I just scanned in fourteen of my big ink drawings. That’s made me pensive. The last time I scanned in any of those was March 13, 2021. As I write this it’s January 8, 2024 so it’s just short of three years since I scanned any of my Big Ink drawings. That’s a long time. I’ve already written twice about scanning other Big Ink Drawings. Here in 2021: http://radiantcomics.com/art-writing-scanning-big-again/ and here in 2019: http://radiantcomics.com/art-writing-big-scans/ so there must be something about the process that makes me want to write stuff down.

Though it’s been three years since my last scanning of these I haven’t made many Big Ink drawings in that time. It’s less than five a year. I’ve made them at a greater clip than that in the past. Maybe they’ve just run their course with me. That’s happens. I make a certain kind of art for years but then I move on to something else. I sure have been making a lot of “Dreams of Things” drawings over the last three years. I’ve also put a lot of time into my Gatsby illustrated book. That doesn’t leave a ton of time for Big Ink drawings.

I scanned in the drawings on a whim tonight. I just kind of got tired of them hanging around and on the spur of the moment started scanning them in. I had to go get a table and move my scanner to a place where the drawing will fit on it but other than that it was normal scanning.

The Big Ink drawings are 22×30 inches and it takes four scans of my 12×18 inch scanner to scan one of them in. Even though I haven’t done it in a while I have the process down well. It took me just over an hour to make all 56 scans. I was scanning in greyscale so the scans themselves took less time than if I was scanning color drawings.

I made the decision to make the scans because I was tired of the Big Ink drawings hanging around and getting in the way. They generally sat on my easel and if I needed to use the easel I’d move the drawings to on top of my bed for the day and then move them back at night. I got tired of moving them. Once they were scanned I tucked them away in a large portfolio case and didn’t have to move them anymore.

I recently had to spend another hour scanning in the pages of my Ink Book for 2023. Normally I’m good at scanning in all of my drawings as a matter of course. Drawings don’t sit around for more than a couple of days without being scanned. With my Ink Books (a sketchbook I only draw in with ink) I usually take time every month or two to make scans. At a rate of about eight pages a month I don’t like to wait too long until I scan. Except for this year it turns out.

Have you ever thought you were keeping up with something just because you always have for years only to find out that you weren’t? At the end of December I went to scan in the last couple of months worth of Ink Book pages only to discover that I hadn’t scanned any of them in since March. I still don’t know how that happened. I could have sworn that I was scanning the pages in all along. I had to scan in seventy two pages. That was a surprise.

This weekend I also got new art supplies to try out. Some acrylic paint pens. Back in the 1990s I used to play the collectable card game “Magic The Gathering.” We used to have fun playing it at lunchtime at Marvel. I haven’t played the game in twenty years but I have bought some new cards. At least new to me. You can get about a thousand cards for around $30. I’ve bought some in the past just for fun but I’ve also always wanted to draw on them. That’s something people do.

The problem is that I always wanted to draw on them kind of casually. Other people draw and paint on them and sell them. That takes more time and effort that I have to give. The cards have a slick coating on them so it’s tough to work on them without a lot of preparation to the cards. Markers don’t really work on them without prep. Marker ink rubs right off the slick card surface.

I’ve even tried to paint on the cards at times but that never worked out. But when I tried some acrylic paint pens on them they worked okay. At least the paint stayed in place. The paint pens that I bought have big nibs on them so there isn’t a lot of detail work I can do with them so I still have to work out a style with them.

One of the points of the style is that the drawings have to be a bit spontaneous. I can’t do any underdrawing on them since I haven’t found a pencil that will draw on the cards. Since I was looking to do some casual drawings on them that’s not a bad thing but it can be frustrating. I don’t always want to do big chunky drawings.

Another note on those MTG card drawings is that I ordered even more paint markers. I’ve got a set of brush markers coming tomorrow. At ten dollars for twenty four of the bullet tipped markers and thirteen dollars for twenty four of the brush markers they’re a cheap buy. I figured I can get some more detail with the brush ones so that will be good.

One final thought is that I don’t really know how well the brush tip markers will work. Part of what makes the chunky bullet tip markers work so well on the slick card surface is that a lot of paint comes off the tip. I have a smaller more ballpoint pen type black paint marker and it works okay on the cards but there is a lot of skipping of the paint as it comes off the pen. I’ll see how well the brush tips work and will let you know.