Thursday, February 28, 2013

dinner and comic drawing.

We like drawing ourselves and our food whenever we meet.

Parallel Pen + Kuretake brush pen + photoshop colour adjustments.

Twsbi 540 (with Lamy ink) + Lamy diluted ink + brush pen + photoshop.

Parallel Pen + Kuretake brush pen + photoshop colour adjustments.

Rabbit man- a rubbishy comic

Don't know if this makes sense. This is a spontaneous comic done as practice while at a cafe with my friend James and Don. The 2 characters have 2 different motivations. One of them just wants to be somebody great. The other one just wants to always please his wife. Well here is how it went:

Twsbi 540 fountain pen + diluted Lamy ink + kuretake brush pen + photoshop.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Ah Seng portable dip pen holder

Ah Seng from Straits Art Co. (in Singapore) likes creating and tinkering with art tools. He made this dip pen holder for me after we were talking about a more portable holder for steel dip nibs. Presently, the portable japanese Tachikawa dip nib holder I own has a plastic cap, but it comes off easily when bouncing around in my bag. That's not good for the nib because nibs are fragile. So this dip nib holder he made solves that problem. He designed and made every part himself!

The front section is made of brass giving the pen pretty good balance since it makes the pen heavier toward the front and lighter toward the back. The barrel is made of wood. And it is lacquered. It is light because he hollowed it.

It has a nice size for carrying around. It's 14cm long (without the nib) 

The back has his signature, Ah Seng.

It has a wooden "thing" on the end so you can snugly fit most dip pen nibs. And it won't wobble.

 The brass section can slide out from the barrel (snug fit, secured with a brass ring) and inverted... the nib can be stored safely while you are outdoors and want to keep it quickly while travelling. The only downside to the size of the barrel is that it cannot take extra-large nibs or nibs with a bulging reservoirs. G-nibs and nibs with similar sizes are fine.

The ends of the brass section looks similar. But they fit different kinds of nibs.

This end fits crowquill type nibs. It looks like it has a rubber lining plus a wooden rod inside. It also gives the nib a snug fit into the pen.

This is how it looks like when both ends are fitted with their respective nibs (just for show).

I really like this dip pen holder. Right weight, balance, and it works well. Great for sketchwalks or bringing a dip pen out to a cafe to draw. The workmanship is not at the same level as $600 fountain pen with flawless urashi. But it is great for artists who want good useable art tools held with ink stained fingers.

Drawing with a dip pen has it's advantages over a regular pen. The expressions you get with a flex nib on a dip pen is pretty amazing, considering that dip pen nibs are cheap (less than $2). The only troublesome part is carrying a small bottle of ink with you. But if you are doing outdoor sketching or if you are in no hurry, that's really not much of a issue. In contrast a fountain pen with flex can cost a lot more and yet may not flex as wide or as easily as a dip pen nib. Though I still love fountain pens with flex nibs! Those have it's own advantages.

Ah Seng accepts requests for customised dip pen holders like these. It's a service which is not advertised. But you can approach him about it. Best to get a quotation from him before you ask him to make one and give him some specifications if you are particular. Each hand-made dip pen holder he makes takes a lot of work and time. And price varies depending on the complexity of design and materials used. His price range is $50 and up. He customises things like these as a passionate hobby and not as a full-time professional service, just to manage expectations. The design of the dip pen holder he made for me will probably be different for the design he makes for you because he likes to improve and tinker with the designs. Give him his creative freedom! Overall, I love hand-made innovations that work well. So I would recommend his services. If you're interested in ordering one from him, the contact for Straits Art Co. is

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Around the chinese new year season

Pilot Falcon + Gnib + kuretake brush pen.

Von and me went jogging along the green corridor recently. Along the path, we had to run under these bridges which were very dark underneath. This picture just captures that feeling (and the under of these bridges don't look like these). Parallel pen + watercolour + chinese ink + acrylic white.

Drawn and written with Pilot Falcon with added flex. A good pen just want to make you draw and write more. And also makes you not want to sleep so early. So I began listing down the ingredients that went into the reunion dinner steamboat I ate that night.

The everyday scenes in houses. I think it's useful to capture them because nothing lasts forever and it will be nice to see this picture many years later. Pilot Falcon + Signo DX

Visiting aunty Mary during Chinese New Year. The Grammy awards was on TV. I tried not to eat so much snacks. Derwent drawaings pencils.

A random comic while spacing out during visiting. Signo DX.


