The past week was spent working on the background of this piece. It was rendered in ink using a fine brush to make cross-hatch marks, layering for the dark area. I’ll start the figures tomorrow.
This progress shot represents several hours of cross hatching using very fine brushes with diluted ink. It looks a little stark without the framing background elements but so far so good. My main goal for this building was to capture the weathered, patchy elements. I always forget how grotesquely time consuming this technique is, but it it’s also very meditative. So there’s that.
This piece is about vision. The building represents the enclosed brain relying on inputs from the optic nerve to create an image (some say, hallucination) of the world outside.
I started working on this new piece today on a block of 140lb Arches hotpress. Tomorrow I’ll start the real work of rendering the image using diluted inks to model the forms. As I go along, I’ll post some progress shots here on the blog. Although I did many works with this technique in the past, its been a few months, so I’m looking forward to it.
Last night I finished Mysterious Garden Ex.1 a new silverpoint drawing. As the name implies, I plan to do a few more of these imaginary plants. This work is available on my Big Cartel webstore.
On another note entirely, I have re-booted my book blog, Amnesiac’s Library. It’s a place where I talk about my book projects and post various bits of ephemera about book related stuff I like. I hope you’ll check it out and give it a “follow”.
Here is my new drawing Beyond the Reach, just completed today. I hope you enjoy it.
I’ve been working on some silverpoint miniatures over the last few days. These are done with silver wire on a plate finish archival illustration board. I worked them directly on the ground with no under-drawing. I hope you enjoy them. If you are interested, they are posted on my webstore for sale.
Back in March, when Covid 19 started to seriously impact our lives, I knew I wanted to do a piece of art as a way of processing what was happening. I had a large sheet of watercolour paper mounted on an archival board that had been sitting around the studio for a number of years. This seemed like the right surface for this project. The imagery came out of my subconscious, mostly fragments of dreams I was having, and some were pulled from sketchbooks. The theme is simple: human knowledge and structures, represented by the tree of knowledge, are humbled before nature.
Most of this week was spent editing my novel Tailor of Echoes before it goes back to the publisher for copy editing, but today, I needed to break out the technical pens and draw this vignette piece called Rumour. It’s a playful reflection of everything going on in the world right now. The piece is available on my webstore.
Speaking of the webstore, my summer sale has now ended. Thanks to everyone who took advantage of the 25% off deal to pick up a print or original. It’s much appreciated. Please keep checking back as I will be adding new things from time to time.
Finally today, I just wanted to remind you that copies of my illustrated short story collection Magpie’s Ladder are still available on the PS Publications website. If you missed the trailer I made for the book, you can see it on Vimeo. My novels Necessary Monsters and The Lost Machine are now available on Audible in audiobook format from Ecyclopocalypse
This piece is called Twist. It was drawn for my other blog, And Ink in Unfailing Supplies, where I do a monthly drawing challenge with another artist based on a prompt phrase. For the rendering, I used a pen & nib, something I’ve been going back to lately – I find it more interesting to work with than the technical pens that have been my mainstay for the past 20 years.
Maybe it’s comparable to the analog/ digital debate in musical circles. I love the way the nib is a little bit unpredictable. Not all of the dots are the same. Lines are more varied. The flow of the ink is a little more “dangerous.” Sometimes it’s sublime, sometimes it’s like working with venom on the end of a snake’s fang, when the nib bites into the paper fiber – fuk. Still and all, working with nibs is overall more fun.
There will always be a place in my work for the trusted Rapidograph. I actually started drawing with steel nibs in high-school. It was exposure to the work of Moebius (Jean Giraud) through Heavy Metal magazine that set me on a search for the Rapidograph. I wanted to emulate that incredible clean style. Later, I met this guy called John. John was a painter, but he encouraged me to develop my stippling style – he knew a guy that used stippling to render mining scenes in northern Ontario. John taught me a lot about work ethic: produce, produce, produce! That was back in the 1980s. I fell in love with meticulous, tightly rendered drawings. It became my thing.
I never lost that original love for the nib though.
Of course, I have one aim, the grotesque. If I am not grotesque I am nothing.In an interview with The Idler (1896), as quoted in Aubrey Beardsley : A Biography (1999) by Matthew Sturgis, p. 309
I took advantage of a very rainy May weekend to finish this new piece called Atropa. It was done with .13 & .18 Rotring Rapidograph pens. I hope you enjoy it. The work is available. If you are interested, drop me a line.