Quick pen-and-ink studies.
Being on vacation in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to sample some of the fine Dogfish Head beers at the Dogfish Brewpub. Not only were the beers characteristic and delicious, but their colors begged to be drawn. However, being a hot and sunny day, this beer enthusiast dragged his tired wife and cranky kids in with him, so rather than taking the time to visually record the the beers in full colored-pencil glazing and the tasting notes in lovely script, I had to scrawl and drink fast to avoid full-kiddie meltdown.
This image popped into my head while listening to a song from Flux of Pink Indians, an obscure British anarchist punk bands along the same lines of the more popular Subhumans and Crass. I really don’t know what it means, though for some reason, it did scream “grab the art supplies and sketchbook, and head to the coffee place ASAP and draw it!” Once more, I went for a primative look.
Here is a graphic I developed from the first entry into my new sketchbook. The icon is about having fun with the sketchbook, though for the left-brain analytical types like myself, having fun requires a bit of creative and artistic bravado and reckless abandon to let the ideas flow as unhindered as possible onto the paper. The image of a sketchbook – along with drawing supplies like mechanical pencils and random ink pens – as a piratical skull-and-crossbones jumped into my mind, and I quickly let the thought escape into the sketchbook, eventually to become the graphic used in this blog’s header.
Before I began working in design studios and in-house art departments, I worked in art supply stores to pay the bills and score cheap art supplies while I was freelancing as an illustrator. In retail, I found a niche in fountain pens, which provided a nice little creative outlet, and soon I was sketching solely with fountain pens. I enjoyed the old-world feel coupled with the smooth flow of ink onto paper, which left behind beautifully expressive lines as the nib flexed on downstrokes and gave individual life to each stroke. My favorite pen was an inexpensive Alvin Reform sketching pen, which while having served me so well in the past years, has become rather leaky nowadays. I’m retiring the pen, and chances are moving on to a fine-point Sharpie for cleaner hands, plus linework that doesn’t smudge and can serve as a base for potential watercolor washes. Still, I will be keeping a cleaner Lamy fountain pen on hand just for the random want to sketch in the ol’ skool style.
Yesterday was July 11th, or 7-11, so 7-Eleven was giving away free slurpees. Unfortunately, I arrived at my local 7-Eleven too late and missed out, so I went over to my local coffee shop and paid way too much money for an iced coffee. My heart was on the slurpee, brain freeze, and fun childhood memories. The iced coffee was a cold slap of adult reality on a hot day, but I drew this anyway, wishing that it was about slurpees and not an overpriced cup of chic designer iced coffee.
If you get a chance, stop and take a look at the screen on your smartphone. What you’ll notice are the apps; what you won’t take notice of, though, is just how nasty those screens can get. Look closer – do you see it – yes; grimey fingerprints, facial skin oils, and whatever you spit out while talking.