing full reviews of all of these Artist pens and demonstrations too in the form of a YouTube video. And I will be doing detailed reviews and the pros and cons and recommended paper to draw on etc.

What do you think of this list? Are these the best selling art pens? or Are there better pens missing from the list? Let me know, in the comments.

Planned Year Of Artwork Creations 2016

Thought I would make a plan of action of all of the artistic things I want to accomplish this year and there are many creative things I want to explore this time round.

This is my plan from the previous post here - Start your year as you would any day

When making this plan I have tried to make it realistic and achievable, not into a bucket list type post, but more a plan of action that is actionable.

1. Attempt some creative horror sculptures
2. Draw more horror movie illustrations to sell
3. Create a coloring book for adults to sell on amazon (more on this one soon!)
4. Create a physical sketchbook of all of my drawings in a book to sell on amazon
5. Attempt to half the 88 draft posts I have on this blog (They've been hanging there for some time now!)
6. Improve my painting techniques as I have not done much painting lately.
7. Finish setting up my static website which has been on my to do list for months.
8. Create a video course for my YouTube channel.
9. Draw some more friendlier cartoon stuff for kids.
10. Do some crafty arty stuff away from drawing, could be fun.

I'll leave my list open ended so that I can add to it and cross stuff off each year. I'll more than likely create a blog post for each creative thing on this list plan, So I'll link them to each other as and when I complete them.

Start The Year As You Mean To Start Any Day

The start of any year is always filled with hope, but really any day of the year should be filled with that same hope that'll get you working productively towards your own end goals.

So, I am starting the year properly with this blog post about starting the year off right, but tips that you can apply any day of the year.

I for one, have not been the most productive in recent years and I've seen a decline in my online work and income as a result. So this post will hopefully keep me on the right track and guide me to my own goals as well as you.

1. Make a plan, a diary of your day to activities. It might me a good idea to step away from the distractions of your computer to do this or at least turn the internet off until you've completed this task. I find that a comprehensive plan can help break up boring work routines. Always make sure you check your email at the end of the day after you have done all of the tasks you have planned or written down.

2. Do something new, it can get quite repetitious to do the same type of work over and over again. For example, I am going to tackle some sculpture work this year and document it all on this very blog, which just sounds exciting to me to take a slight break from drawing to create with other mediums.

3. When your are stuck doing utterly boring chores, like washing the dishes, walking the dog etc, have a good think about your work or how to improve the way you work. Write small notes in a tiny notebook to remind you when you get to your desk. It's always great ideas that pop into your head at these times, so it's best to take advantage of the ideas you suddenly think of.

4. Exercising first thing in the morning can be hard to do, but even if you do just 15 minutes, it can help you start every day the right way, with a glass of orange juice or fruit smoothie and a healthy breakfast too. This is something that I always said I'd do, but never implemented in my daily plan in previous years. This year is different, make a start yourself. Just try and be active and not tied to the desk all day when you work from home.

5. Be positive and don't let negative thoughts take over your mood, this is easier said than done. As someone who has suffered depression for years, I can relate to how down you can feel when you are that low in motivation and that healthy positive spirit has all but vanished. That's why the above point about exercise and eating healthy is important as it can lift your mood and set you up for the day.

Negative people can have that knack of bringing you down, maybe because they are unhappy with themselves and the way things are going for them, don't listen to them or take anything to heart. I have found that the people who try to discourage you are the ones that don't want you to succeed and they want you to be grounded at their level wallowing in their own filth (Bit extreme lol)

Negativity is just that little voice in the back of your mind that speaks some truth, but not the total truth. Try and ignore the voice that says "I can't do this!" or "It won't work!". Instead replace that voice with phrases like "It will work" and "I CAN do this!!"

If you start the year off and any day of the year remembering these 5 basic points, then you will be on your way to do great things this year or any year.