I love illustrations just as much as I love traditional painting. My illustrations are really influenced by the watercolor manga of Hayao Miyazaki, who's also one of my favorite artists. This illustration is about my pet hamster, named Bougie, who I imagined having his own hotel called "Casa De Bougie". It's fun to draw these little illustrations because it makes me flex a different creative muscle. I also love having my drawings show a narrative because I love writing stories also.
If anyone is wondering about the shower part of the illustration: Bougie goes under his water bottle and rubs his head on the spout when he's cleaning himself, so it's like he's taking a little shower. Hamsters are also nocturnal, which explains the first panel of the illustration. They also love broccoli!
I recently re-read this wonderful book that I wanted to share with everyone. It's called the Book of Five Rings, or The Five Rings by Miyamoto Musashi. The book was written around 1645 by the famous swordsman and philosopher, Musashi.
I had read it once before when I was in college and was excited to re-read it at this stage in my life. It's really easy to find and the copy I got is illustrated, which is cool, but not necessary. The beauty of this book is that the ideas don't only apply to being a swordsman; the book is really about larger philosophical ideas. I read it from an artistic point of view and learned a ton. Musashi was also interested in all the arts and even did some painting and calligraphy.
The final part of the whole book has the biggest impact on me. It's a list of around 21 precepts translated as "The Path Walked Alone" that Musashi lays out in a bullet point type format. It's a beautiful list and acts as a simple guide to living well.
I encourage everyone to read this book at some point and share it with as many people as possible.
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I've really been enjoying charcoal drawing recently and read somewhere about something called Nitram Charcoal. I ordered some to test it out and I have to say that it's amazing! Their website is filled with information about the product, but it's also available through other vendors and art stores. It wasn't available at my local Blick so I ordered it online.
I got a few different hardnesses to try and found that I really enjoy the softer B hardness. The Nitram charcoal sort of feels like vine charcoal, but it doesn't crumble or break at all. It also maintains a really nice point and doesn't wear away as quickly as vine or willow charcoal. It erases really easily and has a very nice ability to capture midtowns.
I'm also a huge fan of the darks that the Nitram can achieve. When I used to draw with vine charcoal, it wasn't able to layer on the paper. So it would get to the point where any new darks would almost slip off the paper; I used to think that this might be a problem with my paper, but the Nitram can be layered and layered without this slippery effect. Each layer darkens very nicely.
Overall, I'm really satisfied with this product and I highly encourage any artist to try it out!