Sunday, June 15, 2014

Yo Ho Ho... and a Bottle of Ink!

Salam Dear Cartoon-and-Frog Lovers! The coming strip (# 629, starting tomorrow) contains a novelty: it is inked with nibs and bottled inks. A sort of "Back to the Tradition" which Marina greatly enjoyed... because the ink is BLACK and the lines are SHARP.

Years ago (1986-87) while still oscillating between drawing and photography, I did some *Little Fake Slides* which consist in four sets of minuscule drawings of various food recipes, drawn on transparent paper and framed into 35 mm slide frames:

Instead of the usual technical pens I used for my architectural drawings, I drew them with nibs, already a rare item at that time, and did many trips, mainly to Locarno (one hour driving from my studio), where an old shop sold them. A nib is a very special tool in that allows the hand a lot more freedom, although it requires a bit more of manual skill (which, of course, is acquired through practice).

As for the inks, once you go for inking with nibs (instead of the contemporary archival pens cartoonists use (I mean those few like me who draw by hand), you can choose the ink according to the best result on the paper you prefer, which is a great freedom in itself. The choice and fun are almost unlimited.

Also, if you are going to colour a print instead of the original drawing, it is irrelevant whether or not the ink is waterproof. So far the strips are drawn on technical paper (transparent), printed, then coloured on a paper that is smooth and glossy and gives the coloured pencils a special rendering.

The pictures above (along with this post) are meant to celebrate the "Nib Come Back" which is, in truth, a celebration of dexterity. As for the first image, it contains fifteen frogs, almost all my bottled inks, three stick inks and a couple of Zebras (the black-and-white draftsman's iconic critter).

I do not know if it will be a just-once come back or if I will stick to it. The cartoonist within me is somehow unpredictable.

Anyway, Hands Ahoy! And of course I hope you will like the lines.

Love and chocolate,
Marina & Frogs

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