Saturday, 26 June 2010

Pen & Brush

So, what about pen and brush? The problem is as much about where to start.

What is relevant? I suppose the best way is to 'show' examples of different work, in different mediums, and on occasion, different genres. Certainly different Fantasy RPG genres.

This post will appear in 'parts' as I find time to show work examples over the coming days.

Over the years I have used a variety of media in  both black & white and colour, but the mediums I intend to discuss are mostly to do with print reproduction. In days of yore, pre-computer generated art the most common tools for B/W artwork was traditional dip pens, brushes, pen and brush combined or technical pens and occasionally felt pens. The artwork was generally done at 1 and a 1/2 times reproduction size [though their were exceptions] and on good quality Bristol board of various types. In some ways it was the board used that could make the difference to the quality of the image and it was something everybody strived to find. Today, a lot of those boards, and the companies that produced them [certainly in the UK] appear to have 'gone', mores the pity.

Of course the paper chosen for the books also has a huge 'effect' on the quality of reproduction. No matter how 'good' your work, if it's printed on upgraded toilet paper ...
OK. Let's look at a few pieces - it is not necessarily what I'd qualify as 'good' work but it does 'show' examples of different types of B/W work. Here we have traditional 'dip' pen and ink.

This particular illustration was produced for a 'different' game book by Puffin back in 1987. There were two books produced in the series Robin of Sherwood and each book tied in with the television series. The most amusing thing I can remember from this particular job was Puffin wanted any character that appeared in the Television series to be drawn as accuratly as was possible in the illustrations, but at the same time, also made me sign a contract with a disclaimer that basically stated I was not allowed to show an accurate likeness as I could be sued and in the wording of the contract Puffin denied all responsibilty. Simply put - match any TV actors likeness [if they appeared in any illustration] but not so anyone would say, 'that's so and so!'  Luckily, they hardly featured in the pictures I had to draw.

As an aside - note [if you're not already aware] the choice of scene to be illustrated is very rarely the choice of the illustrator.

A couple of examples of technical pen now. Over the years I've used a variety of makes, and pen sizes, My favourite pen [sadly long gone] had a nib that was so 'worn', it had a bevelled point, which made using it a pleasure.

In the following, each of these examples show a slightly different approach to the use of pen though some would say, 'in your dreams'.
This first was done for a short story in a Fantasy anthology. The next for one of the FF fiction titles I worked on.

The next for one of the later FF game books.

 Next another game book.
 And the last [for present] two showing different 'styles' from The Fabled Lands series.

Lastly, a quick mention about Citadel Miniatures, which had a nice little mention, or at least a 'dwarf' figure did, in Daddy Grognard's excellant blog. The mention of the figures reminded me that some of the earliest figures are actually based on my some of my drawings. They kindly sent me a sample at the time and somewhere in my 'attic' there they still sit.

Next post will contain some old pieces .... and other stuff.