Sunday, July 31, 2011

Zebra SARASA SE Pen Review and Giveaway

Laurie and Lauren at Zebra Pen Corporation sent me a 4-pack of the Zebra SARASA SE .07 gel pens to try.

(As always, click on any of the pictures for a larger view.)



Here’s a brief description of the SARASA SE from Zebra’s website, “Developed from the feedback of over 50,000 consumers, the SARASA SE boasts features most important to consumers including ink visibility, superior gel ink for a scratch-free write, a strong metal clip and a complex textured grip. This grip stands out among others due to its extreme durability, which can be tested pre-purchase through the package cut outs. Available in 8 vibrant colors – perfect for color coding.

The 4-pack contains two black, one blue and one red ink gel pen.



The design of the SARASA SE is pretty slick and the textured grip is very comfortable.


I tried them out on both 90lb sketchbook paper and in a Rhodia Webnotebook. They write very smoothly, though there was a bit of scratchiness on the sketchbook paper. One thing I immediately noticed though, was that these pens don’t leave the usual skips in ink (or holidays as my dad calls them) that a lot of gel pens seem to do.



Here is some doodling I did with the Zebra SARASA SE. They did leave a few globs of ink in spots, but are still a fun pen to draw with.

Rumor has it that they can also be used to fight off Godzilla.


Overall I found the Zebra SARASA SE .07 a comfortable pen to use with good quality ink. I’ll use them more for note taking and doodling at work than for finished art. You should definitely try them out for yourself and Zebra has made it easy for one reader of David Wasting Paper to do that.

For your chance to win a 4-pack of Zebra SARASA SE .07 pens for yourself, just leave a comment on this post with your contact email address anytime between now and Friday, August 5, 2011, prior to midnight Eastern Time. Only one entry per person and this giveaway is limited to US residents. I will choose a winner randomly from all of the comments using Random.org. I'll post the contest winner on Saturday, August 6, 2011.


Thanks again to Laurie, Lauren and Zebra Pen Corporation for sending me the pens!

Zebra Pen products can be found nationwide at Staples, Office Max, Office Depot, Walmart, K-Mart, and other office supply stores, discount chains, food and drug retailers, stationery stores and wholesale clubs. For more information on Zebra Pen products, programs and promotions, log onto www.zebrapen.com or visit its online store, www.store.zebrapen.com.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Terry Beatty - Cartoonist Survey #234




Born in Muscatine, Iowa in January of 1958, Terry Beatty is a cartoonist, illustrator, teacher and a sculptor. He teamed up as co-creator and artist with writer Max Allan Collins (“Road to Perdition”) in 1979 to create 'The Comics Page', which was a weekly syndicated comics page containing jokes, activities and a puzzle-comic starring private eye Mike Mist. Though the feature was short-lived, the character Mike Mist carried on, appearing in issues of Mystery Magazine and as a back-up feature in the 'E-Man' comic book. With Collins, Terry also co-created and drew ‘Ms. Tree’, which went on to become the longest-running private eye series in American comic books. ‘Ms. Tree’ got her start in 1981 in Eclipse Magazine and soon spun off into her own comic book. First published by Eclipse; ‘Ms. Tree’ was then published by Aardvark-Vanaheim, Renegade Press and finally DC Comics, who published ten quarterly 48-page issues that ran into the early 90’s. Terry’s other work with Max Allan Collins includes the detective/horror four-issue series ‘Johnny Dynamite’ for Dark Horse, and a graphic novel sequel to “Road to Perdition” called “Return to Perdition”, for DC's Vertigo Crime line that is scheduled to be released August of this year.

Terry spent over a decade inking various “animated-style” Batman comic book series for DC including: ‘Batman Adventures’, ‘The Batman Strikes’, ‘Batman and Robin Adventures’, ‘Batman: The Brave and the Bold’, ‘Batman Beyond’, ‘Batman Gotham Adventures’ and more. During this time he was awarded two Will Eisner Awards. The first one was in 1998 for Best Graphic Album-New for ‘Batman & Superman Adventures: World’s Finest’ and the second one was in 1999 for Best Title for a Younger Audience with ‘Batman: The Gotham Adventures’.


