Interview: Fionn Jordan

23 September 2014

Interview: Fionn Jordan

Who’s your favourite artist / illustrator or designer?

John Bauer is hands down my favourite, since I was a kid. Though it's Sergio Toppi who has probably influenced my style the most, mainly his black and white stuff.

What do you listen to when drawing?

Quite a variety really, mostly folk music (mainly Scandinavian), but when I'm doing my comic it's hip hop, usually instrumental. Things like Rascalz and Shurik'n.

How do you get your head in a creative space?

Haha, I don't really have a method for this. Walking or biking helps, juggling or playing instruments too - I think of my best things when I'm doing something else.

Interview: Fionn Jordan

What’s your background in art and design?

Well, it's only beginning really. Finished education, so what I'm doing now is what will become my background I suppose!

What do you find inspiring for your work?

Mythology and folk lore is a big one, old stories like The Mabinogion and the Táin Bó Cúailnge. Celtic stuff, but also oriental things - especially the architecture and gardens. And the clothes too.

What kind of source materials do you use in your work?

I rarely do, to be honest. I love drawing things purely from my imagination. Of course, that's got to come from somewhere, too, but I don't usually know where.

Interview: Fionn Jordan

How long to you spend working on one piece or commission?

Too long. I love detail, and when your eyes are six inches from a page for a few hours, you forget to actually step back and finish.

Top tips for students looking for a career as an illustrator / artist

Yeah, I'd appreciate some of those! The best advice I can give is do what you want and take the hard route if you need to. Don't rush it. It may take years to get paid for stuff, so spend those years seeing more things and making the stuff you want to - because that will be the best stuff you produce.

Tell us about you! What, aside from drawing takes up your time?

Probably a bit too much - I get quite easily distracted. I play a bunch of instruments (drums, guitar, low whistle, hurdy gurdy, clarinet). Climbing and biking, too. And juggling and unicycling mainly. I just love learning new things.

Interview: Fionn Jordan

Tell us something about the Line Maker pens and what you can do with them.

These pens are great. Good ink flow, so you can get more natural lines - nicer on the hands and nicer on the eyes when you’re done. The nibs feel durable, so unless you’ve got ogre fists the nibs should outlast the ink - a feature to be treasured in fine liners!

Find out more about Fionn on his website, blog, Facebook and Twitter. To find out more about Graphik Line Makers visit our website.

Website - fionnjordan.co.uk

Blog - fatporpoise.tumblr.com

Twitter - @fionnjordan

Facebook - /fionnjordan

www.pencils.co.uk

Comments
09:25 by Kirsty Vickers Kirsty Vickers

Derwent Art Prize 2014 - the winners

16 September 2014

The winners of the Art Prize 2014 were announced last night at the Private View in the Mall Galleries, London. 

Brian Fay has been awarded First Prize of £6,000 for his pencil drawing entitled ‘Looted salt mine 1945 Manet in the Winter Garden’. Dublin based, Brian Fay is an artist and lecturer in Fine Art at the Dublin Institute of Technology and is currently completing a PhD at Northumbria University. Brian has two works selected for exhibition.

Derwent Art Prize 2014 - the winners

Brian Fay, ‘Looted salt mine 1945 Manet in the Winter Garden’ First Prize

“My two drawings are taken from the Monuments Men archive, based on photographs taken in 1945 of stolen artworks that were hidden during the Second World War. The drawings attempt to emphasise the vulnerability of the paintings as objects when sited outside their normal museum context, and to depict the form of documentation that was used to record these discoveries. Both works are representative of my drawing practice that looks at the conservation and restoration of artworks as a reflection on the complex plurality of time in an art object.”

The Second Prize of £3,500 is awarded to Australian born Brian Morris, who now lives and works in Stockholm, Sweden. The prize is awarded for his coloured pencil drawing ‘Hörnan’, meaning ‘the corner’ in Swedish. Morris explains, “It is a self-portrait which describes my feelings of living in the modern world.”

Derwent Art Prize 2014 - the winners

Brian Morris, ‘Hörnan’ Second Prize

Patsy Whiting from Loughborough, UK wins the £1,000 Third Prize and UK Coloured Pencil Society Award for Excellence of £250 for her coloured pencil drawing ‘Garden garage marriage’. She comments: “Recent work depicts moody, dark, still life, in a realistic style. The work is created using soft coloured pencil on black pastel paper and though technically a drawing, looks like a painting. Roses are a favourite subject at the moment, for the sculptural quality of the form. I like to contrast them with battered, mechanical or man-made forms.”

