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Monday, November 25, 2013

‘The old ones are the best’ hand-chalked greetings card

Working freehand

‘The old ones are the best’ greetings card  © Peter Gander
It’s good to chalk. ‘The old ones are the best’ is our first in a new line of hand-chalked cards. There is a dearth of ‘chalk-like’ effects that you can computer-generate. They are all poor imitations. You don’t get the subtle things happening naturally that make it authentic, like dusty ‘ghosting’ on the blackboard, or the beautifully imperfect line. Unsurprisingly only the real thing looks properly convincing, so this is real chalk - Stephen’s brand, from nearby Folkestone in Kent, UK, in fact, on a real blackboard.” Chalk & blackboard.

Friday, November 15, 2013

‘Jolly girl’ cycling card

Sketching out the new card

Inking the banners
The final print with traditional watercolour and digital colour.  © Peter Gander 2013
To sit alongside our ‘Spiffing gent on a penny farthing’ greetings card, we needed a female counterpart. Hand-drawn in pen and ink, I used digital colour on the illustration and a traditional watercolour wash for the background.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Gurnard (AKA ‘Sea Robin, etc’)

Tub gurnard  © Peter Gander 2013

I bought a small shoal of these sustainable fish (well, half a dozen) at Whitstable fish market a few weeks back, for a fish curry. British chefs are said to remark ‘Ugly fish, tasty dish’. And true enough, my gurnard were very tasty. But I think they are rather lovely-looking too. Compared to the usual cod or pollack, gurnard look like the kind of exotic fish you’d find in Mauritius, not Margate, but apparently they are quite common around local Kent shores. The one shown is a tub gurnard, probably the most colourful, with its electric-blue edging to its huge pectoral fins (the others are ‘red’ and ‘grey’ gurnard). They are also known ‘Croaker’ as they emit a croaking noise when caught. Other names include ‘soldier’, elleck’ and ‘rotchet’, depending on where you live. They are also far more interesting because not only do they have armoured heads, but they also possess ‘legs’ (thus also called ‘feeler fish’) behind their front fins for walking with. And, as if all of the above isn’t impressive enough, they can poison you too with their gill plates and it’ll hurt for a few days. Respect to the gorgeous gurnard. Winsor & Newton watercolour on ‘The Langton’ Grain Fin 300gsm paper. Original: 20cm x 15cm. Buy the original here for £50 (UKSterling):