These couple of weeks, I’ve added to the long list of artistic challenges for myself by exploring design once again. I used to include a lot of in my work in my high school days, from fabric to generally…..everywhere. Feeling that I’ve lost touch with it, I decided to take on learning Celtic knots and similarly Viking designs; which I may be able to incorporate into future work. As you may know I’m very interested in Scandinavian history and Norse designs, so I thought that if I’m going to do studies I might as well make it for something I’m very interested in exploring.
There are various resources to look at, from books, videos, to good old Google. The Book of Kells is of course recommended by most tutorials I’ve come across, as well as just looking at various Viking artifacts for inspiration. For reference purposes (for myself in my sketchbook) I followed an incredibly helpful playlist from a charming gentleman on Youtube, whom I’ll link below if you’re keen on learning various knots. Looking at images of Viking artifacts came in handy as well, because I could learn the knot-work but of course Norse designs differ in that they depict more animals, and have weaves which are more fluid among other differences. I’m by no means a professional of course, so it makes it even harder for myself without having a history background to learn merely on observation. It’s challenging, but quite fun.
There are a myriad of references you can consult on the web, so I wont bore you with google searches which I’m sure in this day and age everyone already knows about. Here are a few things I’ve been looking at. 🙂
I’ve been really enjoying working in my new mixed-media sketchbook from Stillman & Birn. On the other hand, getting back into doing life-drawing studies/sketches is easier said than done, as I sometimes find myself bored of typical poses that you find online; in terms of reference photos. Aside from my general admiration of their work, artists Noah & Rachel Bradley have come out with a bunch of reference photo packs on their website (which I’ll link below) that have been quite helpful. If you’re looking for some quality references I highly recommend you check out their photography.
This Inktober happened to coincide with the previews of the last season of Black Sails, and fans like myself who can’t believe we’re saying ‘the last season’ know it’ll be a great finish. Meanwhile, there really is no better excuse to draw some pirate-themed art, and with the Inktober challenge this month I thought it would also be a great chance to test out some grey-toned markers for the first time. I decided to use a combination of 3 cool-toned grey markers from ShinHanart, and I must say I’m already hooked on these beauties.
Here are 2 pieces that I have done so far for the challenge. Both were fun to do, but required some surprising amount of research for such a small project. I quickly realized my knowledge of the colonial era, or rather everything from clothing to utensils of the 1700s was limited. That was solved with some web-browsing and more excuses to re-watch seasons of Black Sails. 🙂
Stroll by the Docks, microns & markers on paper, 6×10″, 2016.
Barbecue & Flint, microns & markers on paper, 6×10″, 2016.
As perhaps one the earliest anti-heroes, Silver’s a definite favourite of mine.
Leading up from the beginning, I found Season 3 to have really developed the character of Long John Silver to a likeness to that in Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island. As with all of the cast, I was of course impressed with Luke Arnold’s performance. Therefore, as I recalled scenes with a certain parrot of Silver’s from the book, I knew I had to incorporate her into a piece related to the show & actor somehow…and I thought why not as a drinking buddy? 🙂 Well let’s hope she doesn’t take a sip…I’m keeping my fingers crossed that if this is going to be a finale, we will see a glimpse of the beginnings of Treasure Island. The appearance of the parrot ‘Flint’ would definitely give me a chuckle.