Some artists want to have their fun and eat it too. They want to be taken seriously and they want to maximally enjoy what they’re doing. They want their stuff to look great but they don’t want to spend the extra money to upgrade their materials from “student grade” to “professional grade.”
I confess: I am a big slob. My materials are below “student grade” when I can find them in the Clearance bin, or, better yet, on the street. Even so, making images is one of the most important things I can do, taking a back seat only to building relationships.
I’m using a variety of pens and markers for these Inktober images. I have a chisel-tip Sharpie that is my go-to tool for background blacks. I use it like a lawnmower, overlapping stripes on the area to be blacked. The problem is, corners and detail areas need the equivalent of garden edgers and shears.
I have two go-tos for such, and for drawing elements. They are an old-school Flair pen and a cutting-edge set of Micron archival-ink scribes from 005 up. Both inks are darker than the marker, and it shows, and close up it gives an Amateur Night feel to the image.
Fortunately, photoediting software enables adjustment of brightness, contrast and color. The one that comes with the Microsoft operating system is great at minimizing the difference between the inks, and brightening the light tones, and adding a tint if the image is better for it. I use MS Paint as well to remove smudges or correct mistakes. (A few posts back I had a quote from Dr Samuel Johnson. Stupidly, and in ineradicable ink, I “calligraphed” his name in lower-case as “dr samuel johson.” Paint enabled me to scooch over the “son” and make another “n” out of the lower half of the “h.” No one noticed the fudgework.)
Purists may shudder at these methods–I do myself sometimes–but economics and my own get-er-dun-soonest personality drives this behavior, and I don’t think I am alone; but I felt compelled to advise YOU, dear Reader, of the provenance of these images. I also feel compelled to add that the use of finer materials, and the independence from photoediting, almost always results in a better image. The problem is it can take a LOT longer to do it that way, and I don’t know how far over the horizon the end of my life is–and I have SO, SO many more images to make!
Thanks for your attention!