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Art Illustration

Graceful Swimmers Breach the Water's Surface in Sonia Alins's Poetic Mixed-Media Illustrations

August 12, 2021

Grace Ebert

“Placer,” hand-embellished print. All images © Sonia Alins, shared with permission

In Sonia Alins’s dreamy works, figures gently break through the surface of the sea, creating a minimal ripple around their bodies as they dip in and out of the water. The Spanish artist and illustrator (previously) is known for her expressive swimmers, whose enlarged limbs splay in graceful positions as they float and move through the ocean. Translucent sheets of vellum produce the cloudy effects of water, obscuring fish and coral and adding a three-dimensional element to the largely ink, acrylic, and watercolor drawings.

Although Alins primarily centers women in ambiguous states of emotion, men and children have been emerging in her mixed-media illustrations, further reflecting on the artist’s own experience with motherhood and the incomparable force of aquatic environments. “I feel the water as powerful entity, a supernatural force capable of source anguish, pain, desperation in the same way that it is a source of happiness, joy, inner peace, and love. Water helps me to express my feelings ​in a louder way, and it’s why I love it,” she tells Colossal.

Alins works on a variety of commissions in addition to her personal practice, and her ethereal project for Moleskine titled “The Beautiful Red Reefs” recently won her an Award of Excellence from Communication Arts’s annual competition. Browse originals and hand-embellished prints in limited quantities in her shop, and you can keep up with her illustrations, in addition to news about upcoming shows like the one at Taipei’s Contemporary by U gallery in October, on Behance and Instagram.

 

“Return to Harmony”

“Mar en Calma,” hand-embellished print

“Maternal Love,” hand-embellished print

Left: “The Bather.” Right: “Inspired by the Moon”

“Birth”

Left: “The Boys of the Rocks”, commissioned by 180 Hilos. Right: “The Girls of the Rocks”, commissioned by 180 Hilos

“Swimming in the Ocean”

 

 



Design

An Innovative Drill-Bit Shaped Pen Holds Ink Around a Grooved Spiral

July 23, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images couresty of Drillog

Inventive design and age-old craft converge in a simple writing instrument produced by the CNC-machining factory Shion. As its name suggests, Drillog is a drillbit-shaped pen that holds the ink in its thin grooves that spiral up the side of the nib. Whereas traditional quills require repeated dips and the more modern fountain pen suspends the pigmented liquid in an internal reservoir for longer use, a single dunk of the Drillog should retain enough ink to smoothly fill an A4 size paper.

Its interchangeable barrels come in dozens of style-and-color combinations, and the Japanese company even released a miniature palette with tiny wells designed to reduce spillage. There are just under 40 days to back the fully-funded project on Kickstarter, and you can find out more about the aluminum pen on the Drillog site and Twitter. (via Core77)

 

 

 



Art Design

Using Long Continuous Strokes, Thomas Yang's New Print is a Zen Meditation on Cycling

June 28, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Thomas Yang, shared with permission

In his new print “Journey to Zen,” artist Thomas Yang (previously) focuses on the mental benefits of his favorite pastime. The Singapore-based artist is behind 100 Copies, an ongoing print project in which he releases limited-edition works centered around his love of cycling—previous iterations include architectural renderings inked with bike tires and a competitive peloton of riders.

“Journey to Zen” renders a lone cyclist in a manner similar to a Japanese sand garden, using long, uninterrupted strokes of black ink. “To simulate that particular style with continuous lines or samon (砂紋) in the gravel, I had decided to use a rake paintbrush as part of the tool. To familiarise (myself) with the brush, it took me quite a while to practice on the strokes and shades, especially for those curvy ones,” the artist shares. Once complete, Yang digitally enhanced the brushtrokes and printed the piece on textured paper to deepen the stone-like effect.

Born out of a period of uncertainty, the fluid and composed lines represent the meditative qualities of the sport and its ability to serve as an outlet for stress and anxiety. “Sometimes, taking our bike out for a ride brings us on an inward journey,” Yang says. “Almost like a form of Zen meditation, the noise fades, our mind clears, and all we are focused on is the path before us. The longer and farther we go, the more we learn about ourselves and the nature of our mind.”

There are still a few “Journey to Zen” prints available on 100 Copies, where you can find more of Yang’s available works.