Derwent Art Prize 2014 - the winners

Patsy Whiting, ‘Garden garage marriage’ Third Prize

A Special Commendation is awarded to Katarzyna Wiesiolek from Rewal, Poland for her charcoal drawing entitled ‘Immanence V’.

Derwent Art Prize 2014 - the winners

Katarzyna Wiesiolek, ‘Immanence V’ Special Commendation

Natasha-Anne Aplin wins the Young Artist Award – For artists under 25 years of £500 with her work ‘Devolution Series’.

Derwent Art Prize 2014 - the winners

Natasha-Anne Aplin, ‘Devolution Series’ Young Artist Award winner

This year we have two People’s Choice Awards, one for the selected works in the exhibition and one for all of the entries. Day-z wins the People's Choice Award – Exhibition of £700 for ‘London Riots’. János Hegyes ‘Portrait’ wins the People's Choice Award – All entries of £700.

Derwent Art Prize 2014 - the winners

Day-z, 'London Riots' People's Choice Award - The Exhibition

Derwent Art Prize 2014 - the winners

János Hegyes, ‘Portrait’ People's Choice Award - all entries

Congratulations to all the winners!

All of the shortlisted works will be on display at the Mall Galleries in London from 15 - 20 September 2014. The London show will be followed by a tour to Trowbridge Arts, Wiltshire from 29 October – 22 November 2014, and The Pencil Museum in Cumbria from 1 December 2014 – 9 January 2015.

www.derwent-artprize.com

Comments
09:17 by Kirsty Vickers Kirsty Vickers

Beehive 2014 – the first Derwent/Grizedale art collaboration project.

28 August 2014

In June this year we were at Grizedale Forest, Cumbria with international artist Carne Griffiths. We spent 3 days in the Yan, working with local students to create a collaborative piece to hang in the trees of Grizedale. Carne and his team were testing the new range of drawing pens. These innovative liquid pigment pens, Derwent Graphik - Line Painters, were put through their paces and allowed the students to unleash their artistic side with splashes, splatters, washes, sprays and fine lines.

Amazing what you can do with a set of pens!

Here are some photos from the 3 days:

Beehive 2014 – the first Derwent/Grizedale art collaboration project.

The finished piece Comfort 2 by Carne Griffiths, in collaboration with art students from Keswick School, and Carrhill High school near Preston.

 

Beehive 2014 – the first Derwent/Grizedale art collaboration project.

The Yan, Grizedale

Beehive 2014 – the first Derwent/Grizedale art collaboration project.

Beehive 2014 – the first Derwent/Grizedale art collaboration project.

Beehive 2014 – the first Derwent/Grizedale art collaboration project.

Beehive 2014 – the first Derwent/Grizedale art collaboration project.

Creating the final piece - a lot of cutting action and PVA glue was needed for this part!

Beehive 2014 – the first Derwent/Grizedale art collaboration project.

Carne added his final touches.

Beehive 2014 – the first Derwent/Grizedale art collaboration project.

Then it was ready to hang in the trees!

Beehive 2014 – the first Derwent/Grizedale art collaboration project.

A lot of fun was had over the three days! Thanks to Carne and the students. Also a big thank you to St Cuthberts Mill for kindly supplying us with paper.

www.derwentgraphik.co.uk

www.carnegriffiths.com

Comments
15:03 by Kirsty Vickers Kirsty Vickers

Interview: Carne Griffiths

21 August 2014

Interview: Carne Griffiths

Who’s your favourite artist, illustrator or designer?

I am a huge fan of the surrealist automatic period of work, and also of outsider art, but there are so many contemporary artists pushing boundaries that fascinate me, especially people who can move paint in an incredible way – at the moment, it would be Conor Harrington.

How do you get your head in a creative space?

Normally a combination of coffee and good music / atmosphere. I brew up herbal teas and light josticks in the studio – as much sensory input as possible but nothing too overpowering that it distracts from the work.

Interview: Carne GriffithsThe Oracle, Derwent Graphik Line Painters.

What’s your background in art and design?

I missed out on GCSE's started 'studying' at A- level and then took a foundation course at Oriel Road, Bootle. This lead to 3 years at art school in Maidstone – great time both socially and creatively, I got asked back for a year to do a little teaching, and spent more time in the studio. Big influences during college were the discovery of outsider art, automatic processes, and the wonderful animation of the brothers quay – that in particular lent a sophistication to the work and was an escape from the obvious gothic leanings that my work had at the time.

What kind of source materials do you use in your work?

