Wednesday, 21 July 2010

A blot on the landscape

It was wonderful being off work last week on holiday as I was able to get on with so much art work instead. I started work on Saturday on my first official commission since creating my Pointy Pix blog. It is an A3 size portrait of my friend's little boy. I am doing it in the pointy style using pen and ink and I've been working on it for a couple of hours a day in between (in no particular order) driving up the road to visit my folks at the weekend, walking the dogs, reading my mum's latest edition of Prima magazine, spending time with my lovely husband-to-be and going to my 9-5 job!!

Normally I use Indian ink and a pen with interchangeable nibs (which I may or may not have acquired from the school art room in 6th year – is there a statute of limitations on the 'acquisition' of such things!) Anyway it was many, many years ago and I daresay they have improved enormously since then. That said I think my old art teachers would forgive me, as it has certainly been put to good use and has served me well over the years.

Although I love the glossy effect that Indian ink leaves on the page once it has dried, it can be messy and there is always a risk of the nib 'blobbing' (that is a technical term or if it isn't then it probably should be.) Recently I discovered Sakura Micron Pigma pens which are used for technical drawing and illustration and come in various thicknesses of nibs. I sent away for a couple (they are available on several different websites) just to see if they would be any good for doing pointy pictures as an alternative to using bottled ink and I was pleasantly surprised and more than a little bit converted.

As the ones I ordered all had the same size nib (a very tiny 0.25mm), on Sunday S ordered me some more in different sizes (by the way, he deserves a very special thank you not only for buying me so much arty stuff but also for walking the dogs and having my dinner ready for when I get home from work so that I have as much time as possible in the evenings to get straight into my portrait).  These ones are by Faber-Castell though so I'll have to wait and see how they compare. As larger nibs will make larger dots it will hopefully then not take quite as long to cover large shaded areas (I don’t cheat and just 'colour in' - it is all really made up of dots!)

As well as pens and storage bags I was also treated this weekend to a really brilliant book called 'How to master the art of drawing Landscapes' by Sarah Hoggett and Abigail Edgar, a brilliant artist whose work you can see if you click on her name. I mostly do portraits and have just dabbled in landscapes in the past although it is something I want to do more of. This is a great book which not only covers every artistic medium you could think of as well as the numerous variations of each one, it also gives you step by step exercises to follow to perfect your use of each of the mediums and it covers all sorts of landscapes including the specifics of sky, sea, lakes, towns and countryside. I haven't used oil or acrylic much and want to learn more about painting in those mediums so this is the perfect introduction to that.  As soon as I finish my current piece I plan to experiment with landscapes in acrylic so this book will come in very handy for that!

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