this northern boy

Illustrations for an imaginary age

Category: art materials

This week…

A little update. This week I’ve been working on tattoo commissions, fitting in a little freelance graphic design work on an island in the middle of the Thames, and drooling over the latest goodness from Aaron James Draplin and Field Notes Brand.

The tattoo design is for a guy in California who’d like a cutaway drawing of a lighthouse, featuring his young daughter looking out to sea from the top. Lots of fun drawing this.

If you don’t already know the work of Aaron James Draplin and the DDC go check out his website, and have a look on YouTube for some of Aaron’s videos. He’s a great designer who is absolutely bursting with enthusiasm and down-to-earth wisdom. His new book, Pretty Much Everything, is a joy to read, stuffed full of great content covering Aaron’s career to date. The cover is a beautiful textured, embossed design showcasing some of the many logos that have come out of the DDC over the years.

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I’ve been a fan of Field Notes for a long time, but I’ve only just subscribed to their quarterly editions. It’s a great way to make sure you get hold of the lovely limited editions notebooks they produce. When you subscribe you get a great little bonus with your first delivery – a couple of packs of their classic notebooks, a pencil, pen… Lovely.

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Inky happenings…

A quick blog post to share a couple of recent ‘horrific’ illustrations.

The first, a commission for my good friend Leon (check out his band – The Day of Locusts), is a tattoo design based on the make-up of the Danish rocker King Diamond. I love drawing skulls, and this was a nice twist on the usual. Leon’s going to be having this inked on to his calf. Brave man.

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King Diamond, tattoo design.

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Detail.

 

The second illustration was just something I did for myself. I sat down to draw a creature, no more of a plan than that, and something tentacled and Lovecraftian emerged. If you’ve been reading the blog for a while you’ll know I like drawing tentacles – even though they’re bloody tricky – and I think these are some of my favourites yet.

This illustration is for sale. Message me if you’d be interested in buying it.

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Creature from the Deep

 

Both of these illustrations were drawn with Palomino Blackwing Pencils, Copic Multiliners, and Rotring Tikky pens. I use a smooth, heavy cartridge paper from Daler Rowney.

 

What’s been going on…

I’ve been reasonably quiet on the blog recently, and I’m determined to post more regularly for the rest of the year.

As a bit of a catch-up post, here are some pictures – illustrations and photographs – from the last couple of months.

His Art Materials

I get asked a lot about what art materials I use for my drawings and illustrations. So here’s a blog post showing exactly what I have laying around on my desk right now. If you aren’t familiar with the kind of stuff I draw, have a browse though the blog, or have a look at my work on Instagram or Facebook.

But first…

A good pencil won’t make you any better at drawing than that rubbish one you have in your pocket from a recent trip to Ikea. An expensive brush won’t instantly turn you in to the worlds best watercolourist. That watercolour pad you splashed out on, you know the one – hand made, 100% cotton, acid-free, cold pressed – isn’t going to make your drawings and paintings any better than if you were drawing on a Post-It note – unless you practice, unless you draw and draw and draw. New art materials are great, but they aren’t a short cut to being great at art, because there isn’t a short cut to being great at art. You just have to draw. Draw the stuff you love, draw the things you find difficult, set yourself some challenges, but most importantly just bloody well draw.

Now to the inky, graphitey stuff…

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Pencils (from top to bottom)

Staedtler Tradition, from 3H to 3B

Staedtler Mars Lumograph, 3H and 3B

Palomino Blackwing 602, not sure of the hardness – maybe a B?

Faber-Castell 9000, HB and 2B

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Technical Pens

Copic Multiliner SP, 0.03 to 0.7 thickness nibs (my favourite technical pens)

Rotring Tikky Graphic, 0.3 to 0.7

Staedtler Pigment Liner, 0.05 to 0.8

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Brush Pens

Faber-Castell Pitt artist pen

Sakura Pigma Brush

Pentel Pocket Brush (my favourite brush pen)

Kuretake No 8 Brush Pen

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Calligraphy / Nib Pens

Rotring Art Pen

Kuretake Nib Holder and Kuretake G Pen nib

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Coloured Pens

Copic Ciao Markers (lots of them, particularly orange ones)

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Miscellaneous Pens

Edding Gold Paint Marker

Stabilo Point 88 Fineliner

Sharpie Twin Tip Marker

Sakura Gelly Roll Glaze Pen (opaque white)

Lamy Scribble Mechanical Pencil

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Bits and Pieces

Swann Morton Scalpel Blades, 10A

Swann Morton Scalpel

Steel Rule, 300mm and 500mm

Faber-Castell Eraser

Faber-Castell Sharpener

Cheap brush for clearing loose graphite or eraser bits

Toothbrush (an old one) for splattering paint or masking fluid

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Bottled Things

Higgins Black Magic Waterproof Ink

Kuretake Sumi Ink

Winsor & Newton Masking Fluid

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Paper

Goldline A3 Layout Pad (the big yellow one)

Daler Rowney A4 Tracing Pad (the grey one)

Daler Rowney A4 Smooth Heavy Weight Cartridge Pad (the pink one)

Daler Rowney A4 Bristol Board (the green one)

Daler Rowney A4 Fine Grain Heavy Weight Cartridge Pad (the brown one)

Caveat

As I said before, nothing on this blog post will make you draw any better, that’s up to you. Now, stop reading, and draw!

 

You can find prints of my work here

I also have a Patreon page

And you can find more of my work online…
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