Friday, June 22, 2012

One Thousand And One Nights

I found myself with power yesterday.  EDF installed a new electricity meter and all my plug points just stopped working.  We were abruptly thrown into chaos, and the thing we were most concerned about was not the fact that the fridge can't cool, or that there's no hot water, it was that the internet stopped.  

I took it as a chance to put off some of my lesser-relished promotional-type tasks and just sit down and draw instead.  Perhaps it was to vent frustration, but I chose this grizzly scene from 'One Thouand and One Nights' by Hanan Al-Shaykh.  King Shahrayar finds out that his wife and his ten concubines have been cheating on him and so he metes out swift and final justice to all concerned.

King Shahrayar's revenge

This guy can't believe what just happened!

Stories within stories within stories

Friday, June 15, 2012

Novak Djokovic for Crush Fanzine

Novak Djokovic was the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year 2011, and is world tennis number one with five Grand Slam titles to his name.  Aside from that he's just a really likeable character and I had the pleasure of drawing the tennis star for the next issue of CRUSHFanzine.  

This is issue # six of the quarterly publication, entitled 'Eastern Promises'.  As stated on their website it's a "New York and Paris based fanzine that explores the exquisite details of obsessions."  

  • Other Contributors include...

  • Jenny Holzer, Projection Artist whose truisms light up cities at night

  • Elmgreen & Dragset, Installation Art duo who built a Prada store in the middle of the desert  
  • Martynka Wawrzyniak, Photographer & Artist who was gunned down with ketchup by a bunch of kids

  • Kirill Shevyakov, Graphic Designer who made Crush Fanzine's excellent website  

  • Josh McNey, Photographer who likes real Wrestlers and Cowboys and is not a player

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

My Favourite Weapon

I recently read an article in Oh Comely issue 10 about artists' favourite tools.  In one double page spread, eight artists from various disciplines waxed lyrical about their favourite tool to work with, accompanied by photos of said instruments.  I really enjoyed reading the piece and thought you might like to know what my favourite tool is.

The item I chose is a Faber Castell Pitt oil base pencil in Extra Soft with a Lyra pencil extender.
I like pencils; the feel of drawing with them, the look of them on paper, the variety of line weight and the not-wholly-defined ambiguity of the marks.  In my own work I often felt like inking ruined a drawing, like I was trying to pin down a butterfly with a nine inch nail.
I specifically like these pencils because they're black as opposed to the usual grey.  The solid colour means they scan well and details aren't lost in the translation to digital.  They do not, however, erase well.  Once your mark is made it will probably stay there (over 100 years if it's kept in museum conditions) so I will often make a light initial drawing with a normal pencil and then work on top with the Pitt pencil.
They're soft and they wear down quite quickly, but I like to have a sharp point on it so I keep a good sharpener on hand.  I use the extender so that I can keep on going to the last few centimeters.

For example...
I used one for my Nirvana line work along with Quink ink.
In my Austra illustration I used Photoshop to invert the pencil drawing and give the impression of light on dark.

If you want to give them a go they're £1.60 each from Cornelissen in all weights, and they have the pencil extender too.  I'm not getting paid for this by the way.

If you're an artist, what's your favourite tools to use?  If you have a "real job", what's your favourite piece of equipment in the work place?