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Monday, 1 December 2014

Robert, what HAVE you been doing lately?

Well, I'm so glad you asked.

Drawing, mostly - and as the drawings are by and large Christmas-related, I can't as yet reveal them.

However, suffice it to say that I am rediscovering my interest in pen and ink - I've been looking at Victorian magazine and newspaper illustrations, and observing the hatching techniques pen and ink artists employed.  Some just stuck to vertical ink lines on basic drawings; others used cross-hatching - lines that might come from any direction but were primarily against each other, to indicate depth and darkness; and some combined those techniques with "bracelet" shading, ink lines which follow the contours of an object in order to show its volume.

I've always used "real" ink and nibs before - i.e. dip pens and Indian ink; and this is still my preferred approach.  But it does seem just a bit like cutting off your nose to spite your face to avoid all the many lightfast disposable and refillable pens that are now available: so I'm going to get a few.

Oh, and Christmas is coming, don't forget .... a nice little box of pens would go down very well.... Faber Castell, pigment ink, that sort of thing.   I leave it with you.  No pressure.....

And, while waffling, I was reminded the other day that I have a page on Free Index - reminded because the site owners told me if I didn't log in and make use of it now and then, which I hadn't done since 2011, they'd take it away.....  So I've updated it, and there are several pieces of work on there, with contact details.

Take a look at - 

Also, I've just taken delivery of a marvellous book of bird paintings by the Indian artist Pratim Das.  If you have any interest in birds, and watercolour, Pratim's book should be on your shelves.  It's available directly from him, email him at:, or look him up on Facebook - the page you want for the book is Birds the real buddy.  

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