Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Magpies and Shrews


I've been doing a lot of balck and white ink work lately, as it's been a while. I love doing it; it's very therapeutic, much like pencil drawing. Of course, I have a particular fondness for it because it was one of the prime forms of illustration in the Victorian era, featuring in adverts, penny dreadfuls, children's books etc.

I thought it a good time to show an old advert I came across on the internet once for ball point pens. I used ball point pens for some of the work I'm going to show you today, and so thought this a fitting example of the crosshatched illustrations common back then:

So, now here I present to you two rather silly images - well, one slightly silly and the other very silly.

I think it's best to get the sillier image out of the way first! This, if you can't guess, is a... rather literal interpretation of Shakespeare's "The Taming of the Shrew". This is what I thought the play was about when I was a child. Was I disappointed when I found out that the play in fact contained no shrews whatsoever, large or small? Yes. Yes I was.
There are not enough shrews in this play.

Miserly Magpie. 
The Scrooge of magpies, you might say.
The expenses-fiddling MP of magpies, if you will.

And now an experiment in ink with colour for a project I am attempting soon, but I first have to find and settle on a style and medium to work in. I keep changing my stupid mind over it. Practically on a daily basis.
Here is the most complete 'test piece' I've come up with so far in ink. I had planned on painting over the linework in watercolour, but realised halfway through drawing it that, like an idiot, I was using non-waterproof ink, so digital colouring it became. Oh well, I like how it turned out anyhow, and it does still look vaguely watercolourish.

I do love me magpies!

I've been coming back to this picture thinking it's not quite right. the magpie didn't stand out enough from the background. it was all too busy. So, I've blurred the background so that the magpie is (hopefully) more in focus. Here is the result. I think I prefer it:

And to finish off the general magpie-y theme of this post, a very small, very simple picture, again while experimenting with art styles for this project. It's very insignificant but I do like it.

So yes,  more experiments in styles may well appear before long. And I'm sure I still won't have made up my mind.