Archives for category: art materials

BAFTA win for Long Lost Family

longlost

I designed the titles and logo for the first series of this hit ITV show, which seeks to reunite close relatives after years of separation. It returns for it’s fourth series this summer.

Congratulations to production company Wall to Wall for the show’s recent BAFTA win in the Features category.


Rediscovered Chinese Masterpiece

spring

Listening to the radio one morning, I heard Spring in a Small Town described as ‘The Chinese Brief Encounter‘. That has to be worth watching.

Regarded as the finest work from the first great era of Chinese filmmaking, Fei Mu’s quiet, piercingly poignant study of adulterous desire and guilt-ridden despair – now restored – is a remarkable rediscovery. – BFI

The film was originally suppressed and long thought lost, but rediscovered in the ‘80s, it was soon hailed as one of the finest Chinese movies ever made.

The BFI has now re-released this long lost classic, which is available to rent online and is also on limited cinema release. More details HERE.


 Blackwing Pencils

blackwing

I’ve heard much about the legendary Blackwing pencil, beloved of Golden Era animators such as Chuck Jones and the great Ken Harris.

In his book The Animator’s Survival Kit, Ken’s friend and collaborator Richard Williams recalls: When he (Ken) died in 1982 at eighty-three, my real regret was that when I was a pallbearer I didn’t have the guts to tuck a Blackwing pencil into his hand in his open coffin. He would have loved that.

The Blackwing’s roots go back to the 1930’s but it was discontinued in 1998. I thought it was lost forever, save for a few individual pencils, changing hands for silly money on eBay. But now this iconic doodling tool has been revived by Palomino.

 

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A friend of mine was asking about a good paper to use for pen and ink work. I started rambling on at him and he suggested that I blog it. So I have.

If you want crisp smooth lines where the ink sits on the paper, Bristol board is good (It’s not really board, you can buy it in pads.) I like the Goldline brand. I find Daler and Rowney can bleed a bit.

For more absorbancy and a bit of ‘tooth’ then I go for a Hot Pressed (smooth) watercolour paper.

My favourite paper is Arches Aquarelle – though it’s pricey for mucking around on. Saunders Waterford is OK. Or just good cartridge paper for playing.

My all-round paper of choice is Arches Aquarelle NOT. It’s halfway between smooth hot pressed and rough watercolour, so it takes washes really well but also holds a line. And it just feels bloody gorgeous when you get it out of the pack. I buy packs of half imperial size (a bit bigger than A3) from Ken Bromley. You can also buy it in blocks, which have taped edges to prevent the paper from buckling when washes are applied. They also have cool art nouveau covers so that you can pretend you’re living in belle epoch France and drinking absinth with Toulouse-Lautrec in the evenings.

arches-watercolor-blocks archesaquarelle

 

Ink-wise, for use with a dip-pen, good old windsor and newton is fine but it’s a bit cloggy. I like Dr Martin’s Bombay Black, and I’ve just discovered Speedball Super Black which is lush. I get it from Scribblers.

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Ooh, one last tip – I really like those Rotring Artpens (with the ‘sketch’ nib rather than the calligraphy type), but you can’t put waterproof ink through them as it clogs the barrel. Which is annoying if you want to paint over your black line. So I’ve got an old one, (which I previously ruined… by putting waterproof ink through it.) and I use it as a dip pen. Bingo!

artpen2

It’s all personal preference and experimenting really. And spending lots of time and money you haven’t got, sourcing arcane art supplies – which is of course, a lot easier than actually getting down to drawing.

 

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