Derwent drawing pencils + photoshop.


Mechanical pencil + dewent drawing pencils. I found this mechanical pencil with a flat lead at Daiso Ion for only $2. I used it in the picture on the right.

A practice drawn from a Magazine picture. A good way to break me out of my usual drawing subject matters. Leonardt dip nob with waterproof fountain pen ink + watercolour + kuretake brush pen on Stillman & Birn sketchbook paper.

Friday, February 15, 2013

random creature drawing

Dip nib pens are just great for drawing (in between projects). Leonardt 300 nib on Stillman & Birn gamma series sketchbook + kuretake brush pen + photoshop.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

new nibs!

This is what I go at Straits Art Co. at Bras Basah. I bought most of their new range of dip pen nibs. A lot of Leonardt ones which I couldn't find anywhere else in Singapore. All of there have really nice flex to them. Among them is a shakespearian nib and also a music nib (is that what you would call it?) with a little flex. These are great for both writing and drawing. 

ps. The "music" nib is kept in a separate wooden box drawer with the other writing nibs. Have to ask Ah Seng to see those.

Saturday, February 09, 2013

thoughts and things around me

Went to see my cousins on Yvonne's side of the family, Kevin and Jacq, perform. Many of Yvonne's uncles and aunties came to watch too. Kuretake brush pen.

Kevin is the one with the interesting hair. An old man in office shirt and pants suddenly jumped up and started doing a dance throughout a whole song. He danced very well and rigorously then gave a bow. Kevin asked his age after the number and he said he was 69 years old.

They sound a like Beirut and Arcade Fire mixed together. They are called the Sapporo Safaris.

Namiki pen + brush pen + photoshop.

Parallel pen.

Some random alien people with strange helmets. Cool. Parallel pen with a mix of waterproof inks + watercolours.

After church. Pilot Falcon with Private Reserve ebony blue ink. I like this ink! Not water-resistant. But flows well.

A slice of life comic diary page. I don't expect you to understand everything here. Or maybe you might, if you know me personally. But anyways, this is how it went- a capture of events and conversation in history. If I didn't draw it out, it might be forgotten someday. Parallel pen + Namiki pen + photoshop.
Forgot to include these 2 pics in the last post. Hero pen + Pilot Falcon (modified) + photoshop.

Trying more disjointed lines. A kind of Sempe style. Hero pen + photoshop.

Friday, February 08, 2013

parker 51

An old super fine japanese brush pen + photoshop and the parker 51.

Friday, February 01, 2013

First few sketches in Feb

Woah, february is here already.

Was getting ready to go out and deciding which sketchbook to bring out with me today. I saw these color pencil on my desk and I saw this seen outside. So I did a quick "anyhow" sketch. I like it.

Staedtler Triplus Fineliner + Noodler's Ahab

Drawing without trying to join the lines does allow me to get away with more details. And it's much quicker. Helpful when the restaurant was hurrying us out once we were done because there was a long queue outside.

January sketches

Got some new notebooks from Epigram. They don't take watercolour or fountain pen ink well. So I had to use my underused ballpoint pens in these. And I do like the look of ballpoint pens on this notebook paper. I have a few ballpoints which I like. 1) A uniball 1.0 jetstream 2) Parker with ballpoint quink ink 3)Zebra BA66-BK. These are the smoothest ones I've tried though most ballpoints feel more or less the same.
Monday night dinner.

Drawing people and things from a magazine and from my imagination.

drawing people at Shen Yi's wedding. He was my neighbour. And this is his mom pointed on in the picture.

Sketched this while waiting for Yvonne to arrive in a bus from Orchard Rd. Time isn't wasted if i'm sketching.

Found this restaurant on ieatishootipost and we hunted it down on a friday night.
It was good. We over-ordered as well. Noodler's Ahab + home-made tea ink.

The next morning, I joined the Urbansketchers for a sketchwalk along Portsdown Rd.

We ended the walk at Colbar along Whitchurch Rd.

Took my parallel pen out to play again. Been sometime since I loaded it with black ink and just doodled something with it. It's easy to fill black spaces quickly with this pen. Midtones were done with some left over ink in some bottle.

Re-discovered a music dip pen nib I bought not too long ago. Saw this techniques a few times before and I thought I'd try it. Brushed some plain water fairly thickly and randomly across the page and then drew on the paper. Then just watched how the ink spreads randomly whenever the nib touches the water. Magic!