Tuesday 24 May 2011

Pitt Artist Brush Tip

Tip about that tip...see if your Pitt artist brush tip has frayed/flattened and can no longer do the lovely fine strokes but it still has alot of ink...you can pull the nib and flip it round to reveal a brand new point on the other side. Didn't even need tweezers...just pulled the thing and pushed it back in the other way. Black fingers sure. But it's like having a brand new pen. Woohoo!

Friday 20 May 2011

Keelan Parham - "Let's Toon"

I bought this book and it's OK but not the amazing insight I hoped it would be. That said it has some good beginners tips and a lot of photos of faces to draw from. The whole book feels like a home made manual that has been glossed up with some cartoons and illustrations and made into something fancy. In fact in the intro Keelan Parham tells you that's basically what it is - the instruction manual of all the things he has been teaching his new Caricaturists over the years. The style it teaches is very simple, and I guess a good springboard for developing your own style. But this book won't turn you into Joe Bluhm overnight. For $18.99 in the US it's worthwhile, but once you pay for shipping etc to the UK the price becomes quite expensive so if you're buying internationally that's worth bearing in mind.

Letraset Tria and pen update

The Tria is pretty good. The chisel is decent and the brush tip has a nice degree of flexibility vs. line width, it can't do super fine though. That said there is a third tip that does do super fine. The problem I've found is that the lids don't fit easily. Means it's too easy for them to fall off and the nibs to dry out (happened twice so far).
Still my favourite is the Zig Art and Graphic Twin. What I'd like is one of the Zig Brushables which has the brush from the Twin and at the other end a second brush with a 50% colour in a brush. So black comes with 50% grey on the other end. But it seems you can't buy them individually - only in 4 packs -  which is a shame.

Thursday 12 May 2011

...and now for some drawing

So it seems none of those agents liked my two picture book manuscripts. Got a load of regular rejections back. The second rhyming story that I did ended up being too wordy. Lots of words. Good words I think. Good story. But lots of words and no repetition would make it too tricky for the target 3 year old audience. Still it felt like a real accomplishment creating something from nothing. I read it again a month after finishing it and it still read well. I have another idea for a non-rhyming picture book which I'll work up next. So far I have a title and three supporting characters. But all that could change. Need to drum up some enthusiasm as I am easily knocked flat by criticism.

And never failing to try and be mediocre at lots of things I've taken to drawing and caricaturing. I got the bug from Tom Richmond's blog - he of MAD fame. Now I've read alot about it. Watched a load of video, bought a handful of markers. The Zig art and graphic twin is one I really like. Has a brush tip one end and a regular felt pen nib the other end. The brush stays sharp and in tact and the black is deep. I also tried a Pitt Brush Pen which was very nice at first, a little finer than the Zig but the point of the brush soon lost its sharpness and now very fine lines are impossible although there's plenty of ink left. I think the regular sketch book paper I'm using could be part of that problem. Also tried the Letraset Pro marker but that was rubbish on regular paper. Too much bleed. Doesn't allow much line variation. I looked at getting a Dixon Markette, but I'd need to buy a dozen to make it worthwhile (from Canada) and exchange rates are so bad that they would be £3 a pen. I also ordered a Copic sketch marker to see how that works out. The Sketch marker has a brush tip too (which is replaceable) and is refillable. Quite excited about its arrival. I also ordered Keelan Parham "Let's Toon" book. It came highly recommended on Amazon, but I'm not convinced the style is something I'm going for. That said - from other reviews it looks like it contains some good general tips and advice. Should be arriving this week. I'll post some example caricatures. Maybe. If there are any worth posting that is. I also started sketching alot. Sat outside yesterday and sketched somebody waiting for a bus to try and tried to get the posture right. Not something I am any good at but it turned out well for me. This drawing lark is something else that (in my mind) I should just be able to just do - but again I've realised that few have prodigious talent and most of us just have to practice to make things look even half decent.

I went for a jog last night. A jog! Was actually good to help clear my mind. Better than walking the dog which did not clear my mind, just left me annoyed at the sniffing dog and having to carry a bag of his poo around.