Tuesday, December 3, 2013

I Got Rhythm

I find "The Russian Dance" from Tchaikovsky’s
Nutcracker ballet to be good music for inking

Whenever I take a break from inking, I forget how to do it. Well, that’s not exactly true. I don’t forget how to make marks on paper, I forget my inking rhythm. Tonight, I was inking a final piece for the Book I illustrations. A late addition that I wanted to add as a decoration for one of the title pages. I had already done the rough inks and started on the final inks for the drawing. But then I got a few commissions, and then I got a cold, and then it was Thanksgiving, etc. And so several weeks have passed since I last worked on this piece.

Now that I’m pretty much all better (coughing plays havoc with inking, as you can well imagine) I wanted to finish this drawing. So I inked up my favorite Noodler's flex pen and put on a CD of Tchaikovsky's ballet suites. But, I had forgotten how important music can be for good inking rhythm, especially when you’re a bit rusty as I am right now.

Generally classical music is good choice to ink to, but this was a new CD and I wasn’t familiar with the arrangements. The CD starts with selections from Swan Lake and this turned out to be a terrible choice for my inking tonight. I just couldn’t find my rhythm in the music, at all. When the CD entered into the Nutcracker suite all went better and I suddenly remembered what I was doing. Everything went along smoothly until the CD went into Sleeping Beauty. This last suite was a bit hit and miss for me once again.

As I look at the final piece now, nearly completed and sitting on my easel, I’m wondering if I shouldn’t have just put on some Steely Dan to begin with. It’s a winner for me every time.

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