Saturday, May 30, 2009

Spiderwick Meets Dinotopia

Tony Diterlizzi asked a bunch of his art friends to do drawings set in the Spiderwick cosmos. The drawings will appear in the back of an upcoming omnibus edition of Spiderwick stories.

I drew Hogsqueal riding Bix.

Here’s a movie of the work in progress, drawn with a Niji water brush filled with Higgins Eternal ink.

I gave the original to Tony and he reciprocated with this nifty drawing of Will Denison meeting a befeathered Bix. I love it!

Read how he developed his drawing on his blog, link.


Nik said...

Thats awesome, thanks for the short clip! Wouldn't have thought you would use a brushpen for the whole thing, I've yet to find one that can consistently hold such a fine point.

Andrew said...

Great drawings from both you and Tony! I have his guidebook, and it's a blast to look at those drawings for inspiration for fantasy creatures.

Does that niji waterbrush clog easily with higgins ink? I think I tried using a kuretake brush before, but with disastrous results.

James Gurney said...

The brand of the waterbrush is a little confusing. It says "Niji" on the outer plastic packaging, but "Kuretake" on the handle of the brush itself. Nikola, So far I've had pretty good luck with the brush holding a point.

I use either fountain pen inks or the Higgins Eternal line, which is a water soluble ink, so it never clogs. For this one I watered the ink down a little so it was a dark gray rather than black.

Andrew said...

Hah, that's what I thought when I typed in "niji waterbrush" and found the kuretake brands!

In that case, I'm curious how you got the ink into the well without causing too much of a mess.

Also, have you ever heard of Ackerman pump pens? They're essentially the same idea of as a kuretak brushpen or fountain pen, but the channel for it is wide enough that it prevents clogging. I've been meaning to pick up the brush type to see how it might handle.

S. Weasel said...

Ah. I was going to ask how the brush survived india ink, too. That's the only Higgins ink I'm familiar with.

Scott Daly said...

Great stuff, James! Have you ever though about making a tutorial video like Don Dos Santos or Greg Manchess? I'm sure a lot of people would love to see that.

Erik Bongers said...

Nice drawing! (and inking technique)

Is that van Beethoven?

Are you sure about using fountain pen inks? Labels on door bells written with fountain pen ink typically fade after some months of sunlight exposure.

James Gurney said...

Erik, that was a Mozart piano concerto. You're right about a lot of fountain pen inks, but Higgins Eternal really is fade-proof (I've tested it).

Scott, I haven't seen Don or Greg's video. I'd love to do a video in the future, but I want to make sure it is really useful and interesting.

Drew, hadn't heard about the Ackerman pens. Thanks for the tip. I use an eyedropper to fill the waterbrushes.

Shawn Escott said...

It's really exciting to watch you ink this! Seeing how other artists use their materials is so inspiring.

On a side note, do you have any information on the techniques and media Arthur Rackham used? I would love to learn more about him.

Unknown said...

I like the tips about materials and seeing a video of you drawing was really neat.

jeff jordan said...

I bought one of those pens yesterday and I already love it. I've always had a tendency to put too much detail into pen and ink drawings, so maybe working out with this tool might help simplify things. I really love that drawing! (Probably watched the little video 8--10 times)
Great work once again, Jim, and THANKS for the tip!

Jean Spitzer said...

I love the drawing and also seeing you work on the video. Thanks for posting them.

Moai said...

Feathered Bix looks wonderful!
And thank you for posting that video of you sketching. I do love getting a chance to see my favorite illustrators in action.
On that note, if anyone's interested, I've also found a video of Wayne Barlowe making a sketch:

Unknown said...

very cool man. very awesome blog you have goin on her too, i could get lost in it for hours