Slowvember Suddenly Dawned on Me

There are two pictures today, because my Slowvember project has gone from “Hmm. What should I draw?” to “Oh! What am I drawing?!?”

Gold-edged art board with t-square, traingle, compass, eraser and drawing pencil on a black surface.
My Slowvember 2017 project-in-progress: previously-inked Canson Fanboy Manga Art Board with Wescott 12″ Junior T-Square and C-THRU triangle, Blick Large Spring Bow Compass and eraser, and a Derwent Graphic 2B pencil.

Yesterday, I had no idea what I was going to draw for this project. I responded in a logical way: I broke out the drafting tools.

I divided the art board roughly in half—both horizontally and vertically—with a t-square, traced the inside and outside of a triangle from a few positions at every innermost corner, and made circles with a compass at random intervals.

This was my first time using a Derwent Graphic Pencil, and possibly my first time using a 2H. I’m not a big fan of graphite, but I liked the feel of this pencil, and I’m hoping to give the 8B that came with the set a run once Slowvember runs out. (I also had to check out Wikipedia’s information on pencil grading, because—again—not a big fan of graphite.)

Derwent Graphik Line Maker pen on a gold-edged art board with black lines suggesting mountains and either a sunrise or sunset.
Lines suggest forms. Derwent Graphik Line Maker 0.5.

Once I was done playing with the drafting tools, I began inking the lines that I was sure I wanted to keep and use. The obvious shapes were a flat, jagged, mountainous form and a 3313 RPM vinyl record, the latter of which could easily be mistaken for a sunrise or sunset.

The challenge, then, is to take those conspicuous shapes, use them, and find a way to make them become more than what they obviously are.

Slowvember: Making the Frame

I’ve learned one quick lesson this Slowvember: Canson Fanboy Manga Art Boards don’t bear up well when too much water is applied. I expected it to perform more like Strathmore Bristol, but nope. The board I began Slowvember with has been replaced, as have the Inktense pencils I wanted to use.

Slowvember 2nd 2017

One objective I want to accomplish with this project is to make a piece that will be simple to mat and frame. I have not just a tendency, but a compulsion to work to the edges, so, on the rare occasion that one of my pieces gets framed, there’s a professional framer involved.

This was my primary motivation for using manga board: The guides around the board’s perimeter necessarily constrain me, forcing me to be conscious of, and work within, the established layout.

I inked over those rules and numbers with my Pentel Pocket Brush Pen, taking the black to the edges. And, since frames were a part of my thought process, I inked the outermost section with old, dried-up, gold ink from Winsor & Newton. It was thick and clumpy, and provided great coverage when applied with angled synthetic brushes.

I still haven’t landed on an actual concept for the project, but I know what my next step is, what tools are involved, and that it will be important to this piece’s discovery process.

 

Slowvember’s Slow Start

A very short, ink black Derwent Inktense pencil, held in rough, dry fingers.
That’s my ink black Derwent Inktense pencil, freshly sharpened, held over a Canson Fanboy Manga Art board. I could probably do with a new pencil. And maybe some hand lotion.

To be fair, I didn’t know that Slowvember was a thing until it was already underway. The point of Slowvember, according to the Society of Visual Storytellers, is to follow Inktober with a challenge “…to slow down the pace and work on one image and make it as good as you can.”

“While Inktober is about making a new image daily, Slowvember is about quality and getting something really good.”

And, since documenting the process is a part of the Slowvember spirit, I thought I would start at the start. Inktense pencils seem like a great way to begin a month-long art project which will probably end with more traditional inks and maybe even some Derwent Graphik Line Painters.

Are you participating in this year’s Slowvember? Feel free to comment below.

And don’t forget to hashtag!

#slowvember