I try as much as possible to use reference indirectly, I will study an object, learn it, understand it and then put it away before drawing it. I find this breaks down the literal connection between the object and the drawing, things like residual memory are powerful and it's an artists role to give their own interpretation of the world, their understanding of how things work and not necessarily what we record with our eyes. Touch smell and sound are just as important when recording this information.

Interview: Carne GriffithsSummons, Derwent Graphik Line Painters.

How long to you spend working on one piece or commission?

A successful piece can be finished in as little as 4-5 hours, spontaneity is the key. Some works are more involved and will take days, and others will remain on the backburner until the time is right to complete them. So in effect years!!

Top tips for students looking for a career as an illustrator / artist

Bring all your experiences and passion to your work, even if it is something that doesn't seem relevant, it can give the work an individuality that will make you stand out from the crowd. Don't be afraid to absorb influences but combine the things you like rather than copying a style. Finding a style is quite often at the forefront of an artists or illustrators mind, but your style really comes about when you learn to experiment and forget about creating pictures. Have fun with drawing – that's the most important thing... and throw away the rule book.

Interview: Carne Griffiths

Describe your studio or workspace for us

I have a spacious very well lit studio that stays cold even on a hot day! It's a great solace and a place where I can really let go when working, I have divisions of areas so that I can paint without distraction and also crack on with the social media side of things, promoting / marketing etc

What’s the one tool you can’t do without?

My new Derwent Graphik Pens!!! Working on black with these pens has brought a whole new direction to the work – as has the new vibrant addition of colour to my otherwise earthy palette, it is the contrast with other inks that I like the most, hard flat colour from the pens gives the translucent layers in the work a completely different feel.

Tell us about you! What, aside from drawing takes up your time?

I have wonderful twin 19 month old children... I really don't need to explain more about time ;)

Interview: Carne GriffithsCrystalline, Derwent Graphik Line Painters.

Find out more about Carne on his website, Facebook and Twitter. Read our previous blog post to find out more about the new Derwent Graphik Line Painters and Line Makers!

http://www.carnegriffiths.com

https://www.facebook.com/CarneGriffiths

https://twitter.com/carnegriffiths

http://lovepencils.co.uk/post/2014/08/12/Introducing-Derwent-Graphik!.aspx

 

Comments
11:11 by Kirsty Vickers Kirsty Vickers

NEW Derwent Graphik!

12 August 2014

NEW Derwent Graphik!

We’re very excited to introduce you to our new range – Derwent Graphik pens!

There are two fabulous pens in the range; Line Makers and Line Painters.

The Line Maker is a waterbased pigment pen available in 3 different colours and 6 nib sizes: Black 0.05 / 0.1 / 0.2 / 0.3 / 0.5/ 0.8, Sepia 0.1 / 0.3 / 0.5 and Graphite 0.1 / 0.3 / 0.5. Available individually and in sets of 6 Black, 3 Sepia, 3 Graphite and 3 Black.

NEW Derwent Graphik!

LOVE: Smooth free flowing lines, perfect for illustration

COLOUR: Build up tone with pure inky colour in Sepia and Graphite Grey.

STRONG: Rich pure black pigment

Quality: Super Japan nib, lightfast pigment ink.

NEW Derwent Graphik!

Fionn Jordan, Graphik Line Maker

 

The star of the show is the Line Painter; a waterbased pigment painter! There are 20 colours available, all with a 0.5mm nib, dilute with water and permanent once dry. Available individually and in 4 sets of 5 complimentary colours.

NEW Derwent Graphik!

NEW Derwent Graphik!

LOVE: Fluid opaque paint from a fine 0.5mm nib.

COLOUR: Immense depth of colour, even on a dark background

STRONG: Create layers, dribbles and washes with a specially developed colour range.

QUALITY: Super Japan nib, permanent waterbased paint.

NEW Derwent Graphik!

Carne Griffiths, Graphik Line Painter

NEW Derwent Graphik!