The works from Terry that I am most familiar with and really love are his cover paintings for Dennis Druktenis’ Scary Monsters and Monster Memories magazines. These wrap-around covers are just beautiful to look at and apparently I’m not the only one who feels this way as he won the Rondo Award in 2007 for Best Cover Illustration. A big fan of monsters, he created artwork for Monsterwax’s Shock Stories trading cards which were released in 2009. As a sculptor Terry has created numerous resin kits including his “Beatty’s Beauties” series, a sideshow freak series and many more. He recently designed a Green Lantern model kit for Moebius Models and created the box illustration for it. As if all of the above isn’t enough, Terry also taught in the comic art program at the Minneapolis College of Art & Design from 2005 to 2009.


He recently moved to the Kansas City area with his wife Erika and their son Kirby. Terry is also a proud grandfather with grandsons, Dawson and Tristin who were born to his daughter from a previous marriage, Elizabeth. Visit his website where you can see more of his work and also purchase original artwork. Follow him here on his Scary Terry's World blog. You can purchase the Shock Story trading cards through Monsterwax and you will soon be able to purchase the Green Lantern model kit here at Moebius Models.


What is your favorite pen to use?

Lately I've been using the digital pen tools in Manga Studio. Otherwise I'm more of a brush guy.

Do you draw in pencil first and if so do you use a standard pencil or a mechanical one?

Yes -- if working on paper -- usually a mechanical pencil. If digital, I'll do blue "pencil" preliminaries.

Do you do your coloring by hand or on the computer?

For commissions -- by hand. For printed work -- Photoshop.

If you do your coloring by hand, what do you use?

Colored inks.

What type of paper do you use?

Strathmore bristol -- smooth surface.

What thing(s) do you hate to draw?

Traditional telephones (with the curly cord) are a pain -- as are motorcycles and drawing someone getting in or out of a car.

Do you buy your supplies from big chain art store catalogues/websites or a local one that you physically go to?

In Minneapolis I shopped at Dick Blick, PenCo, Art Materials and the Art Cellar at MCAD -- just moved to the Kansas City area and haven't sought out a shop yet. Will likely be doing some mail order.

Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?

No.

Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?

Often. Rockabilly, hillbilly, early rock and roll, exotica, swing, surf guitar, roots country, British invasion, punk, garage band...

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?

Yes. I read 'em ALL. Probably would have to choose Lee/Kirby Fantastic Four -- though Lee/Ditko Spider-Man might be my answer on another day.

What is or was your favorite comic strip?

Tough one. I think it's a tie. Foster's Prince Valiant and Segar's Popeye.

What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?

As a child? Probably "Jungle Tales of Tarzan." And yes -- I still own a copy. Along with many other E. R. Burroughs books.

Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?

Self-taught.

Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?

A blessing in that it is allowing artists to reach their audience directly, without the interference of publishers/editors.

Did either of your parents draw?

No.

Who in your life is/was the most supportive of your art?

My mother, I suppose. Though she never really "got it".

Do you keep a sketchbook?

I do -- but have slacked off from working in it lately.

Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?

Yes, I was Visiting Artist and then an adjunct instructor at MCAD (Minneapolis College of Art and Design) -- and yes, I (mostly) enjoyed it.

Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?

Perseverance is more important than both.

Do you collect anything and if so what?

Too much to list. Character toys, model kits, art, books, music, movies....

Are you a righty or lefty?

Righty.

If you weren't an artist what would you want to do for work?

I'd be fronting a rockabilly band or hosting a late night TV horror movie show.

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.

A flat surface surrounded by lots of stuff.

Do you play any musical instruments?

I own a guitar. I have yet to learn to play it.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?

Only do it if you MUST.

Who is your favorite artist?

Jack Kirby.


(Watch this two-part video of Terry reviewing some monster models.)







Thanks again for your time Terry.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Pilot Art Supplies Review - Part One

I received a package from Amy and Robin at Pilot Pens loaded with art supply goodies to review. There were quite a lot of items so I thought I'd break it out into a few posts. This first review is of the Pilot G-TEC-C (Gel Rolling Ball) ultra fine needle point pens and the Pilot V Razor Point (Liquid Ink Marker) pens.

(As always, click on any of the pictures for a larger view.)

Wally Gator and Underdog volunteered to act as Vanna White.

Here are the pens freed from their packages.

Dr. Doom also decided to get in on the action.

The Pilot G-TEC-C (0.4 mm).


This shows the line width of the Pilot G-TEC-C (0.4 mm).

The Pilot V Razor Point (extra fine).


