Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Pilot FriXion Erasable Pen

My husband wanted to go to an art store today and asked me if I wanted to go with him. I was reluctant at first because I didn’t want to spend money on stuff I thought was cool but wasn’t going to use. I haven’t been drawing or painting on a regular basis for a few years now.

There were a lot of cool new things I hadn’t seen before and, of course, there were sketch books I wanted to buy, but I refrained. I still  have several that I haven’t filled up, yet.

I saw this cool ink called Witches Brew. It claims to be the blackest ink on the market and is used by manga artists. I was so tempted to get it! The font on the label was cool and I imagined myself doing awesome drawings with it. I held onto it for a long time debating on whether or not to buy it. Then, I read that you shouldn’t inhale it. What? It was flammable. That was a deal breaker for me. I don’t need to be stinking the room up while I draw, give myself a headache or cancer, and then burn the house down. Plus, I’d like to keep every one of my brain cells so I can write interesting stories. So, sadly, I put the ink back.

Oh, but then I found a pen that erases! It wasn't the old crappy Eraser Mate pen that is tacky to the touch and sticks to your hand. This looked similar to the black ink pens I draw with. I was thrilled! The cashier told me to wait for the ink to completely dry before erasing it so it wouldn’t smudge.

This pen is called the Pilot FriXion. It looks pretty cool, but the store only had them in a 0.7mm ball point. I hate drawing with 0.7mm points. I like 0.5mm points because you can work from light to dark in layers of hatch marks. I don’t know if this pen comes in a 0.5mm. My drawings are small, so the line width makes a difference.

Okay, so I just did a quick 5 min. drawing using the FriXion pen. It erases pretty good, but not perfect. There still were a few smudge marks where I tried to erase the lines. Maybe I didn’t wait long enough for it to dry. The ball point was not as smooth as I prefer. It stopped rolling at certain points which was aggravating. Maybe I’m a bit rusty since I don’t draw every day anymore, but the drawing didn’t turn out as well as I hoped. It’s a sketch of one of the characters I’m currently writing about.

I guess I can overlook those minor drawbacks to the pen since it can erase. I’m still glad I bought it, but I was hoping to do some amazing mistake-free drawings with it. lol  I wanted to have one of those “amaze your friends” moments, but that didn’t happen. Oh well. I’ll keep working with it and see what happens.

Below is a photo of the drawing with the pen that erases.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Cretacolor Pencil

I tried out my new Cretacolor Monolith graphite stick in 9B. It's so smooth! Like drawing with butter! I like how it's so easy to get thick and thin lines without having to press so hard. I was able to hide the light preliminary lines by pressing harder to get the darker lines without switching tools. So, preliminary and final lines could be done with the same pencil. Some pencils don't get dark no matter how hard you press.
I'm not exactly happy with the drawing, but I do like the tool. I've used an HB graphite stick before and didn't like it.  :o(  Blechh. Too light.  B pencils used to smear a lot, but I guess I've gotten better at keeping my hand away from the paper. Maybe I've picked up some skills in the last few years. haha

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Glow-In-The-Dark Ghost Pencil Holder & Sharpener

I found this at Art Supply Warehouse in Westminster, CA. I'm an artist and love the paranormal, so I thought this was befitting. It's also a pencil sharpener. lol So, when I'm drawing late at night and see dark shadows moving in the doorway, I'll have my glow-in-the-dark ghost buddy to scare them away. haha!
Art Supply Warehouse is such an awesome art store. They even have pads of comic strip paper! I've never seen that before. There are so many cool art supplies out there now. I wish those were available when I was an art student.
I bought some vellum, marker paper, spray fixative, and conte pencils. So, I'm on my way to drawing like Enki Bilal! ;o) We'll see how that goes...

Friday, February 08, 2013

David Shannon (author of No, David!)

I just finished watching a set of short interviews with David Shannon. He's a writer and illustrator of children's picture books that I admire. You might know his book called No David! They are popular among young children.

As an artist, I found the interviews informative and inspiring. I am currently working on my own children's picture book, so hearing about his process helped me think about what I need to do and reinforced my thoughts that I'll be doing a lot of drawings before I get to the ones I'll stick with.

At first you might think that his style is somewhat naive, but if you look at it closely, he's actually a skilled draftsman and painter. He thinks about dynamic angles, composition, and colors that bring about a certain mood.

If you are interested in children's book illustration, you might find his interviews on the Scholastic site inspiring.


Monday, February 04, 2013

Sketchbook From Walser's

I bought this sketchbook about 10 years ago from Walser's in Torrance, CA. I have never seen this sketchbook anywhere but that store. There was a girl who gave a talk at one of my illustration classes and her artwork was awesome. She said she liked this type of sketchbook because it took to paint pretty well when she added it to her drawings.
The paper is thicker than the black bound sketcbooks, but not as thick and yellow as the Moleskine sketchbooks. The Moleskine sketchbooks have a sheen to the surface that doesn't take to watercolor very well.
I haven't done too many drawings in this sketchbook because I've been afraid to mess it up, but I decided to finally use it on a more regular basis. I did add some watercolor to one of my drawings and it turned out pretty nice. The paper didn't buckle and didn't get blotchy from water absorption. I didn't use that much paint, so the surface of the paper stayed flat and the colors remained rich.
Walser's is not a cheap art supply store, but I think this sketchbook is worth the price. I believe the store is still in Torrance. It was on Hawthorne, but they may have moved. They also have an online store, I think. I don't know if they still sell this sketchbook. It would be a shame if they didn't.