Also available in the range is the Derwent Graphik H2O brush. A paintbrush with a reservoir which adds a new dimension to working with Line Painters. And we also have the Inspire Me Books. 80 perforated pages of bleed proof marker paper, featuring printed patterns to inspire your illustrations, drawings and doodles. Available in 2 sizes 20cm square and 14cm square.

www.derwentgraphik.com

www.derwentshop.co.uk

www.carnegriffiths.com

www.fionnjordan.co.uk

 

Comments
10:16 by Kirsty Vickers Kirsty Vickers

Interview: Claudine O’Sullivan

17 July 2014

Interview: Claudine O’Sullivan

Who’s your favourite artist/ illustrator or designer?
It’s so hard to pick even a handful! My artist inspirations have always been Francis Bacon, Henry Matisse and Lucian Freud. Nowadays, more of my inspiration has come from fellow illustrators. Many of my close friends are illustrators, designers and photographers, all of whom I admire, not only for their beautiful and individualistic work but for their hard working ethic. I’m really lucky to have a close circle of like-minded and extremely hard working friends, which makes the hard days (and months) much easier. Many of us struggle to fund our practice, with almost everyone working full or part time ‘jobs on the side’. Why do we keep going? Because we love what we do so we just have to do it!!!  That’s what I respect most about the industry – the hard work and unwavering passion.

Interview: Claudine O’Sullivan

What do you listen to when drawing? Anything and everything – depending on my mood! Drawing is quite a natural state for me – no matter what my mood! Sometimes its very minimal chill out music, sometimes its folk music from my childhood, harder beats from my youth, cheesy 90s RNB or a Game of Thrones audio book! Sometimes it’s absolutely nothing at all, usually when I’m back in Ireland - just that rare sound of peace and quiet.

How do you get your head in a creative space?
It can be difficult! I weirdly enough find it easier the busier I am, as I have less time to procrastinate!! I work full time in London, so illustrating is crammed into evenings and weekends. I’ve just moved into a really lovely flat in South London with my boyfriend. We have a cosy little collaborative desk space, which makes it easy to bounce around ideas and encourage each other. I think time away from what you do and space to think is really important too. I carry a notebook and sketchbook everywhere as I usually have the best ideas and reach conclusions at random points of the day – be it in the supermarket or on the bus home after a night out.

Interview: Claudine O’Sullivan

What’s your background in art and design? I’ve always studied art and art history in school and it was definitely my main hobby as a child – I was (and still am) awful at sports. I come from quite a creative family, my Mum was very musical and theatrical so I grew up with a lot of singing, dancing and creativity – drawing was always the way I best expressed myself. I was a horrifically shy child and awkward teenager, but drawing and art always came quite naturally. Two years after finishing school in Ireland I finally had the confidence to apply for an Art based university course in London and the rest is history!

What kind of source materials do you use in your work?
I tend to draw a lot from my own travel photos and travel sketchbooks. I also have a nice collection of old photo books and encyclopaedias. The Natural History museum is also brilliant – I recently visited the Pitt Rivers museum in Oxford which was beautiful! So much to draw!! During university I used to spend my free afternoons sketching in little museums around London – the Huntarian Museum in Holborn was a favourite – full of gruesome pickled organs in jars! I also love life drawings classes, such a relaxing way to unwind and practice! – I’d recommend it to anyone and everyone.

 

Interview: Claudine O’Sullivan

Top tips for students looking for a career as an illustrator / artist
If you love it, stick with it. It’s an extremely difficult industry to stay afloat in, and can be quite lonely. Weirdly enough I would say try to not be too influenced by other artists and illustrators; particularly in terms of style.

Other than that, be yourself and be nice to people. Oh and always sharpen your pencils and clean your brushes, there’s nothing worse than blunt pencils and grubby brushes.

What tools can you not do without?
Space to think, a notebook and (sharp) pencils.

Describe your studio or workspace for us.
A desk, a window, a drawing board, stacks of paper and lots of pencils. Although my desk sits at one side my living room it’s quite chaotic – but I think that important, it’s a creative space. For bigger pieces I roll back the rug and work on the floor – the height of humble London living! A huge bonus of the set up is the neighbouring desk space – my boyfriend who is a software engineer, video game enthusiast and part time illustration critic!

Interview: Claudine O’Sullivan

Tell us about you! What, aside from drawing takes up your time?

I’m originally from Dublin and I’ve been in London for 5 years. I go home a lot as it’s really nice to get out of this massive city, to see my family, friends and the sea!! I love to travel and dream of being able to see more of the world…. next on my list is Dubrovnik in 2015. My last excursions included craft making in rural Slovakia and travelling around North India. I’m a vegetarian and since moving to London and travelling, I’ve massively broadened my culinary palette. I’ve quite recently started to recreate flavours at home, I’m in no way a pro, but I do find it really relaxing and fulfilling to cook for people. I’m currently getting to grips with the delicate flavours of Korean cuisine, which I have yet to perfect, but I’m getting there!

Where can we see more of your work and what’s up and coming for you this year?

