Friday, April 19, 2013

Bug Heaven

When I first launched into my Insect Alphabet, I was more interested in the texts than the images. I love looking at vintage books on the Internet Archive, and there were some fantastic ones about insects.

When it came to the artwork, I thought the shapes of the bugs would be interesting, and I figured I could choke back my squeamishness long enough to get the pictures done, but I never expected to enjoy the process so much.

I've actually been hurrying home from work to colour these. Who knew it would be so much fun? Here are the Owl Moth and Potato Beetle, and the line art for the first part of the Regal Walnut Moth, which changed again after the photo was taken. I'll tell you more about that in my next post.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Prisma Joy

A few years ago, I finally found the answer to a felt-pen puzzle that had been bugging me since I was twelve. I kept seeing illustrations that had obviously been done with markers, where big areas of colour were flat and "tender-looking." But mine never came out that way. When I tried to colour something, there were always streaks and overlaps, and lines between strokes. How did those illustrators get that effect?  It was a mystery to me.

One day I came across a blog where the secret was revealed: Copic markers. I headed straight for the art store to check out colours and prices.

I soon regained consciousness, and the staff showed me a slightly less expensive brand called Prismacolour. It was love at first draw--Will you marry me, Prismacolour?  Within ten months I had done more than 200 sketches. Every time I ran out of Cloud Blue, Spanish Orange or Violet Mist, I hyperventilated.

Things have settled down a little since then, but these markers are still the joy of my life. After a hard day at work, there they are, waiting for me, in their little wooden cutlery holder. It's a match made in heaven.