Thursday, April 17, 2014


No matter at what skill level you are your sketchbook should feel like that unintimidating, non-judgmental place where it’s okay to fail. That’s not to say that you deliberately make a bad drawing, but you’re not afraid to. You’re not afraid to go beyond what you’ve done before, just have fun, or try to come up with an idea for a painting or illustration. 

In the watercolors I’ve posted here one of the things that I strive to do is to lessen the amount of detail I use. I want to be able to paint an image with broad clean washes with only as much rendering as needed, but I have a tendency to render too much. There might not seem like a whole lot of rendering in these images, they’re not photo realistic but I’m still trying to strike a balance on how simple I want the rendering to be.

The ink sketches on this page were done as I was trying to visualize an illustration assignment. The other sketches and final illustration were posted in a previous blog entry.


Sunday, April 13, 2014

A traditional Pen and Ink Illustration

For a recent illustration assignment I decided to return to traditional media rather than digital. Although I eventually put in some shading in Sketchbook Pro the pen and ink illustration was largely done using a steel nib and india ink on paper.

 The reason for working this way was that I liked the idea for the drawing and wanted to have an original rather than a digital copy. Compared to doing a pen and ink drawing digitally working with traditional media can seem tedious.  The reason I find it so is because of the work it takes to go from initial sketch to finished pencil drawing, then transferring that drawing to a sheet of Bristol board to do the final inking.
 What I do with the initial drawing, once its been approved, is to rework It making corrections. I do this using a sheet of tracing paper placed over the drawing. I will continue to make corrections using as many sheets of tracing paper as needed till I feel satisfied with the drawing.

After that I transfer the final drawing to a board using a light box. To save time I may make a scan of the final drawing and in Photoshop convert it to a blue line drawing or a very light gray and print that on to a sheet of Bristol board. Once the drawing is transferred I start applying the ink.. In actuality the tedious part to me is transferring the drawing once its ready, everything else I enjoy doing.

The brown shading was done in Sketchbook Pro and the final illustration was fit in to an oval panel.