This shows the line width of the Pilot V Razor Point (extra fine).

The ink from both pen styles flows well and the colors are vibrant. While I liked using both, I have to say my personal preference, especially for drawing, is the Pilot V Razor Point. Both sets of pens work great for sketching and drawing, but would also work well for note taking in different colors.

Thanks again to Amy and Robin for sending these out. Click here to see the entire line of Pilot products. Check back for additional reviews on the remaining Pilot products they sent me.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Winner of the Sherm Cohen "Character Design" Book

And the winner of the Sherm Cohen "Character Design" book is...Paul McCall. Thanks to everyone who entered.





Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Mad Art of CARICATURE

If you are interested in caricaturing, comics or drawing at all, here is one book you must buy!




If you don't know who Tom Richmond is; first feel shame, then give yourself 30 lashes and finally head over to his The MAD Blog and spend a few hours looking around. Trust me you will not be disappointed.

He is offering four options for ordering the book,

(1) Signed.

(2) Signed with an Alfred E. Neuman Sketch.

(3) Signed with an Original Sketch from the book.

(4) Signed with an Alfred E. Neuman Sketch & an Original Sketch from the book.

He is taking pre-orders now and the books will ship in September.

Tom, who was recently selected to be the 34th President of the National Cartoonists Society, was nice enough to participate in my Cartoonist Survey (#89) way back in March of 2010.

Go here to read it. Then go buy the book!


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Eleanor Davis and Drew Weing - Cartoonist Survey #233

Today we have a real treat, the first husband and wife Cartoonist Survey. It features Eleanor Davis and her husband Drew Weing.

Photo Credit; Yvonne Brooks




Eleanor Davis is a cartoonist and illustrator who was born and raised in Tucson, Arizona. As a child her parents introduced her to the classic comics such as Little Nemo, Krazy Kat, Little Lulu and Kinder Kids. In high school she discovered the zines and mini-comics of alternative cartoonists and soon began self-publishing her own. Eleanor studied sequential art at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree. In addition to her self-published work such as “The Beast Mother”, she has contributed work to the anthologies “MOME “ (Fantagraphics) and “Best American Comics 2008” (Houghton Mifflin). She has also created two children’s graphic novels, “Stinky” published by Fran├žoise Mouly's TOON Books in 2008 and “The Secret Science Alliance and the Copycat Crook” published by Bloomsbury Children's in 2009. “The Secret Science Alliance” was a collaborative book where her illustrations were inked by her husband Drew. The book was nominated for an Eisner Award. Eleanor continues to produce comics, mini-comics, illustrations and other works of art. She lives and works in Athens, Georgia with her husband Drew. Visit her website here and her sketch blog here to see much more of her work.


This is Drew with the Serbian edition of his book, "Set to Sea".





Drew Weing is a comic book and webcomic creator who was born and raised in Lexington, Virginia. Like his wife, Eleanor, he also earned a BA while studying sequential art at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia. From March of 2002 to July of 2003 he drew an almost daily autobiographical comic called The Journal Comic that he posted on his website. Drew is well known for his infinite canvas webcomic Pup which appeared on Serializer.net. For those unfamiliar with infinite canvas comics, they are based on the idea that the size of the digital comics page is infinite and therefore not limited to a conventional page size. (To learn more about infinite canvas comics, check out Scott McCloud’s book, “Reinventing Comics”.) Drew’s first book is the graphic novel “Set to Sea” which was published last August by Fantagraphics. The main character in “Set to Sea” is a poet who has lost his passion for writing. After getting kicked out of a tavern for not being able to pay his bill, he ends up being kidnapped by sailors and impressed into service. During his time at sea he ends up finding inspiration and regains his passion. Check out Drew’s website where you can read The Journal Comic, most of the Pup strips and the first part of “Set to Sea”.

To purchase their books, mini-comics and prints, head over to Drew and Eleanor's Little House Comics shop.

***Ladies first, so Eleanor's answers are first in italics and Drew's are in plain text.***

What is your favorite pen to use?

For awhile I was switching between a 102 and a 107 but now I just use a Deleter Maru pen. They are the best pens!

I was the one who introduced her to the Maru pen! It's like a Hunt crow quill, but well made and consistent.

Thanks, man! I'll never go back!

Do you draw in pencil first and if so do you use a standard pencil or a mechanical one?

Mechanical pencils!

