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Clock Flock

February 23, 2009

My latest artist offering is here to show off.  I wanted something … odd, to put on my wall and break up the vast red expanse of fabric.  This pretty much came to me out of the blue and was one of those odd compelling images that I just had to illustrate as soon as I could.  I spent roughly a day practicing crows so that the flock looked right, then sunk probably three days (elapsed time, not steady work) into making this; a day or so sticking the pages together, then another day or so doing trees, the clock, and another full day drawing crows.  I’ve never been so sick of drawing any one thing in my life.  If they didn’t fascinate me so much, I’d likely swear off them for life, but I don’t think that’d happen, so I’ll skip the melodrama and show you some art.

Felt pens, ink, and white paint on pages of a book.

Felt pens, ink, and white paint on pages of a book.

The book was “Envoy on Excursion,” by Caryl Brahms and S.J. Simon.  I tried to read it before tearing it up, it was terrible; badly-written british political satire from the pre-WW2 era.  It’s apparently selling on ebay for about £4.50.

A closeup of the more detailed portion of the flock of crows.  This section alone probably took two hours or so.

A closeup of the more detailed portion of the flock of crows. This section alone probably took two hours or so.

I spent a ridiculous amount of time staring at my torn out pages with no clue how I was planning on sticking them all together.  There was something about my method I just couldn’t work out.  I ended up placing pages randomly on my bed for appropriate texture then holding it all together with a fairly simple large taped-together square of other pages.

Once I had that, art on top was easy.

The clock portion.  This is actually the only part of the image that Im dissatisfied with; I wish Id used grey pens for the clock face as I did with the pendulum rather than (opaque) grey paint.

The clock portion. This is actually the only part of the image that I'm dissatisfied with; I wish I'd used grey pens for the clock face as I did with the pendulum rather than (opaque) grey paint. The trees were done in pen, then inked over to cloud them a little and a select few were highlighted with white paint for emphasis.

Throughout, I was pretty thrilled to get to play with the dip-pens and ink that I’d been given by a friend of the family a while back; who’d noted my fondness for Mr. Gorey’s work and had read that it was his favoured medium and tool.  Real, dipped-pen, ink is hard to get used to, but a beauty to work with once I got the hang of it.

Heres the moon - I had to include this closeup; given that large photos invariably drop the detail of the craters and the like.  Pale grey pens on white paint; this was supposed to be the only use of opaque paint in the piece before I succumbed to temptation on the clock face.

Here's the moon - I had to include this closeup; given that large photos invariably drop the detail of the craters and the like. Pale grey pens on white paint; this was supposed to be the only use of opaque paint in the piece before I succumbed to temptation on the clock face.

So there you have it.  That’d be the latest project.  I promise, I’ve not given up on the other big one, it’s still coming; albeit slowly.

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