Thursday, December 16, 2010


For my pencils (underdrawing), I use a black Col-Erase pencil to put down extremely loose lines, giving me a sense of my composition, and sometimes (as is the case here) a grid of sorts for the ground plane.  I tighten it up just a little bit, and then I go over those pencils with Faber Castell PITT pens, using all of the sizes but mostly XS. 

I wanted to scan this one before I erase the pencil marks, which I do so that when I scan this to blow it up and print it out in light blue it'll be easier to decipher my own intent for the inks, especially since I'll be laying them down much later.  I wanted to save this one, though, because I did far more with the pencil than I usually do at this stage.

Back to work!  I want to see if I can finish this, the third page for today.


Allen Spetnagel said...

Fan-tastic, Chris! Thanks for posting a little bit about your process and materials!

Siro said...

You don't use brush pens?

Chris Schweizer said...

I do for my inks, but the technical pens are for the underdrawing - what most folks call the "pencils." I'll blow these up later in the computer and print them out in light blue, and THAT'S when I use the brush pen.

Eric said...

Will you share with us in the future your method / brand choice of brush pens? I have recently been trying to use a Kuretake water brush with ink in the reservoir, but, as I have no idea how to use a brush, and am using bad paper, I usually wind up making a mess.

Chris Schweizer said...

It'll be a while before I get to that stage on this project (unlike previous ones, I'm penciling the whole thing ahead of time), but I can tell you what I've been using, and what I'm likely to continue employing. I use the Pentel Pocket Brush pen, the hard black plastic one with the silver Japanese symbol on the side.

It uses its own cartridges, which I'm okay with; I know folks who replace the ink with their own, but when I've tried this it makes the otherwise EXTREMELY consistent flow of the pen a little more globby, letting too much ink flow occasionally.

The problem with using these cartidges is that they smear badly on bristol board for hours after laying it down; sometimes, days.

This doesn't bother me, because I use a Hammermill Color Copy Cover stock (I just upgraded from 80 to 100 pound). It's as thick as 300 ply Bristol, and a lot smoother, and I can really glide my brush tip over it. The ink holds to this paper like glue; I can rub my hand over it five seconds after laying it down, and it won't smear.

Lately, for some reason, I've found my line breaking up a little when I do long, faster strokes. This bothers me, because I don't ever really employ dry-brush techniques, and I want to make sure that my big, long lines have as much spontaneity as my short ones. So I may end up switching to a real brush by the time I ink, though I find this unlikely, because it slows me down so much.

If I do, though, it'll be an Escoda Kalinsky Sable brush, with Holbein ink. I've found I like those products very much, for a variety of reasons, over similar products.

Eric said...

Thanks, Chris, for that illuminating answer! One more question for when you have the time: in what size do you get that Hammermill paper?

Chris Schweizer said...

I get it at 11 x 17. I've thought about trying 13 x 19, but my scanner only goes up to 11 x 17, and I remember the days of trying to assemble scans into one image and want none of it. A 10 x 15 live area is perfect for the type of stuff I do, and it's easy to find 11 x 17 portfolios, too.