Category Archives: technique

Follow Up: Lightfast Testing

A month ago I created some samples of art and writing materials to see if their pigments were lightfast or fugitive. I’ve checked them here and there throughout the month to see which pens fared the worst. There were some surprises and with other expectations were met.

Let’s start with lightfast expectations met. The Uniball and Zebra pens all proved to be lightfast. This was expected, every Uni pen I’ve ever tested has been lightfast. In this case I tested the Air and  Jetstream 3.0. I also tested the Zebra Surari 3 and Sarasa 3, both were lightfast.IMG_0056

The lightfast surprise was that all of the highlighter pencils did not fade, at all. I tested all shades of the Yoobi,  Very Best, Koh-i-Noor Dry Marker, as well as the Koh-i-Noor MagixFX series. None of the colors shifted, changed or faded. Quite amazing given that the general rule is that highlighter and neon colors shift.

For fugitive properties I expected that all of the Bic colors would fade or shift within a short period of time. Most met this expectation in both tip sizes. Purple, red and pink all shifted in a week and at the end of the month we’re extremely faded. I have no doubt that if I were to continue with the experiment these colors would be gone in months. Blue and Black had noticeably shifted in shade and begin fading at the end of the month, with the black fading the most. Interestingly light blue, light green and dark green exhibited the least amount of color shift and fading.  I would not suggest that these 3 colors are lightfast merely that they did not shift as much as the other colors.IMG_0060 IMG_0059 IMG_0055

I also expected that the 4 fountain pen inks I tested would show fading and color shifting. There was no surprise here. Both Edelstein shades faded within a week, and by the end of the month the Turquoise was on it’s way to being gone and Tanzanite had only the black left behind. Emerald of Chivor had shifted shade noticeably and was showing signs of fading. Interestingly of the fountain pen inks tested only one was lightfast, the Platinum Preppy black cartridge used in an EF Preppy pen.IMG_0054

I tested 2 ballpoint pens- the Retro 51 REF71 (a Schmidt refill) and a Schmidt mini refill. Both proved to be fugitive but still easy to read at the end of the month. The black ink was quite faded.

Finally as predicted the Papermate Flairs proved to be incredibly fugitive. They showed rapid color shifting- radical color changes in a week and several colors complete gone from the page at the end of the month. Both shades of purple and pink were gone and no longer at all visible. Yellow and Peach were nearly gone. Red, both shades of blue, black, both shades of green showed fading and massive color shifts at the end of the month.IMG_0058 IMG_0057

What does all of this mean? For me, anything that shows color shifting or fading should only be used in an art journal, or something that will not be displayed. Because even artificial light can fade and alter colors it’s not safe to allow work done with these fugitive pigments to be anywhere the sun or light shines.

Sarcastic Pencil Portraits

I’ve been working on a series of portraits as a method of working though my thoughts and feelings surrounding the Orlando Massacre. I started the series using BIC pens but they seemed to colorful for the grim theme, and I switched to pencils pretty quickly. These images have almost exclusively been drawing with Palomino Blackwing pencils. I’ve used the MMX (original Palomino version), Pearl, and the 24. I’ve also used the Casemate’s Premium as well as a few Pentel Sign pens*. I am drawing all of these images in a Hand Book travelogue series sketchbook- 5.5×7.5 in size. Each image is takes up roughly one spread in the book, with the bulk of the image on one page.Doing a portrait series like this is a GREAT way to get drawing portraits. As these people are relatively well known, there are loads of images available via Google.

I look at about a dozen images and use them to create a single image. I might use the eyes from one image, the nose from another, and the mouth from another. Finally I look at how the lighting affects the shading of their face and I take this into account. I am NOT trying to create flattering portraits. They are meant to be unflattering and harsh. Think Alice Neel’s realism. If I were to use colors there would be a strong pink, yellow, and orange coloration in these images.shitbag

I try to spend no more than 10 to 15 minutes per drawing and I try not to erase unless I need to bring out a highlight. This is going to be an image heavy post, so I’ll hide a few image after the cut.shitbag shitbag shitbagshitbag

Continue reading

Portraits of “Presidential” Candidates

In an effort to learn more about politics and be balanced, I decided to read about each of the declared candidates for president. That wasn’t making things stick, so I decided to make art for each of the declared  candidates for US President. It turns out there are many of them. I could end up making little paintings about them all summer if I wanted to. I don’t but I’ve decided to highlight a few of them and fill a journal. Here are a few without my color commentary.

IMG_20150723_214208 repuglican repuglican repuglican repuglican IMG_20150727_112355 IMG_20150727_112355 IMG_20150727_112355 repuglicanHere are a few close ups of what the paint looks like after it dries. I’m working very wet into wet and in the humidity the paint takes forever to dry. I’m also working with a #10 and #20 brush on a hand-book travelogue series sketchbook. Which I’ll have to do a full review on soon enough.

granulation granulation

Technique Today: Mandalas

This week I'm looking up videos about one of my favorite topics, mandalas. Mandalas are great tools for relaxation, mediations, and adding a touch of focus and calm to a journaling practice. You can get out a compass and make precise circles or make shapes that are loose. It's your choice.

If you have issues viewing the videos here on my blog please click the title of the video on the upper left of the video and it will open up in YouTube for your viewing pleasure.

 

 

Continue reading

Technique Today: Watercolor Pencils

Watercolor pencils make me incredibly happy. A 12-pack will give an infinite range of colors allowing for bright jewel tones to dirty muddy earthy colors. Anything is possible with watercolor pencils.

If you have issues viewing the videos here on my blog please click the title of the video on the upper left of the video and it will open up in YouTube for your viewing pleasure.

 

 

Continue reading

Technique Today: Color Theory

Color is often discussed but understanding the theory of it can helpful for mixing paint, layering markers, and color choices. Like composition we talk about it, some understand it intuitively, and other study color theory. Like anything some understanding of the theory is helpful.

If you have issues viewing the videos here on my blog please click the title of the video on the upper left of the video and it will open up in YouTube for your viewing pleasure.

 

 

Continue reading

Technique Today: Ink

I love ink. It's a great thing to fiddle around within art journals. It also goes well with last weekk's topic, lettering.

If you have issues viewing the videos here on my blog please click the title of the video on the upper left of the video and it will open up in YouTube for your viewing pleasure.

 

 

Continue reading

Technique Today: Lettering

Lettering is one of those things that the more you practice it the better you get. Lettering can be fun and interesting.

If you have issues viewing the videos here on my blog please click the title of the video on the upper left of the video and it will open up in YouTube for your viewing pleasure.

 

 

Continue reading

Technique Today: Glue

glue. It should be a simple topic but it's not. you've got glue stick, PVA, Elmers (same thing as PVA BTW), Aleene's, superglue, Matte Medium, Gloss medium, heavy medium, etc… And everyone has a glue that works best for them, and we've all got an opinion about it.I've picked out a few videos to give you some ideas about all the opinions on glue, and different ways you can use it.

If you have issues viewing the videos here on my blog please click the title of the video on the upper left of the video and it will open up in YouTube for your viewing pleasure.

 

Continue reading

Technique today: Stencils

This week I chose a variety of videos featuring the use of stencils. I picked some videos showing usual techniques and some with unusual techniques.

If you have issues viewing the videos here on my blog please click the title of the video on the upper left of the video and it will open up in YouTube for your viewing pleasure.

Continue reading