Hi! And welcome to my site.
I am a self-taught artist from London, UK. Although I was a bit of an artistic chameleon over the years, flitting shamelessly from one approach to another, I've gradually developed my own signature style. More information below...
"Stained Glass Mosaic"
My style is inspired by the vibrancy of stained glass and the jagged geometry of mosaics - but is achieved with mere pen and paper. I combine the technique with my favourite themes from fantasy and mythology: dragons and snakes, great birds, mountains, lakes and enchantresses. Recently I've been exploring the possibilities of pure, abstract colour and shape.
This technique actually started out as a solution to a common problem: lack of space. I badly wanted to paint, but was finding it increasingly hard to lay out all the equipment where I wanted it - plus there was the inevitable mess! And then I hit upon the idea of coloured pens. Often regarded as just for children, this much-neglected medium can actually create beautifully intense colour combinations. They are also easily portable, and can be ready to use or packed away in a moment.
Although I started out by using a variety of fibre-tip pens, I quickly progressed onto the wonderful range of Letraset markers. Today, these remain my medium of choice for their smooth, professional lushness.
And so I began to experiment…
The materials are fairly simple. My essential kit presently consists of the following:
• Letraset pens (ProMarker; Metallic Marker; AquaMarker);
• gold and silver gel pens;
• black liners of varying thickness (I recommend Staedtler pigment liner and Faber-Castell PITT artist pen);
• white paint marker - or even correction fluid;
• heavyweight watercolour paper;
• plus, of course, a good old HB pencil and eraser for the preparatory bit.
2) The basic technique…
• I begin by drawing the outlines and adding the jagged "tiles", all with an HB pencil. (If these tiles are kept fairly small, the final picture becomes more vibrant and sophisticated.) It's a good idea to plan the design in a sketchbook first for composition and balance: no point in wasting high-quality watercolour paper.
• Then the really fun part starts: the colouring in. For each distinct section of the painting (e.g. a creature's wings), I typically choose up to seven or eight colours, which I first test to see how well they harmonise. Once I am happy with the combination, I fill in that section, distributing the colours partly at random, but also according to my own preferences for whichever shade(s) should predominate. I usually try to avoid having the exact same colour on adjacent tiles.
• I then go over the outlines in black ink, with thin lines between tiles and thicker lines between sections.
• Finally, I often highlight the key areas (e.g. the shape of a creature against the background) using a white pen, or correction fluid with a fine paintbrush.
• Et voila!
Naturally, my technique has evolved over time. I've found, for example, that the texture of watercolour paper combined with high-quality markers creates a velvety richness, and I wholeheartedly recommend Letraset Metallic Markers for their soft glimmer - plus they're great for covering errors. Gel pens, applied sparingly, can also create an irresistible glow.
I really hope you enjoy the artwork here. And do try out the technique: there's a real pleasure in trying to find that elusive alchemy of colour from the myriad possibilities. Plus the whole process is both deeply, deeply meditative and immensely thrilling (I promise). Please feel free to get in touch: I'm always delighted to get feedback.