I drew a whole bunch of postcards out a few weeks ago, and then didn’t send them or anything. They just sat on my desk getting covered in fluff and bits of paper. To shame myself into sending them, I’m going to post a few up here.
Recently I’ve been spending a lot of time working on trees. Trees are tricky to paint because they are really complex, but at least they stay still. I actually brought a whole book on the subject of ‘how to draw trees’, which I have mostly ignored.
This is based on one of the trees that I can see from my bedroom window. It’s my favourite in that view, a huge thing that is bigger than a house. One I saw a few tree surgeons lopping limbs off it, and was worried that it wouldn’t be there later that day, but I’m happy to say it’s still there.
This was another watercolour of a tree, but it was going horribly wrong and nothing seemed to fix it. So i painted a cartoonish squirrel on top.
I haven’t decided who I should send this to yet. It has to be somebody who doesn’t mind the word ‘nuts’, so I either need somebody with a dirty sense of humour, or a pure-minded person who is above that sort of thing.
Recently I’ve been drawing with dip pens, because my growing collection of fountain pens has been annoying me. They always explode and dribble at just the wrong point. A lot of artists say good things about dip pens, so after a few false starts I found a bunch of nibs that I liked and gave it a go.
The nibs I got over the counter at my local art shop were impossible to use for anything other than brutally stabbing the page, so I ordered some that other artists seem to really like. I loved the Tachikawa G-Nibs that I got hold of, and the Hunt nibs were somewhere near, but there was a massive jump in cost. Also, using a dip pen for a while really showed me why we invented the integrated spell-checker and autocorrect – it’s a pain in the ass.
Dip pens are still used by comic artists, and I’ve been thinking about the combination of narrative and image that comics bring. I don’t think I want to go into that area, but it’s a seductive dream to think about making my own comic… I drew out these panel examples from Wally Wood, who seems to be an amazing classic-era comic artist, which I mention so that you don’t think I have some amazing inside knowledge, and so that you can go and gawp at his artwork for a bit. It’s totally worthwhile.
I love sending these sorts of things out to people, and that influences my choice of medium when painting. The indian inks of the last three should hold up to a bit of rain, but the detailed watercolours of the first postcard will end up a smeary mess in this current weather!
If you’d like a postcard (probably one of the many I’ve brought, rather than a hand-drawn one) leave me a comment or drop me a line using the “contact” thingamejig. This is also a good way of reminding me that I owes you a postcard.