Illustration Friday - Wheel

I decided to do the shaky, scratchy line style this week. It never turns out the way I planned. I was going for more of a woodblock print style, but oh well. lol I guess it turned out cute enough.

Friday, February 01, 2013


I just joined Pinterest and it is awesome!! All my favorite artists are on my "board" and I've even discovered others artists whose work I admire. I can spend hours on there looking up and pinning artwork and photos to my board.

Not many people know of Anne Bachelier, but her work in on Pinterest! I was amazed! My own work is even up there. That was a surprise!

There are the most beautiful photographs of people, nature, animals, celebrities, models, etc. on there and even comic strip art. Basically, whatever image you can find on the internet can be added to Pinterest.

You can even add a button on your toolbar so you can add images from the internet onto Pinterest.

I added the app to my phone so I can browse through my favorite images and add new ones while I'm away from home. It's crazy.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Black Prismacolor on Crumpled Brown Kraft Paper

I am trying out this new style to add to my sketchbook that I plan to sell on Amazon sometime this year. The book will consist mainly of pen & ink drawings of European architecture and face drawings in various media. It will be in black & white with minimal splashes of color.

I also plan on releasing a book in color that will feature my paintings.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Illustration Friday - Wings

This is the first time in a long time that I've drawn something for IF. I hope you like it.

Saturday, January 26, 2013


I was planning on doing a lot of scribbles and splashes of paint on this, but it turned out looking more like my regular conservative stuff. I'm going to add some black Prismacolor and maybe some white highlights to this once the paint is dry.

Preliminary Drawing of Adora

I took this picture in case I really messed the painting up.

My Dried Up Pens

I haven't used these in so long, my ink cartridges dried up. Time to put new ones in & start drawing again! I probably messed up my pens by letting the ink dry, but we'll see how it goes. *sigh*

I really am going to start drawing again even if it's 10 min. a day. I went through my art supplies & found some cool stuff I had forgotten about. My next inspiration is to crumple up brown paper, draw on it with black Prismacolor, then go over it with white pencil. I hope it turns out well enough to put in my art book.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Close-up of Memories Lost book by Hoang Nguyen

This is one of the art books I found today while I was inspired to look for my sketchbook. Such beautiful work!

Close-up of a Gris Grimly drawing

I found this autographed drawing that came with Grimly's Sleepy Hollow book. I bought the book at Comic Con a few years ago.

Inspired by Kek

Today, I came across a blog by a French artist named Kek who just posts his funny comic strips. The drawings look simple, but the strip is so funny! His blog is one of the top blogs in France. http://blog.zanorg.com/

I thought, oh, I want to do the same thing! I want to draw really quickly and post funny stuff like he does. It will be so cool!

It got me excited about drawing again, so I went looking for my sketchbook and pens. I attempted to draw a simple figure with a circle for a head and two dots for eyes. Not bad, but not good either. I didn't know what to do with his hands and ended up royally messing up the drawing. To make things worse, I couldn't think of anything funny. It was very depressing. I totally suck at simple drawings.

In my search for my sketchbooks (I have many that I started, but never finished), I found a few cool art books that were sitting on my bookshelf. I will post a couple pics of some of that artwork I admire later.

I found a book called An Illustrated Life. It's a collection of illustrators' sketchbook pages. The artwork isn't really stuff to rave about because they are just sketchbook stuff, but I find that scratchy, written on, stained pages of drawings very charming and inspiring. I think I should really find time, maybe 15 min. per day, to draw like that in a sketchbook. I really like that shaky ink line look with haphazardly splattered-on watercolor. It's a style I'm not good at, but I've attempted it a few times and the outcome wasn't that bad.

I did a few drawings of my characters for the children's picture book I'm working on. My husband helped me get the drawings to be very simple, so I was practicing. I still need work, but if I do it in acrylic paint or gouache, I might get some interesting textures like in the Oh David books. I still like David Shannon's art style even though my husband says I draw way better. We'll see how my attempts go.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Apple TV, Flickr, and Publishing a Sketchbook

Wendy, my sister-in-law, gave us an Apple TV for Christmas. I love it!! Great sister-in-law, right? I totally love these techy gadgets that are out these days.

We watch Netflix and YouTube stuff on it and I can also view my Flickr drawings on there. Apple TV uses my Flickr drawings as a screensaver. How cool is that?! For me it's really cool to see my drawings blown up on the TV. They actually look better up there. You can choose different modes to view the images. I chose the one that moves the images around the screen and highlights one image at a time by enlarging it or scrolling down the taller images. It's artistically composed with smaller images on the sides.

My husband couldn't believe how many drawings I have. He suggested that I gather my drawings together to create a sketchbook to sell. He says I have enough drawings to do it. It's a good idea, so I really want to do that this year. Maybe that will be my New Year's resolution even though I believe people should have resolutions year round and not just at the beginning of the year.

The only problem I have with putting my drawings together in a book is that most of them are already online for public view. I'll have to take like a week or two to sit down and really create a lot of new drawings for the sketchbook. It sounds like a lot of fun, but I'm just afraid it will take too much time away from my writing.

I've always wanted to do a gallery show, but never have. The artwork I have created over the years has partially been done with that in mind. No matter how many drawings or paintings I do, I always feel like it's still not enough to have a gallery show. A cohesive one, anyway. Maybe one day it will happen, but I have too many things want to accomplish before I get around to focusing on that. Publishing a sketchbook will satisfy me enough for now.