Tuesday, November 10, 2009

My Tools, Let Me Show You Them

Edit: I had no idea that this didn't post...*face palm

More sketches from my trip back to New York this summer, but first I wanted to talk about my tools.
I've often been asked what it is that I'm using to do these sketches, so I thought I would go ahead and show those who are reading the blog.

First of all, I change my tools and materials often in an effort to experiment. In particular, I try to use different formats and sizes for every new sketchbook that I use. As it stands, I've pretty much found what kind of things I like to use, but I'm still open to experimentation.

So, what I'm presenting to you is what I'm currently using to draw. It's my current "sketching kit."

If you aren't aware, I live in Japan at the moment, so I've been able to take advantage of an array of different types of pens that are hard to come by in the states. Some of these pens I was able to get in the states, but they were ridiculously expensive, so I'm glad that I'm here for that reason and will definitely stock up on a bunch of these before I eventually return to the states.
1. Kuretake Mannnennmouhitsu- This was a brush pen that I picked up while looking for the pen at the bottom. I thought it might be a suitable replacement for my favorite pen but it has a totally different feel from what I was used to. It is a lot more fluid, a bit messy, and the ink is different. What I like about it though is that the ink is non water-proof, so when mixed with the water pen, I can try to get different tones and effects.
2. Zeebra Sarasa Clip 0.5mm- Just a pen I picked up from a convenience store. It has a nice flow and "sharp" feel that I like. At about $1, it's also cheap.
3. Uni-ball Protech 0.5mm- This is a pen that I've loved for a long time. This pen is fairly easy to find in the states I think. It has much of the same feeling as the pen above except that the quality is a little more better. It says that the ink is water-based, but I don't really use it along with a water brush like the 1st pen.

4. Kuretake Mizufude Pen Medium Size- I believe this is also available in America, but it may be a bit difficult to find. I'm not terribly satisfied with this pen because it seems to clog and becomes useless pretty easily. However, it still is pretty convenient compared to bringing a water container and a real brush on the train. At first I started trying to do watercolor on trains, but for the sake of speed and efficiency I use it to get grey tones along with the brush pen at the top.
5. Pentel Pocket Brush Pen- I believe there is a small following for this pen in America. Deservedly so, because it is an awesome pen. It won't replace a a nice brush and good ink, but it's the next best thing especially on a rocky train. I'm so glad that I can get this pen here for about $7 US, as opposed to the around $14 I would pay at NY Central Art Supply...


Pentel TUFF 0.9mm mechanical pencil- I like a thick led so I can get more variation with my line, and I usually use 2B or B led.

The book I'm currently using is Fabriano Classic Artists Journal. I had to order this from America because unfortunately there is not a very good selection of sketchbooks in Japan. Most of the are ring bound which I just hate. They do have some good quality sketchbooks here, like moleskines, but they are incredibly expensive. It's slightly cheaper to just import the books from Blick Art Supplies in the U.S.A.
Anyway, I had gotten a multi-colored version of this before and I really liked how this worked with pencil. It really takes the led well, but unfortunately the pages are pretty thin so I can't go crazy with a lot of paint or water. But it serves my purposes well enough. Before I tried the 7X9in, now I have the 5X7in, and I prefer the larger size.
By the way, while searching for links for these pens/pencils, I found that I could find most of them from Jetpens. I don't know much of anything about them, but they seem to be a good source for those who are not in Japan.

Okay, sketches...

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Lock and Loll

A long overdue update.

I've been back in Japan for a little while now, working and getting a drawing or two in.
For some reason or another I've gotten busier than before, but not too busy that I'm not drawing anymore.

While I was in America, I filled my book with TONS of sketches, which was great.
For the most part I get most of my sketching done on the train, and since moving to a small town in the middle of Kyushu I hardly ride anymore. When I do ride the train, it's not one where I can see more than the back of someone's chair, much to my dismay.

So, I took every opportunity I could to fill the pages of my sketchbook while back in NYC. When I left I had just started a new sketchbook, and filled most of its 192pgs within three weeks. Ah, how I miss being able to sketch everyday on the train...

But I digress...

Here I am, to present you with new sketches from this book and more.

I've been thinking and racking my brain on what to do with this blog since coming back. My first step beyond what I've normally have been doing was to self-publish that book. Now, what's next?

Well, I would like to, and I believe that I should do more with this blog than just post my pictures with a thought or two.

When I first started this blog, I had thought I would be able to get some attention for my work and also connect with other subway sketchers like myself. I made a connection or two...but for the most part my plans fell apart in a big way and now I am here, posting by myself, and pretty distanced from the small group of sketchers that I was in contact with in the beginning. It is what it is, but I can't just let it be like that, can I?

So, here's what I would like to do. Make some promises, if not for anyone by my own self.

1. Update once a week no matter what. At least one sketch.
2. Write in Japanese in addition to English.
3. Respond to what few readers I have through these posts (FAQs, tutorials, etc.) In other words, give back to the community and people that support me more.

So, with that said, let's get started with this new, better direction for the blog.











1. せめて毎週1つのスケッチをはります。
2. 英語と日本語でも書きます。
3. 読者やファンの方に対してもっとこのブログから情報やサポートしていきたい。(よくある質問、チュートリアル)




Tosu bound-Kagoshima-line/鳥栖行き、鹿児島線

Taipei Airport/台北空港

Taipei Airport/台北空港 (Up until this point I forgot how fat Americans can be.日本人に慣れてきたので、アメリカ人はそんなに太っているのかとびっくりした。)

NYC- A-train