Wednesday, June 13, 2012

kitty

Recently wrapped up a commission to illustrate some fossilized jaws of Smilodon gracilis. Sample of a preliminary sketch above, and detail from one of the finished plates below.

The preliminary sketches were done on the computer, but I inked the final drawing by hand with a steel-nib dip pen. It feels much more satisfying, and (though it seems counter-intuitive) I also feel like I have much better control with a tangible pen.

I did use the computer to do the final edits and touch-ups after the scientists gave their feedback, so the final product really is a hybrid of digital and traditional work.



video
While I was doing the ink work, I actually experimented with filming the process if stippling. I'll warn you that it's a very slow and undramatic way to work...but if you're curious, here's about a minute of dots falling into place. (And this is part of the reason that I respect well-done stippling so much...it can be so beautiful in its own right, and it sure takes a lot of patience and commitment to make the work happen!)


5 comments:

  1. what are you holding in your left hand? and why?

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    1. Good question! I was drawing on translucent plastic film, laid over the top of the rough sketch as a template. The slight stiffness of the plastic layer made my drawing surface bounce up and down every time the pen nib touched the surface. (And when it raised back up away from the sketch, it would get harder to see the details of that original sketch.) So, I took a plastic chopstick in my left hand and just used it to hold the plastic film down in the general area where I was drawing. First time I've done that, actually. It worked pretty well, and was kind of fun for both hands to have a job to do.

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  2. cool, katura!! nice illustrations!
    what plastic film did you use?

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    1. Oooh...that's a good question! It was probably like a Duralene or Duralar or something similar? It's been a while since I bought it, and don't think I have the original packaging any more! (Sheesh)

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