Posts Tagged ‘brush pen’

I’m still here…honest!

Friday, December 16th, 2011

Oh dear, poor, poor neglected blog. Over 3 months since my last post!

Outside of work I have a habit of getting completely absorbed in new projects. I only seem to have enough room in my head to focus on a few passions at once and when I get into something new this usually means that I start to neglect something else (like this blog).

Over the past few months I have found myself focusing on a few new projects. I will update you on these over the next few posts.

However I have been inspired to start posting here again…

Last Saturday I had to go up to South Yorkshire to work, but once I had finished in the afternoon I had a little time to spare before I needed to head home to London and I remembered reading in Lynne Chapman’s blog that the Sketchcrawl North group was meeting in Sheffield. I couldn’t make most of the day (a visit to a museum in the morning) but I made it in time to join the group and catch the end of the first Dr Sketchy event in Sheffield.

Dr Sketchy’s is a global franchise, they bill themselves as the anti-art school. At their events they get together fabulous (and raunchy) burlesque performers to pose for an audience of sketchers. They also run several competitions during the course of the event in which they ask the performers to choose their favorite drawing of their pose. The Sheffield event had a 1920s theme which carried through the costumes, music and the competition prises.

I only made it for the last 3 poses but my 2nd sketch (above) won me this prize. A fabulous Gin bottle necklace by Tatty Devine!

After all the sketching had finished the group made their way down to the bar to share sketchbooks. I was in for a real treat. There were some fantastic sketchbooks for me to see. I also got the chance to look at not only Lynne’s wonderful sketchbooks full of wonderful loose, fluid colourful sketches but also one of Andrea Joseph‘s beautiful detailed sketch books. I have followed both Lynne’s and Andrea’s blogs for some time and I always look forward to their posts so it was wonderful to not only have the chance to meet them but also to see their fabulous sketches in person! If I’m honest I was probably a little bit starstruck ;)

All in all I had a great day (even if I did have to work on a Saturday) and it was lovely to meet such a talented bunch of people, Hopefully I will have reason to travel up north and join them again sometime in the future.

Trafalgar Square

Sunday, September 19th, 2010

A couple of weekends ago I was out and about and had a few hours free before I needed to be home so I decided to head up to the national gallery to have a quick look around before doing a quick sketch. Ever since visiting with school I have always liked looking at the impressionist collection in the National Gallery and now that I live in London I often take the opportunity to pop into one of the galleries and have a quick look if I am nearby. I have a feeling the free entry system may not last much longer so I feel I should make the most of it while it lasts.

This sketch shows the model of HMS victory in a giant bottle currently on the 4th plinth in Trafalgar Square by artist Yinka Shonibare

The perspective is all wrong and it looks more like a collection of objects rather than a tied together scene but I am quite pleased with parts of it like Nelson’s Column and the bottle.

Brush pen sketches

Saturday, September 18th, 2010

I’ve recently been playing with this black permanent ink brush pen. I have a more expensive refillable version from Pentel but I think I prefer the cheap disposable one from Muji. It is possible to get very fine strokes with this pen for detailed work or very broad strokes if you need them. It makes a fun pen to sketch with especially for sketching people. I just need to get brave enough to sketch more people in public. I find it very difficult to sketch someone without them working out what I am doing and people can react strangely. As you can see by the sketch of Mat I need a lot more practice!

Welcome to Your New Home

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

First of all some obvious news…With help from Mat I have finally got around to to setting up a permanent home for my blog. I have also found a theme that I like and customised it a bit with some of my drawings. (although I did not know how to do a lot of what Mat showed me I was a little perturbed by how much I understood. I think over the years I have absorbed a lot more geekyness through proximity to Mat than I had thought! ;)

This is quite a boring post so I decided to decorate it with the original scans used for my blog banner:

Sketching kit drawn with materials shown

I have also been thinking about what else I want to keep on this blog. A couple of years ago I found a book cataloguing service through Facebook called Visual Bookshelf (provided by Living Social). I found this a very useful way of keeping track of the books I had been reading and keeping a note of books I wanted to read when I couldn’t afford to buy them straight away. It was also a great source for reviews etc. Unfortunately since I started to use it, Visual bookshelf has actually got more difficult to use and has lost functionality (iPhone app and blog widgets are no longer available).

Although I started this blog mainly to make sure I don’t stop sketching, I dare say I will probably use it to talk about books now and then as what I am reading, just like the music I listen to has such an effect on my mood.

Camera – pen and ink and watercolour and white gel pen

I really wanted to add some kind of widget to my blog showing what I am reading and the favourite books that I will read again and again. As visual Bookshelf no longer let’s you do this I decided to export my collection to a new service. But which one to choose? I had a look around and found that LibraryThing and Goodreads seem to do what I want (ability to import and export my collection, a customisable non-flash based widget to use on my blog, a facebook app and an iPhone app). I couldn’t find out much more from their websites so I decided I would test Goodreads for a bit and see how it goes as that seems to be more widely used.

Importing my collection was really easy and I quite like that you can add custom bookshelves as well as the standard, read, reading and want to read. I’m not convinced by the Javascript widget yet, it seemed to be broken when I first put it in, but it is now working (after I fiddled with it a bit and then gave up and asked Mat to sort the rest out for me) and I think it looks OK.

Headphones – Zig real brush pens and water brush and white gel pen

Brush Pen Doodle

Monday, August 2nd, 2010

I have been wanting some brush pens for a little while. I wanted some water based non-permanent brush pens which unlike Faber Castel Pitt brush pens and a lot of other brands actually have a bristle brush tip rather than a long flexible felt tip. I had really wanted to get something like Pentel colour brushes or Art Kure Watercolour System pens but these are very expensive and I think they will have to wait (in favour of having a finished kitchen amongst other things).

After shopping around on line for quite a while I managed to find Zig clean colour real brushes by Kuretake. These are available in 48 colours, are water based, have a bristle tip and are nearly a third of the price of the other 2 brands I mentioned above. I started with a selection of 15 colours hoping that I would be able to blend these with a water brush pen to obtain lighter shades. I have seen a few videos on YouTube of people using the Art Kure and Pentel brush pens and these seem very easy to blend and rework. I wasn’t expecting the Zig pens to perform as flexibly given their much cheaper price and I was right. Unfortunately most of the colours I have are the darker shades and these do not seem to blend well with either each other or with a water brush. However they do blend well with the lighter shades. Overall I don’t think I will be carrying these pens around with me regularly but I do think I will buy some more of the lighter shades as they do produce some interesting strokes and will be good for fun little doodles like this one from my doodle book…

Unfortunately these pens easily bleed through the paper so I will have to be careful when I use them in my Moleskine again.

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Amy Stace published on is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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