 

 

 



Art Illustration

Cross A Bridge: A Typewriter Illustration Backdrops a Meditative Trip to Pittsburgh's Carnegie Museum of Art

May 26, 2021

Grace Ebert

Lenka Clayton takes viewers on a short road trip to the Carnegie Museum of Art in a tiny and unusual vehicle. A 1957 Smith Corona Skyriter chugs along sparsely illustrated streets constructed with angled letters and punctuation previously typed on a single sheet of paper in her 2018 work “Cross A Bridge.” Commissioned by the Pittsburgh institution, the video project follows Clayton’s type guide as it steadily inches along the city’s roadways and passes by landmarks like the Fort Pitt Tunnel, Fort Pitt Bridge, and Monongahela River before coming to a stop at the museum’s entrance.

Find dozens of Clayton’s inky illustrations, along with a similar 2016 project about going home, on her site and Instagram. (via The Kids Should See This)

 

 

 



Illustration

Otherworldly Ecosystems Populate Dense, Cross-Hatched Illustrations by Song Kang

February 16, 2021

Grace Ebert

“Evolution of Plants,” pen and ink, 30 x 20. All images © Song Kang, shared with permission

Packed with texture and depth, Song Kang’s ink-based drawings begin with “I wonder…I wonder how this will look compared to that, or I wonder if I can mix this and that,” she says. The Atlanta-based illustrator renders rich labyrinths populated by elements from land and sea that are depicted in an otherworldly manner: candy-colored liquid drips from a bonsai, fish and butterflies coexist in the same dense ecosystem, and a maze of M.C. Escher-style lizards sprawls across the page.

Each illustration is infused with ideas of evolution and the connection inherent in nature, themes that present themselves in both subject matter and Kang’s process. Often prompted by a loose idea, she starts with a sketch and works organically, drawing the intricate and minute details from one corner to the next. Her process is intuitive, which she explains:

In one moment, I feel like I’m building a distinct environment one crosshatched pebble at a time. The next moment, I’m clueless with only an impulse and a gut feeling to add something somewhere. One of these spontaneous decisions was choosing to add color. I was always using black ink, avoiding bright colors out of habit and uncertainty. But during quarantine, I found several colorful ink pens and became curious to see how it would look in my texture-heavy, fine-tuned crosshatched style.

Kang’s work is currently part of Wow x Wow’s Mindweave, a virtual group show that runs through February 26, and originals, prints, and smaller items are available in her shop. To see more of her meticulous process, watch this recent tutorial with Art Prof and head to Instagram.

 

“Butterfly Fish,” pen, ink, and acrylic paint, 17 x 17

Left: “Greenhouse,” pen, ink, acrylic paint, 10 x 17 inches. Right: “Fall Leaves,” pen, 9 x 13

“Bonsai Drip,” pen and markers, 9 x 6

“Henry’s Garden,” pen, ink, and acrylic paint, 23 x 23

“Escher’s Lizards,” pen, ink, and acrylic paint, 11 x 13

“Swamp Thing,” pen and ink, 8 x 11

“Venus Flytrap Squid,” pen and markers, 9 x 12

“Coral: Exploding Skulls,” pen, 9 x 12

 

 



Photography

A Mesmerizing Short Film Imitates Water Flowing Across the Earth with Ink and Dried Pigments

January 28, 2021

Grace Ebert

You’d be forgiven for mistaking Roman De Giuli’s new short film for aerial footage of Earth’s outer crust. As its name suggests, though, “SATELLIKE” is a mesmerizing timelapse that mimics water gushing through canyons and seeping over mineral-speckled regions with liquid ink.

The German filmmaker, who’s behind Terracollage and this hypnotic work about magnetism, created the topographic features on paper using sand, jade, malachite, and a variety of historic pigments dried to imitate their counterparts embedded within the planet. Mixing natural hues and jewel tones, the substances were reconstituted with water and sour flow release mediums, creating a stunning imitation of seismic shifts on Earth.

In total, the project took four months to complete before it was unveiled at the National Palace Museum in Taipei. “The results look different from my usual approach, way more realistic and less otherworldly. I was excited about the aesthetics of the images and decided to do an individual piece. Although this is the final result for now, it feels more like I’m at the very beginning,” De Giuli writes on Vimeo.

 

 

 

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