I am once again needing to write an easy post because I am feeling quite ill. So let me talk about an artist thing that is totally boring for those who already know about this stuff and fascinating to anyone who always wanted to know art secrets from the secret tomes of drawing-wizards and painting-wizards. So here is some of the arcana gleaned from years of experimentation in the tippy-top of Mickey’s wizard’s tower.
Pen and Ink – When I first discovered I could make pencil pictures of naked girls, long about the magical-hormone-age of twelve, I began regretting the fact that pencil pictures easily smear. So, I had to find a further magical technique to make the pretties stay free of the dark clouds of graphite smudge. The magic wand I chose first was the ink pen with black ink.
Of course, I am not using examples of middle-school me drawing naked pen-and-ink girls. Mothers, girlfriends, and wives make those things go away. But I am showing examples that have magical little elements in them that reveal my secrets. One thing that magically works is filling shapes and areas of the drawing in with specific patterns. The crosshatch work in the mermaid picture is obvious in the mountains and the mermaid’s hair. Not as obvious is the suggested scale-pattern in the mermaid’s fish tail. Notice how it only fills in the areas I need to suggest shadow and create 3-D form. The pattern that makes the floor for the hoola-hooper is a pattern that subtly suggests radioactivity.
This high school art project, the very first in incarnation of Rabbit Castle, shows my utter failure to effectively use pen and ink wash. I think I did get the wood pattern and the brick pattern right. But the filling of areas with diluted ink wash was a total mad failure of mud-making proportions. I decided against further using pen and ink wash in high school.
Water Color – I also experimented with adding life to drawings by using water color. Don’t look too closely at this horse-head bookend picture because I accidentally gave the poor pony severe-plaque psoriasis with watercolor, something I wouldn’t wish even on a horse made out of plaster or stoneware. Water color is difficult for me because I am highly controlled when I draw. I do not like the many “happy accidents” of the water-color world. I do not adapt well to runny color. So, water color also became a NO for me in high school.
Colored Pencil – I did however find magic when I first learned to blend colored pencil colors on the page and create full-color drawings. I especially like the fact that bright colors are easy to manipulate and contrast for me. I am somewhat color-blind (red-green color-blindness that is worse in my left eye than my right). I like colors I can actually see. If you look carefully at this picture of Bobby and Horatio T. Dogg, you will notice that this is solely made up of colored pencil lines and shading and color-blends. It was with this media that I found my true art mojo.
Mixed Media – So the style I most often use for the magic of forging Paffoonies is a mixture of my two favorite media… colored pencil and pen and ink. So here is the magic formula; 1. Draw first in pencil. 2. Go over the lines in black ink. 3. Fill in all areas with texture and color made from colored pencil.