Ditto, but sometimes I'll use an old-fashioned yellow pencil if I'm feeling I've gotten too uptight about details.

Do you do your coloring by hand or on the computer?

Some of my comics are computer colored, some are hand colored. But mostly I work in black and white.

Mostly computer colored, but I've been inspired by Eleanor to do more painting recently.

If you do your coloring by hand, what do you use?

Ink linework w/ Bombay Black, then combination of watercolor and gouache (Windsor & Newton), often mixed with Ph. Martin's watercolor dyes. I try not to use the dyes too much because they fade badly over time.

Windsor & Newton watercolors.

What type of paper do you use?

I use Fabriano Medioevalis a lot. It works well with dip pens. It's printmaking paper, so it's pre-sized: you don't have to stretch it and the sizing keeps the ink from bleeding. I've used other printmaking papers as well. But it's not as fun to paint on as a more absorbent paper - you can't really do washes, which is a pain.

Eleanor's the authority!

What thing(s) do you hate to draw?

I feel weird about how bad I am at drawing folds. All the life drawing sessions I've gone to have made me really good at drawing naked people but lousy at drawing clothes.

There's no particular single thing I hate; mostly I hate getting into certain habits or styles of drawing that seem stale or over-rendered.

Do you buy your supplies from big chain art store catalogues/websites or a local one that you physically go to?

We buy little things from our local store, The Loft. We order things like 400 series bristol online.

We always try to go local, but a lot of our cartooning paraphernalia is too obscure and particular to find locally. Dick Blick is the fallback.

Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?

Too many horrible little rituals to count. The pee ritual. The check-the-email ritual. The make-a-cup-of-tea ritual. The pee-again ritual. And then, it's bedtime.

Maybe I should start! My only ritual lately has been avoiding my drawing desk as much as possible.

Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?

Yes. I listen to a lot of shitty pop music and club music. I have to listen to something that keeps me excited and not sleepy. I have listened to a lot of Lady Gaga.

I find that listening to audiobooks when I'm doing slightly more boring stuff (inking, coloring) can be really useful to distract the part of my brain that doesn't want to sit still. But for more complicated writing and drawing, I sometimes have to turn off everything, to get my thoughts straight.

Ditto the audiobook thing. Also NPR.

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?

I read an insane amount of comics when I was a kid. My parents were really into comics: basically anything that was good; everything that wasn't violent or Archie. My favorite may have been Little Lulu. But there were tons.

As a little kid, mostly I read whatever crossed my path - from Garfield to dog-eared superhero comics.

What is or was your favorite comic strip?

Was: Calvin and Hobbes, Newspaper: Cul De Sac, Web: Achewood

Those are all pretty great.

What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?

Too many to mention. Probably Tove Jansson's Comet in Moominland, and, yes.

Hmm, maybe Lloyd Alexander's "Chronicles of Prydain" series? I still have the tattered remains of those books.

Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?

I got a BA in Sequential Art from Savannah College of Art and Design.

Ditto.

Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?

Everything good that's happened to me, career wise, has come from the Internet. I've found out about many of my favorite contemporary cartoonists through the Internet, and many of them work primarily online. The Internet gives everyone (with a computer) a voice that can be heard by anyone else (with a computer). These things are all overwhelmingly positive.

That said, I'm just as confused as everyone else about how the online economy is going to shake out, and how artist and writers and creators of all kinds are going to be able to make a living.

It's a real mix. The widespread, democratic nature of distribution is amazingly positive and unprecedented. But the "how to make a living" part aside, I personally have trouble moderating my Internet "intake." It's so easy to get distracted!

Did either of your parents draw?

My only memory of my parents really sitting down and drawing is of when I was 6 and made them take a comic-book drawing class from me. I may have even made them pay me money. My dad drew a comic about a chihuahua who stole dirty laundry. My mom drew a comic about my dad accidentally going to sleep with a pillow over his head and the tooth fairy stealing all his teeth.

My mom drew some when she was younger, but I think had mostly given it up by the time I was around. I found some of her old sketchbooks with some drawings in them (mostly cats!) and filled in the blank pages.

Who in your life is/was the most supportive of your art?

My parents are supportive to the point of it becoming ridiculous. But they would be ridiculously supportive if I became a career burger-flipper, or a professional nose-picker.

Drew is also supportive but we are also Rivals so it gets tense.

