3 June 2007

All Done?

I finished painting the various widgety ghosty graphics before I went away on Tuesday but didn't find time to post them let alone use them. Here are the 'contact sheets' of all the images.

ghosty gouache

ghosty gouache 2

ghosty gouache 3

I did sort of say that I would do something of a how to post about this but I'm a bit stuck for anything else to say. I have an idea, eventually I get round to very roughly sketching that idea in pencil. I go over that roughly sketched idea with ink using a drip pen and, when the ink is dry, the original roughly sketched idea gets rubbed out. Which I always think is something of a pity because sometimes those roughly sketched ideas are lovely but hey ho. I was a bit obsessed with Jack Kerouac when I was a yoof and one of the myths attached to him is that he wrote things (as in creative things, not shopping lists, notes to the milkman) then fed them into the flame of a candle before photocopying was invented and so they were lost forever. There was supposed to be some zen-y reasoning behind it all but it was probably more to do with catholic guilt. Not that I've got owt against catholics - especially guilty ones. I was always too much of a chicken to feed owt I'd created into a candle flame so I guess rubbing out those roughly sketched ideas is as close as I get to that. I use several drip pens to draw the ink version of anything and the image below is one of them. I don't clean them as often as I should which is probably true of most things.

pen n ink

When the ink is properly dry and the pencil is properly rubbed out as it can be, I paint it. A lot of the time I don't start out with a definite and complete colour scheme in mind. I'll probably have a few fixed ideas about major areas of the paper but everything else I'll just see what goes best as I go along. Lately I've started a few things with the aim of using a very limited palette - like the three colour palette for the graphics - and then things often all follow once a decision has been made about the first colour. For instance with the graphics, I made decisions about what colour each element should be once and then just repeated the theme with every ghosty. And that's about it. I scan it at 300dpi and do minimal photoshopping - mainly scale and reducing it to something that won't take forever to load, the odd bit of cleaning up where I've made a mess. Hey presto, weblog artworks ahoy!

pallet n paper

That's my palette. The screwed up toilet-paper is as close as you get to a rubber with watercolour so a very essential piece of kit. The strand of black is a doghair - they're pretty much everywhere these days!


doppelganger said...

Those pens look smart - don't they drip all over the place?

Dem said...

Sometimes they do but it's usually my fault that they do when they do. These days they only really drip when I'm being careless. More often, I just end up with big black splodges of ink on my fumbs and thingers which then getting transferred onto my nose and forehead. Sometimes without me realising.

Augustine said...

I love all your ghosties, Dem, and your space is looking really really swish. Speaking of Kerouac, I recently re-read On the Road and it's still as brilliant as it was the first time.

Inconsequential said...

Looking cool.
looking cool.

Dem said...

Heyup Augustine - I have to say that all the way through my Kerouac adoring days I was never much of a fan of On The Road. I was thinking of a doing a post about this soon so I won't reveal which one in particular I like but last year when I unpacked all my books from boxes for the first time in years, I wasn't at all disappointed to discover that OTR had gone walkabout.

Inc - thanks thanks!

and Cryptia said...

These ghosts are great!

Dem said...

Cheers Cryptia! That reminds me, I really should make use of these ghosty graphics and finish revamping my sidebar...