Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Official book blog now up and running

Studio Hermit now has a younger brother with a more outward, professional orientation. Have a look.

Moleskine Miscellany

More moleskine drawings, fresh since the last time I posted from this sketchbook. The image below is a composite of OK bits from otherwise so-so pages.

Since these are all starting to look too much alike, I decided to use today's session (laundry day, so street drawing) to try some new materials:

The ink I've been meaning to try forever; the brush pen is something James Gurney talked about on his blog a while back and which looked interesting and convenient (he uses it with clear water when doing watercolor, which I also want to try at some point). My maiden effort was kind of a mess:

Yeah... mess. On the other hand, there are a lot of small moments in them that are OK (click to see originals... I left them a little bigger than usual). The brush pen is very strange: the handle is a flexible water well connected to the brush. You control the amount of ink that's flowing through the brush by controlling the amount of pressure you put on the handle. It took me a while to get the hang of it. Also, the paper in the moleskine was not very receptive - it kept giving me this weird waxy reaction - but that might have been oil from my hand transferring to the paper while I was doing the underlying pen work.

At any rate, with holiday travel coming up, it'll be good to have some new toys for airport and train station waiting. And it'll be good for me to have another way to keep my hand in wet media while finishing the charcoal drawings for the current book.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Word of the Day: Ushanka!

"Ushanka" is one of those Russian furry ear-flap hats. I learned it this week from a New Yorker article about shopping. This character is named Budge; he lives on Pluto. I dreamed him up for a project that never happened but at least now I know what his headgear is called. Pen & ink, graphite on paper.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Playing well with others

So what happens when three illustrators and an editor aren't ready for the evening to end once a certain local bookstore's holiday party is over? Why, a trip to the Old Town Bar, naturally, and a four-handed game of Exquisite Corpse. The upside-down head on the upper right figure? I totally meant to do that...

Retirement Party

A little bit of staff turnover here at Team Tim: two old standbys, longtime reliables Scanner and Printer are moving on. In addition, the Cube (probably the last member of its tribe to hold a full-time job) has been slowly moving of late towards its new role as Computer Emeritus.

Maybe people who upgrade more often than I do - or who don't work by themselves all day long - don't get sentimental about peripherals. Well, phooey on them. I say... tribute time! The printer produced many, many mailers in its day that scared up the jobs that kept a roof over my head in lean times. The manuscripts of the last seven or eight years' worth of books have entered the world through its paper tray. The scanner has not only been a good and valuable workshop tool; the last five (at least) volumes of the Capital Mysteries series have been published using scans from its flatbed.

It would feel ungrateful not to mark this occasion a little.


There. Marked.

Please join me in welcoming the new Team Tim:

They have very big USB ports to fill.