Ha ha. It's Eleanor. But it's a tough love.

Do you keep a sketchbook?

Yes.

Sort of. It doesn't come easy.

Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?

Yes, Drew and I teach a week-long cartooning camp to teens every year. It is really challenging for us but we love it; the kids are so filled with passion and confidence and excitement. Someday we hope to be good at it.

It's true, we're always feeling really inspired by the end. But we put a lot into it, too! We spend the first couple days agonizing over how we'll fill an entire week and wondering how we got ourselves into this mess.

Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?

Passion? I think hard work and practice is the most important thing, and it's hard to do that without passion. I've known plenty of talented artists who never came to anything because they never did any work.

Amen! Hey, wait a minute - just who are you talking about?

Do you collect anything and if so what?

I really like neat labels, from food packages and fireworks etc. I buy a lot of exotic food products I don't know how to prepare just because I like the labels so much. I have a scrapbook for stuff like that.

Ha, Eleanor says I have a collector's mentality, and it's true - if I own more than 2 of something, I start wanting to complete the set. If I were a rich man, I'd own all of the Criterion DVDs, ever NES game ever made, and a lot more pretty book sets.

Drew wants to be a rich guy in a huge mansion filled with expensive dude-collections.

If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?

Shizuku Tsukishima from Mimi o Sumaseba.

Gargamel from the Smurfs.

Are you a righty or lefty?

Righty!

Lefty!

If you weren't an artist what would you want to do for work?

I work part time at a food co-op as the produce buyer and that is pretty much my dream Other Job. I also think a lot about going into radio. Radio is a big part of my life.

I would probably be a frustrated, blocked writer, instead of a frustrated, blocked cartoonist. When I was a kid, I wanted to be a chef, which is hilarious considering how picky I was.

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.

Right now, we are in a small apartment and our desks face each other. We have a curtain we can pull back to separate them. We are moving into a house this August and we will both have separate studios which we are really excited about.

Plus, it's also our living room, and basically a cat storage area.

Do you play any musical instruments?

Nope!

I played trumpet in middle school, but lost the small competence I once had!

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?

Don't pursue art as a career. Do it because you love it and then see if you can make money of it. Don't do it the other way around. Work hard. Make things that are interesting. Think about what you do.

Be a well-rounded person. Don't just concentrate on drawing - even if you're good, you'll be boring. And you should probably try doing art in your spare time - you know, just to see if you like doing it or are any good at it - before you quit your job!

Who is your favorite artist?

That is impossible to answer.

Eleanor Davis. (Take that!)

I guess my favorite artist is Drew, too. I liked him enough to marry him at least!

Here is the first segment of a four part interview for The Comics Journal with the creators of "The Secret Science Alliance and Copycat Crook". From left to right are Drew Weing, Eleanor Davis, Michele Chidester and Joey Weiser (Cartoonist Survey #218). You can see the other three segments on Youtube.



Here is a video preview from Fantagraphics of Drew's "Set to Sea".






Thank you very much Eleanor and Drew!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Pentel Art Supplies Review

Last week Nicole from Pentel sent me some pens to try out and review. Included in the package was a 4-pen set of Pentel Hybrid Technicas in sizes 03, 04, 05, 06; a Pentel Brush Pen and a Pentel Stylo Sketch Pen.

(As always, click on any of the pictures for a larger view.)

The Pentel Hybrid Technicas and the Pentel Brush Pen that comes with two refill cartridges.

The Pentel Stylo Sketch Pen.

Here are the pens out of their packages.


The nibs in relation to each other.


This compares the line widths.
At first I wasn't sure about the Stylo Sketch Pen, but after playing around with its flexible nib for a while, I really got to like it and found it quite comfortable to use. The Hybrid Technicas have very smooth ink that doesn't skip. The Brush Pen has a great feel to it, but since I don't usually use a brush to ink, it will require me to work at it. I'm sure that if you ink with a brush all the time it will quickly become a convenient go-to item when you don't feel like carrying around both a brush and a bottle of ink. All and all I highly recommend all of the Pentel products that were sent to me with the Stylo Sketch Pen being my favorite of the lot. One thing I will have to check out is how the Stylo will hold up when using it with watercolors or an ink wash because it is a water-based, dye ink.

This is a quick sketch I inked with each pen for comparison.