Keep an eye on my Facebook, Instagram and Twitter as I post everything there! I have a few collective art events coming up, one at the start of August in Shoreditch. I’ve also been doing quite a few collaborations with a number of musicians and also a Fashion label – it’s all really exciting! After that…I’m not really sure, fingers crossed its onwards and upward!

www.claudineosullivan.com

www.facebook.com/claudineosullivanillustration

https://twitter.com/claudine_os

http://instagram.com/claudine_os

 

Comments
12:09 by Kirsty Vickers Kirsty Vickers

Make your own Ink Sprays with Inktense Blocks

10 July 2014

Today I'm sharing how to make your own Ink Sprays using Inktense Blocks and an art journal page I made using my own homemade sprays!

To start, you will need: Inktense Blocks, Grate 'n' Shake, water and some Spritzer Bottles 

Make your own Ink Sprays with Inktense Blocks

Start by grating an Inktense Block into the Grate 'n' Shake, the amount will depend on the intensity of colour that you want for your spray (you can always add more colour to it later if the colour isn't strong enough).

Make your own Ink Sprays with Inktense Blocks

Roll a scrap of paper into a cone and use it to funnel the powder into the Spritzer bottle, add some water to the bottle (put the lid on!) and shake to mix.  

Make your own Ink Sprays with Inktense Blocks

You can also grate two blocks into a Spritzer bottle to mix different colours! 

Make your own Ink Sprays with Inktense Blocks

You can then use your custom Ink Sprays on all of your craft projects (even fabric, as I accidently found out by not checking which way round the nozzle was and spraying my top!) I used mine to create this Art Journaling page... 

Make your own Ink Sprays with Inktense Blocks

I used a Doodle Doll stamp, a chipboard heart, a stencil with opaque white spray and added some doodling and Dymo label text. Here are a couple of close ups... 

Make your own Ink Sprays with Inktense Blocks

I hope you'll have a go at making your own ink sprays with Inktense Blocks. If you'd like to share your projects over on the Derwent Facebook page we'd love to see them! I’ll be back soon with another project.


Sarah x

www.sarahhurley.com

Comments
11:11 by Sarah Hurley Sarah Hurley

Donating pencils to charity

4 July 2014

Mary's Meals is a charity that helps some of the poorest school children in the world. They have a simple idea that works - they provide one good meal in a place of learning, children are drawn into the classroom where they can receive an education that could one day free them from poverty.

So when they came to us to ask for pencils to take to a school in Uganda we were more than happy to help!

Donating pencils to charity

Donating pencils to charity

Donating pencils to charity

It's just lovely to see how a simple pencil can mean so much! To find out more about Mary's Meals visit http://www.marysmeals.org.uk/ 

Comments
10:12 by Kirsty Vickers Kirsty Vickers

Sponsor me!

17 June 2014

Sponsor me!

So, you might have already heard but we launched a sponsorship program earlier this year. The scheme aims to help and inspire artists, as they study art subjects at college, university or 6th form. Successful candidates receive packages of Derwent art materials throughout the year.

Here's a little bit of what some of our students have been up to so far....

Sponsor me!

Azalea Rodriguez, Drawing pencils.

 

Sponsor me!

Cherish Coupland, Graphitint pencils.

 

Sponsor me!

Lucy Watkins, Coloursoft pencils.

 

Sponsor me!

Trudi Wilson, XL Charcoal blocks.

 

 

Sponsor me!

Tyler Berry, Graphic pencils.

 

 

Sponsor me!

Daniel Jamie Williams, Graphic pencils.

 

Some great work so far! If you're studying an art subject at college, university or sixth form and would like more details on how to apply for our Sponsor me scheme visit our website http://www.pencils.co.uk/sponsorme/

Comments
12:01 by Kirsty Vickers Kirsty Vickers

Patchings Art Festival, 5th-8th June 2014

9 June 2014

Patchings Art Festival, 5th-8th June 2014

Patchings Art Festival, 5th-8th June 2014

Patchings Art Festival, 5th-8th June 2014

Another great year at Patchings Art Festival!

Joined by artist David Winning, we ran workshops using XL Graphite, XL Charcoal and Inktense Blocks. Artist Sian Dudley was available on the busy retail stand to give her expert advice on Derwent products. And visitors were given a chance to win two places on a Derwent tuition workshop at the Pencil Museum in Keswick www.pencilmuseum.co.uk, including a luxury two night stay at the beautiful Brackenrigg Cottages www.brackenrigg.com

You can visit us again at Art in Action, Oxford 17th-20th July www.artinaction.org.uk

See you there!

Comments
14:17 by Kirsty Vickers Kirsty Vickers