Thursday, March 27, 2014

A little bit of Trompe L'oeil

The Scribe
8x10 inches
ballpoint pen, Faber Castell Pitt Pens and Promarkers
on Ampersand Claybord. 

I have always had a fascination for Trompe L'Oeil artworks and thought I would revisit this genre, by redoing an older piece of mine. I am loving working on the Claybord, but unfortunately the coloured pencils do not come out with level of vibrancy that I'm after when working on this surface and so it feels a bit strange for me to be completing artworks without even reaching for a coloured pencil. The background was underpainted using the Black Promarker and I then went over this with the black ballpoint pen for a nice consistent black. The rest of the squirrel was done combining the ballpoint pen with the Faber Castell Pitt pens and also using a blade and fibre glass brush and blade to scratch into the Claybord surface for more realistic fur. 
Reference photo for the squirrel provided with kind permission by The format for this artworks was inspired by the beautiful artworks of Marina Dieul:)

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Falling in love with the humble ballpoint pen

8x10 inches
Coloured Ballpoint pen on Ampersand Claybord
I was doing some research the other day in preparation for a new artwork and stumbled across some ballpoint pen drawings which really inspired me to pick up the ballpoint pens and attempt another drawing using this medium. I attempted one a few years ago, but combined it with ink and inktense pencils so it couldn't really be called a ballpoint pen drawing. This time, after trying the pens on an assortment of papers, I tried them out on the Ampersand Claybord, which really helped with some of the problems you can come across when using pens. At least if you make a mistake or get one of those unsightly blobs of ink, you can very gently scratch off the surface and resume your drawing and this is a huge plus. There are some concerns about whether drawings done with ballpoint pens could fade over time. I have sprayed this one with 7 generous coats of varnish and am going to hang onto it for 6-12 months and then rescan it to see whether there actually is any fading. You can view a speed drawing of this artwork on YouTube. The reference photo for this gorgeous tiger was provided with kind permission of DigitalART2 on Flickr.  I found this piece really exciting to work on, and will be experimenting with a few more pieces - so watch this space :)

Monday, March 17, 2014

Having fun with Markers and Coloured Pencils

Here's Looking at You Kid
8x10 inches
Coloured Pencil and Markers on
Fabriano Artistico Paper

This tutorial was created in response to a special request from an artist wanting to know how I use markers and coloured pencils together in the one artwork. You can also watch a speed drawing of this process on YouTube at The markers are used first to underpaint the entire area, which I find speeds up the drawing process and also gives extra depth and vibrancy to your artworks. This beautiful Rainbow Lorikeet is one of a pair that come and visit Mum several times a day and often bring their young ones along as well. The 19 page tutorial is available from either my Website or Etsy Store