After the initial drawing has been finished in blue pencil, we start the inking. Our style of drawing leaves a lot of room for interpretation at this stage, and quite often we add in extra detail and small design elements while working as we progress. There is no specific side that we start on and it usually comes down to personal preference. On this piece I started with the dog on the left hand side, as I thought this would be particularly challenging. We very rarely use a brush and prefer to work with varying sizes of Faber Castel black art pens.
Any small errors are corrected with Tipex and then re-inked. On occasion, large areas need to be re-worked, either when we change our minds about the composition, or when the inking is not quite right. The way in which we deal with this is to patch in clean paper by taping a blank sheet to the back of the artwork, cutting through both sheets with a sharp blade, and then replacing the cut-out section of the artwork with the new piece beneath it. When the new area is re-drawn and re-inked, it is almost indistinguishable from the surrounding area. On this particular drawing, no patching was necessary.
In part three we will look at the final inked artwork and how it is prepared for print.
At La Mort Clothing, we make all our designs by hand, and in this series of blog posts, we hope to give you an insight into the methods and materials that we use to create our distinctive work. Each design takes up to four weeks, from initial sketch to print-ready artwork, and Faye and I work on each piece together right from the start. The design we have featured is our latest, and has the working title of Heavy Heart.
This piece started out during a discussion between Faye and myself, where we talked in depth about the concept before putting pen to paper. We formed several ideas, which were put down as thumbnail sketches, and then we worked together on the final rough. We still leave a lot of room at this stage for additional content, and only work to a very loose sketch when laying out the final drawing. A series of reference photographs are taken of posed models, and then work begins on the full-sized artwork. Heavy Heart is drawn on an A2 sheet, in blue mechanical pencil, which is easier to remove during the scanning process. We begin with a series of grids and geometric markers, which set the foundation for each drawing, and once complete, we begin to fill in the main content, followed by the details and border. Our loose drawing at this point leaves us a lot of space to add detail during inking.
In part two, we will discuss the inking process and how we achieve our distinctive style.