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roma cafe

Today I had my lunch break with a new friend I met through this year's Comica events, Maartje Schalkx. I did a little pen drawing of her and experimented a bit with some colour. Not quite sure about it yet. I drew it on watercolour paper, so I might go back and try to colour it with real paint.


( 27 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 4th, 2009 09:43 pm (UTC)
I like the muted colours and the hands are beautifully expressive
Feb. 4th, 2009 10:06 pm (UTC)
I'm loving the hands too. There's a single line, at the join between the right (her right) index finger and middle finger, that made me tingle with joy at its sheer correct-ness. Plus of course the stitching and straps on the bag.

Top stuff!
Feb. 5th, 2009 08:31 am (UTC)
Thanks, Will and Ben!
Feb. 4th, 2009 09:52 pm (UTC)
OOOoooohhhh! Super yummy! :)
Feb. 5th, 2009 08:31 am (UTC)
Glad you like it. It's been fun looking at your cafe drawings from Angoulême!
Feb. 4th, 2009 10:10 pm (UTC)
What manner of pen created this excellent picture!

Edited at 2009-02-04 10:10 pm (UTC)
Feb. 5th, 2009 08:33 am (UTC)
Feb. 6th, 2009 01:22 pm (UTC)
Wait, does that mean you take a little pot of ink with you wherever you may go?

(Also I've got a package of them coming to me at work, I'm quite excited!)
Feb. 6th, 2009 01:28 pm (UTC)
No, I usually do a crappy little pencil sketch, and then when I have time at home, I go over it on my light box with ink.

I tend to get very different results when I DO take my ink places, not always bad results, but there's always the worry of spillage. Will Kirkby seems to go everywhere with his ink and doesn't mind getting out all his supplies in the pub, I should follow his lead.
Feb. 4th, 2009 11:17 pm (UTC)
I ADORE the colour! So muted and beautiful. I think I would make the skin paler though as it's currently the same colour as the chairs.

I approve of the texture use too. I always go a bit bonkers on the texture and it's been a learning curve trying to be subtle.
Feb. 5th, 2009 08:34 am (UTC)
Glad you like it, and thanks for the helpful comment, I'd like to play around with it a bit more and I'll definitely keep that in mind. :-)
Feb. 5th, 2009 12:56 am (UTC)
This is beautiful.
Feb. 5th, 2009 08:34 am (UTC)
Feb. 5th, 2009 08:56 am (UTC)
Mary Cassatt Prints
The colours and line remind me of the prints by Mary Cassatt (which were in turn inspired by Japanese prints). I love the simplicity of the composition. By the way, I'm one of Jan's current students. -Jane
Feb. 5th, 2009 09:10 am (UTC)
Re: Mary Cassatt Prints
Thanks, Jane! I saw a large Cassatt exhibition in Boston sometime in the mid-'90s and it totally blew my mind. I hadn't expected to be as amazed as I was, she has a remarkable sense of composition and colour.
(Deleted comment)
Feb. 5th, 2009 11:05 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Matt! I keep thinking of you with your fab typewriter collection and I really want to write you a 'proper' letter at some point. Maybe not typewriter, but at least fountain pen.
Feb. 5th, 2009 10:59 pm (UTC)
I don't know why you're feeling unsure about this, I think it looks fantastic. Especially like the way you coloured her face and hands.
Feb. 5th, 2009 11:05 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Josh!
Feb. 6th, 2009 10:16 am (UTC)
This is beautiful. Reminds me of the work of Seattle native, and genius cartoonist, Shary Flenniken.
Feb. 6th, 2009 01:27 pm (UTC)
Re: swoon
Thanks, just found her website!
Feb. 7th, 2009 01:21 am (UTC)
hey Sarah!

love this pic! I was wondering, how do you go about making your pictures? Are they pen and ink first, then coloured with a computer art program? What goes into the process of making your art?
I'm really curious :-)

Feb. 12th, 2009 12:41 pm (UTC)
Hi, Nessa! I sketch first with pencil, then trace over it in ink on my light box. Then I scan it into the computer and colour it in Photoshop.

You can get a really clean black line if you scan it hi-res (1200dpi) in Bitmap and convert to Grayscale. Or you can scan in pencil in Grayscale and put colour in layers underneath by turning the pencil layer into a 'Multiply' layer.
Feb. 8th, 2009 05:44 pm (UTC)
That's lovely! I miss Maartje...
Feb. 12th, 2009 12:41 pm (UTC)
Thanks! Leave a comment on her blog, I'm sure she'd appreciate it. :-)
Feb. 12th, 2009 12:32 pm (UTC)
Haha, I'm far too scared to do such things! I normally stick with brush pens and such for travel. I like the idea of taking ink everywhere though, but the reality both frightens and disappoints whenever I've attempted it!

Out of curiosity, what sort of lightbox do you have? I got one for xmas and I fear it may be a bit of a cheapie one (except of course for not being that cheap, because art equipment never is).

Apologies for my particular correspondence being so slow! It is just my way.

Edited at 2009-02-12 12:33 pm (UTC)
Feb. 12th, 2009 12:45 pm (UTC)
I have a lightweight plastic version with flourescent lighting (so it doesn't get too hot!) called a Light Tracer II. It's just slightly larger than A3. I think it cost about £95 or something like that.

I meant for years to make one (my friend made one out of a drawer, some perspex and a light strip), but I never got around to it. I'm kind of glad I got this one because I know if I made one, it would be heavy, probably of wood. This one rests nicely on my lap if I want it to, or I can tilt it between my lap and my desk or lay it flat on my desk.
Feb. 14th, 2009 05:56 pm (UTC)
Haha, I've got the same one! :)

I'd been thinking the light doesnt always shine through entirely at the bottom - it fades away a little bit - or that the coverage isnt totally even, but that probably just stems from my mistaken belief that it should shine brighter than the sun and be perfectly even at all times!

Also I made the mistake of looking at all the more expensive ones online. Haha! It does it's job though, it's taking me a while to get the hang of it - I just keep scribbling everything I do out several times on it!

Phoebe thought we should just make one too, but besides the fact I am useless in such endeavours, I also figured it would be something I would never get round to - I can really see the appeal though. I cannot stress how poor I am at making things though!
( 27 comments — Leave a comment )


Sarah McIntyre

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