The book below is by Sherm Cohen (Cartoonist Survey #120) and is what I used for backgrounds when taking the pictures of the pens. Due to the fact that I am getting old and forgetful, over the years I somehow managed to purchase multiple copies of this great book. One lucky reader of David Wasting Paper will benefit from my absent-mindedness and will win their very own copy.

For your chance to win, simply leave a comment on this post with your contact email address anytime between now and next Friday, July 22, 2011, prior to midnight Eastern Time. Only one entry per person and this giveaway is limited to US residents. I will choose a winner randomly from all of the comments using Random.org. I'll post the contest winner on Saturday, July 23, 2011.





Thanks again Nicole for sending me these wonderful Pentel products to try out!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Mark Zingarelli - Cartoonist Survey #232




Mark Zingarelli is a cartoonist, illustrator and writer who was born in Pittsburgh, PA in 1952. Like most professional cartoonists and illustrators, he became interested in drawing as child. He attended The Ivy School of Professional Art for a short period before going to the University of Pittsburgh in 1971 where he majored in art and film-making. He graduated in 1975 and moved to San Diego, CA where he worked as manager of an art store while doing freelance illustration for local publications. He soon became a full-time freelance illustrator and cartoonist living and working in San Diego. In 1980 he moved to Seattle, WA and started doing a comic strip restaurant review column called Eatin’ Out with Eddie for the Seattle based entertainment tabloid The Rocket. Soon some of his comic work started appearing in Robert Crumb’s comix anthology Weirdo. Mark met Crumb who introduced him to both Harvey Pekar and Art Spiegelman. Through Spiegelman he was able to land a lot of illustration work for The New Yorker, and Pekar used him as one of the cartoonists for his “American Splendor” comics. In the late 90’s he moved his family back to Pennsylvania to the small town he grew up in where he still lives today.

A member of the National Cartoonists’ Society, Mark has now been a professional illustrator and cartoonist for over 35 years with his work appearing in most of the major magazines and newspapers in the U.S. He has drawn covers for The New Yorker, Fortune, Newsweek, Business Week and others. His illustrations and comics are often seen in Sports Illustrated, The Washington Post, Esquire, the Boston Globe, GQ, Entertainment Weekly, Kiplinger’s and more. He also has done illustrations for many book publishers including Simon & Schuster, Harcourt Brace, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, Little, Brown and Company, Scholastic and Penguin USA. Mark’s illustration work has been used by corporations such as Snapple, Nintendo, AT&T, Polaroid and Microsoft. Visit his House of Zing website to learn more about him and to see more examples of his work.

What is your favorite pen to use?

I use a lot of different pens, for different purposes (but I primarily use brushes for most of my inking). My favorite fixed point pen is no longer available in the U.S. It was the Rotring Rapidoliner. However, among my favorite pens still available are the Pigma Microns in various sizes and the old Koh-I-Noor and Rotring Rapidographs. I also use dip pens with a number of nibs. Hunts, Brauses, Gillotts, and recently a bunch of new Japanese nibs.

Do you draw in pencil first and if so do you use a standard pencil or a mechanical one?

I draw in pencil first, using soft-leaded (B & 2B) Staedtler Mars Lumographs. For very fine detail work I use a Pentel Mechanical pencil with HB or B .005 leads.

Do you do your coloring by hand or on the computer?

I used to paint by hand, but nearly all my professional work is colored on the computer with Photoshop, its’ filters and regular tools.

If you do your coloring by hand, what do you use?

When I colored by hand, I used a combination of Winsor Newton Designer Gouache, Winsor Newton Watercolors, and a limited use of different dyes and colored inks…all with brushes and with air brush.

What type of paper do you use?

Strathmore 500 (both cold-press & hot pressed), 2-3 ply. I also use a lot of Borden & Riley #234 Paris Paper for Pens (a smooth bleedproof all-purpose paper).

What thing(s) do you hate to draw?

Animals are not a favorite subject.

Do you buy your supplies from big chain art store catalogues/websites or a local one that you physically go to?

When I lived in cities like Seattle or San Diego going directly to the retail store was my usual practice. I also managed an art store in San Diego when I was starting my freelance career and I knew that store inside and out.

These days, I buy most of my art supplies from online sources. Selections are better and pricing is very competitive on a number of items I regularly but. There are also certain inks that I use that are just not sold locally.

Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?

Beyond the sacrifice of a red rooster, no.

Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?

