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Field Notes storage – the Swedish way

I’m quite excited about Utility, the new Field Notes Quarterly Edition.

Finally a metric ruler. Ever since I got my first Field Notes from Michael I thought a metric ruler would be quite useful. Trying to measure a length using the squares (if the paper has squares at all) is just not the same.

I’m also looking forward to comparing the Mohawk Via Vellum paper to previous Field Notes paper.

In anticipation of the new edition here’s a look at how I store Field Notes at home.

Field Notes in an IKEA Förhöja box

They are on my desk in a Förhöja box that came with the pencil pot that was Pencil Pot of the Month last July. In the UK the whole set sells for £15. In Germany it’s €14.99 and in Australia it’s $24.99. Unfortunately it doesn’t seem to be available in the USA.


Traces of graphite – Paul Kidby

It’s time for another Traces of Graphite blog post. All the previous blog posts in this series were Disney themed (Barks, Rosa and Fecchi), but this time the blog post is Discworld themed.

Paul Kidby‘s very impressive pencil point from my previous blog post made me want to find out more about the pencils he is using to create his drawings.

Paul Kidby’s pencil (image © BBC Scotland)

Luckily Paul was kind enough to answer my questions. Here is a little insight into his pencil use.

Bleistift Blog:

Thank you very much for agreeing to answer these questions.

Could you please introduce yourself and your work and tell us where people might have seen your work?

Paul Kidby:

Hello, my name is Paul Kidby and I am an illustrator based in the UK. I am best known for being the writer Terry Pratchett’s artist of choice to illustrate his best selling Discworld series.

Drawings for Discworld books (© Paul Kidby 2017, all rights reserved. http://www.paulkidby.com )

Bleistift Blog:

In the Terry Pratchett documentary, you can be seen with a hand-sharpened Castell 9000 with an impressive pencil point. Could you tell us which pencils and lead grades you use and how you use them? What other tools do you use to create your incredibly detailed work?

Paul Kidby:

When I draw I use Faber Castell 9000 series in lead grades 3B, 2B, B, HB, F, H 2H, 3H, 4H. My favourite is F & H. I don’t use 3B & 2B & B very often because it can make my work go smudgy – so I save them for areas where it needs to be very dark.

I also use Derwent stumps for blending and Faber Castell perfection 7056 pencil erasers which I can sharpen to take out accurate highlights in my drawing. I sharpen my pencils with a Swann-Morton DS2902 scalpel with 10A surgical blades, I then sand the pencil point using a Derwent sanding block.

Paul’s pencil drawer, including his scalpel (© Paul Kidby 2017, all rights reserved. http://www.paulkidby.com )

I draw on a white smooth surface – eitherSchoellershammer illustration board or Bristol Board.

Bleistift Blog:

That is great. Thank you very much! Could you please explain to non-artists why you sharpen the pencil to such a long point? Is it so that you have more control over the pencil, or does it help to see the drawing better, e.g. the pencil doesn’t cover the view of the image so much?

Paul Kidby:

I sharpen to a long point because it gives me better control.

© Paul Kidby 2017, all rights reserved. http://www.paulkidby.com

I would like to thank Paul Kidby for answering my questions.

With the colouring book craze of recent years going on his Discworld colouring book seems like a great idea (Paul Kidby’s shop (signed artist’s edition), Amazon US, AmazonUK).

One last bit of information : Paul Kidby also told me that he is inspired by the delicate pencil work of Ingres from the early 1800’s.

Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres: Mme Victor Baltard and Her Daughter, Paule, 1836

 

 


Paul Kidby’s pencil 2

This weekend saw the BBC airing their Terry Pratchett documentary Back in Black.

In the documentary Paul Kidby, the artist responsible for most of the fantastic Discworld artwork, can be seen with a rather impressive, hand sharpened pencil point on a Castell 9000. I think it can certainly compete with the longest pencil points I have seen in use. It’s even longer than the one on the James Bond cover.

Paul Kidby’s Castell 9000 (image © BBC Scotland)

In the documentary you can also see Rob Wilkins, Terry Pratchett’s former assistant, signing books with a Lamy Vista filled with green ink. Nice.

Rob Wilkins’ Lamy Vista (image © BBC Scotland)

If you are in the UK you can watch the documentary on BBC iPlayer for another 28 days.


The Lamy Horror Picture Show 4

Think of a random number between 1 and 1000.

No, really. Please do.

Ok, now multiply this number by 3 and remember it.

Well, imagine the shock I got when I recently had a closer look at my Lamy 2000.

Lamy 2000 exploded view

Cleaning my Lamy in expectance of the new ink

On a scale of 0 to 10, where 0 is ‘Not shocked at all’ and ’10’ is censored because of the expletives uttered, the number representing my shock was slightly higher than the number I just asked you to remember.

It all started with me happily going about my daily business and cleaning my Lamy 2000 (with an EF nib) in expectance of a Robert Oster ink from Kirit Dal, one of Robert Oster’s UK resellers.

When an ink ‘stain’ at the front of the Lamy’s grip section didn’t want to disappear I had a closer look and after moving the end of my fingernail over the ‘stain’ I started to have an ominous suspicion. Not much later the aforementioned shock happened1.

You’d think I’m a broken man now, looking back at the excitement and fun I once experienced when using fountain pens, but not able to have any joy anymore going forward from now on. The reality is different. I’ve come to stoically accept that mark on the grip section as something that makes this Lamy 2000 different to all its anonymous siblings that left Lamy’s conveyor belt since 1966. It is something, together with a dent on its body, that makes this Lamy mine. Who knows, maybe deep down, in some illogical part of the brain, I might even be a tiny bit ‘proud’ that I have my own unique Lamy 2000 now…


I am sorry for showing you all these gory details, especially after just showing you horrific pencil mutilations in the previous blog post. I guess you might be more careful form now on, avoiding to look at my blog anymore while eating food.

In case you’ve been sick over your pen collection while looking at these gory photos: I’ve heard that baking soda might eliminate the odour, but I haven’t tried it myself yet.

I thought of combining this blog post with a look at the ink I was expecting, but I didn’t do it because I thought someone who doesn’t read carefully and only looks at the pictures might that the ink I was expecting caused the issue. To avoid this the Oster ink I was expecting (cleaning the pen to be ready for this ink) will be covered in a separate blog post.

I have a suspicion which previously used ink might have caused the issue, but as I am not sure it was really that ink I don’t want to mention the brand in this blog post.

  1. Well, where are the smelling salts and the defibrillator when you need them. []

A broken Clarks Noris 5

If you don’t like gory pictures look away, we have a broken Staedtler Noris coming up.

Today: a Noris I came across in a Clarks store. Clarks is a British shoe shop chain. My guess is that they are the biggest shoe shop chain in the UK, but I could be wrong.

The Noris, which can be seen on the poster and which seems to be used by a worker in the shoe factory is broken, the end bit is partly split off – yes, I know, you just walk into a shoe store, don’t expect anything bad and then you are confronted with a broken Noris ..without warning!

The EAN code seems to indicate that this poor butchered Staedtler Noris has a B lead.

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