Two weekends ago, I spent some days in a fantastic waterside lodge for a wedding in south Georgia. Above, a view of the little lake. Mossed-draped trees trace menacing silhouettes across the water. This was late at night, and the frogs were singing— an orchestra louder than the nighttime city.
The lake, seen Saturday afternoon, just before the storm descended, bringing winds, thunder, lightning, and wide curtains of rain. I sat on the wide porch under its corrugated metal roof during the whole storm, and enjoyed the display immensely.
Everywhere in the lodge were taxidermied deer and various other beasts, giving the feeling of a hunting lodge (despite being hired out primarily for weddings).
It’s a fine Sunday, breezy and overcast; not bad qualities for a lazy morning at a window-side desk.
A long time ago I used to use crow quill dip pens for drawing and lettering. Though it can be a chore keeping those nibs clean enough to flow nicely, their character cannot be matched by the modern ink-filled pens that strive to emulate the look. It is, in part, the tension between the sharp metal and the paper that makes it unmistakable.
This little monochrome sketch has aways touched me. It somehow reminds me of Tove Jansson’s Fillyjonk character. I’ve been posting forgotten things from old sketchbooks on IG; follow me @edaggarart to see more.
This is a sketch from a couple weekends ago. My friends Sarah & Tara were performing at Freddy’s Bar & Backroom, and the band that followed them was
Elijah Shiffer And The Robber Crabs. The sax player had a sort of steam punk-looking alto sax— it had a machine-like patina not generally associated with such an instrument. .
I began to draw it, but with so much detail amid all the movement, it was difficult to pin down. Anyway, I quite like this sketch, even unfinished.
Last week I posted some gentle little watercolors, and briefly described the process. Here, as promised, is a more detailed view of that process.
Step one: Draw your shapes in pencil.
Step two: scan the drawings, and import to Adobe Illustrator. Trace the shapes using the pen tool, refining as you go, to create your idealized vector shapes.
Here are some illustrations I’m working on for a project. The process involves first doing a pencil drawing of the shape, which I then scan and trace in Adobe Illustrator so I have a clean-lined vector shape. Then I print it out as just a black outline, and tape to the back of a piece of watercolor paper.
Next, I place the sandwiched sheets of paper on a lightbox, and paint with watercolor. Finally, I scan the painted pieces and use the vector shape as a clipping mask to regain the crisp edges of the original drawing.
It sounds like a long process, but it’s a wonderful way to combine the organic flow of the watercolor with the sharp lines of a vector illustration.
If I have time soon, I’ll put some process pics up here, as that probably sounds like a foreign language to anyone not familiar with the tools involved.