I have a Pandora account so I listen to different genres depending on what kind of work I’m doing in the studio. I also have thousands and thousands of songs on my iTunes so I switch back and forth. And sometimes I just want to listen to talk so I will play downloaded podcasts of This American Life, Bill Maher and others.

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?

I read EC comics, adored MAD Magazine, and some DC titles. I liked Superman and Batman and was not a fan of the Marvel Universe. (I came to Marvel much later in life with the discovery of Jack Kirby.) However, I was crazy for war comics…Joe Kubert’s work wowed me as a kid. Enemy Ace and of course, Sgt. Rock and Easy Company were the issues I couldn’t live without. Also loved Famous Monsters of Filmland, the Warren publications, Blazing Combat, Eerie and Creepy.

What is or was your favorite comic strip?

As a kid I liked NANCY…(quit your snickering)…then I loved Calvin & Hobbes, Gary Larson’s The Far Side…these days I like Dan Piraro’s Bizarro (Cartoonist Survey #28), Stephan Pastis’ Pearls Before Swine, and Trudeau’s Doonesbury.

What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?

I had a few...Dinosaurs-A Giant Golden Book…illustrated by Rudolph Zallinger (don’t have a copy now)…How and Why Dinosaurs (don’t have a copy now)…The White Company by A.C. Doyle and illustrated by N.C. Wyeth (don’t have it now)… The Boy's King Arthur: Sir Thomas Malory's History of King Arthur and His Knights of the Round Table also illustrated by N.C. Wyeth (don’t have a copy now). Wish I had all 4 of these books back.

Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?

Had Saturday morning art lessons for a couple of summers at a local art museum as a kid. Attended an “art school” for a year after high school where I learned to spec type for typesetting and had a marvelous figure drawing instructor, but basically I’m self-taught.

Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?

A blessing of sorts. Definitely NOT a curse.

Did either of your parents draw?

My father was my first art teacher though he wouldn’t have considered himself any good.

Who in your life is/was the most supportive of your art?

Certainly, my father.

Do you keep a sketchbook?

Not in the usual sense. I keep notebooks which actually have more notes than drawings.

Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?

Yes and yes.

Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?

Talent is important, but it’s sort of wasted if you don’t have passion.

Do you collect anything and if so what?

Is this a trick question? I collect all sorts of oddities. Don’t all of us?

If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?

I have a pretty good imagination, but I can’t think of a single animated cartoon character I’d like to be.

Are you a righty or lefty?

Righty.

If you weren't an artist what would you want to do for work?

Write.

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.

Lovely, fully-stocked, and my haven.

Do you play any musical instruments?

Not these days. Used to play the trombone and the harmonica.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?

Make sure you really, really love it and be prepared to never stop learning from the experience. A lifetime isn’t enough time to do all of it so enjoy the time you have and make the most of every second you are able to draw.

Who is your favorite artist?

Several artists are among my favorites. I cannot possibly narrow it down to one.



Thanks again Mark!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Derwent Art Supplies Review

Anne-Marie from ColArt Americas, Inc. the U.S. distributor of Derwent was nice enough to send me some samples the other day. This weekend I sat down and gave them a try.

The package contained 12-packs of Coloursoft colored pencils, Inktense colored pencils and Inktense blocks. (As always, click any of the pictures for a larger view.)


These are the Coloursoft colored pencils.


They are soft and creamy and lay down some great color.


Here are the Inktense colored pencils.


They are water soluble, can be blended and dry permanent.


Here's the Inktense blocks.


These are really neat with intense color.

Watch this quick demo from Derwent which gives an overview of ways to use the blocks.


This shows a comparison between the Inktense colored pencils and the Inktense blocks. The blocks are more vibrant as they seem to be a little softer and thus leave more pigment.



Also in the package was the Derwent Grate 'n Shake. It comes apart which makes cleanup easy.


Here's a video from Derwent on how to use the Grate 'n Shake.


I mixed up a wash using Sea Blue and Green Teal.


This shows the wash after I shook it up.


I colored this using the Inktense blocks like watercolor pans. I used the wash from above for the background.

I think my favorite are the Inktense blocks, but I highly recommend the Coloursoft and Inktense pencils as well. Visit the Derwent Academy for hints and tips, drawing projects and frequently asked questions.

Thanks again to Anne-Marie for sending me the package. I'll definitely enjoy using these great Derwent art supplies..