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Keeping one’s hand in

I feel it’s worth acknowledging that the Bad Taste Bears remain a fantastic excuse to explore illustrative techniques and practice endlessly.

The monthly free ‘Drawing of the Month’ prize draw provides the opportunity to explore and practice making pictures in whatever medium I like. In addition, knowing that each unique piece will be given away means I should make a reasonable job of it. I mean, who wants to win a competition only to receive a prize which looks like nobody cared?

July’s drawing, ‘Lightning Conductor’ is an example of me going back to one of my favourite processes – pen and ink. For many years I searched for the best way to create an ‘expressive’ line. A line that swells from a hairline to a bold mark with added pressure and tails off to the same delicate whisper at the lift. There is little to compare with the combination of traditional steel nibs, good quality ink and a good piece of paper.

Of course, the fur of a teddy bear provides the ideal opportunity to play with the flex and swell of the nib. In the case of ‘Lightning Conductor’ the combination is Tachikawa ‘G’ nib, Winsor and Newton Indian Ink on Bockingford Hot Press watercolour paper.

To truly appreciate the piece and see the whole thing in detail, you need to see it up close. The best way to do that is to enter the free ‘Drawing of the Month’ and become its new owner.

Go here and add your details to be in with a chance –