Archive for the ‘Resources’ Category

some things about nibs

Sunday, July 18th, 2010

Oy, summer is busy around these parts. I have some of my doodles colored and some more begun but in the meantime I have a huge pile of work and we are out of town next week and it’s just all kind of crazy.

I did buy a big pile of nibs from John Neal Bookseller – which is super, if very difficult to navigate (I can’t seem to link directly to products, for one thing) – and I have been trying them out. So I thought I would put my thoughts down here. I should note: my choices of what to order are somewhat arbitrary. Some nibs (brands, at least, if not specific nibs) came recommended from more than one source, some were based on the notes at John Neal, and some were whimsy.

The John Neal people are hardcore Lettering Folks, so a lot of their recommendations are based on what’s best for certain kinds of lettering (especially, apparently, Spencerian, which I guess is like the holy grail of hand lettering) which is not at all what I am doing. That said, they sure do know what they’re talking about. They also sell Dappen Dishes, which I still wish were even narrower, but which are a hell of a lot better than the shot glass I was using before getting some. I hate wasting ink.

Brause Rose – The John Neal people seemed to really love this nib. I thought it was okay. Definitely not my favorite, though it does have a fair amount of flex.

Brause 66EF – Also kind of so-so on this one. Holds very little ink (as many of these do.)

Principal EF – Another one they absolutely raved about. More ink than the above, and it’s one I’ll try out again, but not my favorite.

Nikko G – Medium flex and easy to work with. I’ve gone back to this one since my test page.

Gillott 170 – Gillotts are favorites amongst comics inkers. I liked this one quite a lot and it is very flexible.

Gillott 303 – Also quite flexible and smoother than the 170. I liked it better than the 170 in general.

William Mitchell 3.5 Roundhand – Nice if you’re doing Roundhand, not so much if you’re…not.

William Mitchell 4 & 5 Roundhand – a little better (esp. the 5) but still really roundhand nibs.

William Mitchell 6 – Bought this after seeing Laura Barnard’s lovely work, and I do like it. Still a little bit roundhand-y but really not bad at all.

Hunt 512 – Reasonably smooth but fairly stiff.

Hunt 56 – Not very smooth but fairly flexible.

Hunt 99 – Crazy flexible. Almost impossible to handle. It just bends willy-nilly all over the place.

Hunt 108 – Also incredibly flexible. Marginally easier to manage than the 99, but still very difficult.

Hiro – I liked this nib quite a bit. Quite flexible but still smooth on the paper.

So far I have particularly liked the Gillots, especially the 303, the Nikko G, and the Hiro. I will probably experiment more with the Brauses and the Principal, but most of the Hunts were not my thing and the Mitchells seem fantastic for their purpose but other than the 6 not helpful for me personally.

read this book!

Friday, June 18th, 2010

Ages ago I posted about the Pottery Parable, which is something that I should probably have tattooed on my forearm where I can constantly see it. The type would have to be really tiny though. Anyway, I was mentioning it again recently and figured I should check out where it actually came from. Turns out it is from a book called Art & Fear by David Bayles and Ted Orland. Bought the book and read half of it last night and I’m pretty sure that everyone inclined to make art of any kind ought to read this. I never underline anything, in any book, and I wound up having to grab a pencil and mark passages of this one. A few:

“The sane human being is satisfied that the best he/she can do at any given moment is the best he/she can do at any given moment. That belief, if widely embraced, would make this book unnecessary, false, or both. Such sanity, is, unfortunately, rare. Making art provides uncomfortably accurate feedback about the gap that inevitably exists between what you intended to do and what you did.” (emphasis mine.)

“The function of the overwhelming majority of your artwork is simply to teach you how to make the small fraction of your artwork that soars.”

“A finished piece is, in effect, a test of correspondence between imagination and execution. And perhaps surprisingly, the more common obstacle to achieving that is not undisciplined execution, but undisciplined imagination.” (emphasis mine)

“Most artists don’t daydream about making great art – they daydream about having made great art.”

It costs $9 at Amazon. Buy it! Or get it from your library! Do it!

Useful Information I Wish Took Less Long for me to Locate

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

I want to do something that seems incredibly basic: paint with oils on wood without covering up the wood. That is, I want the wood grain to show through/around my painting. So I do not want white gesso/acrylic ground. I have been hunting for the answer to this question for some time. Finally I posted the question on Facebook and lo and behold, Liquitex makes clear gesso! Such a tiny little piece of information to be so hard to find. Maybe I was searching wrong. At any rate I am posting this so others that might be searching for how to prime or seal wood panels to take oil paints without painting them white have the information.

ASW Express is full of very good prices on many things (and they have regular brush sales – I got three W&N Series 7s from them at bargain-basement prices), including Liquitex Clear Gesso.

more cool photoshop brushes

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

ok, this guy, who does really cool digital sketches, from zero2illo pointed me over here where there are several great brushes and I am happy.

best photoshop brushes I’ve found yet

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

Mark Molnar has a great blog and one the single best photoshop brush sets I’ve ever seen. It’s worth the download just for the one called “Hard Round 19 pixels,” which is by a long shot the best pen-esque sketch brush I’ve used. Lots of great scumble-style brushes too. Between Molnar’s brushes and Chris Oatley’s (which are primarily in the form of Tool Presets), I’m feeling much better about the possibilities with digital than I had previously.

Character Painting link

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

Sorry for the lack of updates. I’ve been extensively sick and the time I do have/can use I’ve been working on something for the latest Sketchoholic contest. Digitally, which is a big learning curve for me. I’ll post it when it’s done if I haven’t decided I hate it too much.

In the meantime, this is a helpful technique and it’s an approach I’ve not seen before:

Harmony web thing

Thursday, March 11th, 2010

Remarkably done in HTML5, this thing is fun and possibly useful under the right circumstances.

The ArtCast Network

Thursday, March 11th, 2010

Just found this. While a bunch of the better-known artcasts aren’t here (CHIUStream, Chris Oatley, etc.), it could develop into a cool resource and there are already some good-looking streams in there.