Artist of the Month: Nathan Ariss

bloghorn_ariss_cartoon_no3Bloghorn’s Artist of the Month, Nathan Ariss explains how he makes his cartoons:

I know, this is really that question about which nibs and paper I use, isn’t it? Well, to put the knitted Parker on for a minute, I mostly go for the Gillott’s 404, lightly dipped in FW acrylic ink and drizzled on to Bristol Board. I have also been known to use charcoal, graphite, crayon, Pitt, Pigma, and Artline pens on “Not” paper, or any bit of scrap that can potentially take an ink wash for toning or colouring if so desired later on.

I’ll generally take on the artwork only after all the thinking, writing and basic compositional stuff is worked out in my head. I tend not to make pencil roughs as I like to “see what happens” when the ink hits the page. I try to work fast and loose at this stage, and try not to stress too much if some rouge elements – like that one – appear, as that can easily be excised later on in Photoshop.

I might produce quite a few versions or progressions of the same idea, or the image could just come fully formed, but I try not to judge anything there and then. I’ll walk away for twenty minutes or so to let it all dry, then scan it, and see if there is anything there that might be useable. From here it might need a few ink washes, or it could just be tidied up, or some elements pieced together as layers, perhaps distorted or possibly coloured within the blessed Adobe – hallowed be thy name. At this later stage I like to be more thorough and I try to take my time. So, lots of stretching, walking away and caffeine.

Then it’s on to final adjustments and printing off a copy to see if I can live with it, just the way it is. Invariably I can’t, but after a tiny bit more tweaking and tinkering it somehow just seems to settle, and whispers “Ooh-ee! I’m done!” Hurrah!

You can see more of Nathan’s answers to our interview here.

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