Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Happy Zine Day -- Irena Prior

To continue my review of zines, today I will tell you about Irena Prior's zine, How to Use Markers to Create Colorful Works of Art. I received this zine in the recent zine swap, in which I created 10 zines and traded them with 10 other artists. You can see the original post about my zine here, and the first zine I reviewed here.

"Zine" is short for magazine, and it is simply means that it is a self-published book, with the content, design, and reproduction done solely by the author. We were challenged in this swap to create our own zines and trade with other artists.

Irena has a blog called Just Crazy About Dogs. You understand that when you see that a lot of the art in her zine is dogs. She is a talented artist with good drawing skills.

Irena gives a comprehensive tools list, including the brand names of some of them. I think some authors get caught up in the feeling that they don't want to seem to support one brand over the other, so they omit the brand names altogether. I hate that. If an instruction calls for a "solvent ink pad," for example, I want to know -- what does that mean? Permanent ink? Alcohol ink? Anyway, she lists "copic" markers and "Tombow" dual markers, both of which I'll be tempted to try so I can see why she likes them and what effect they give.

Her zine includes simple exercises to expand your drawing skills. I especially like her recommendation to start drawing on index cards, and practice many times until you switch to watercolor paper.

Irena gives detailed descriptions of her drawing techniques. She explains how she uses damp watercolor brushes to blend the color. She didn't save money by producing her zine in black and white. She made the right decision to show full color so you can see what she does with the markers. Black and white just would not have worked with this subject matter. With 22 pages plus the cover, the color copies are worth it.

Watch my blog for my next review of a wonderful artist's zine.

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