November 12, 2013

What paper are you using for your drawings these days?

For example, Ben Blake draws on coffee filters.

Decades ago, on the theory that it's the best paper, I used to draw on money. Then I got scared that it violated a criminal statute, and I chickened out. The limitations period is long past, so don't come after me, feds.

What nonpaper are you using for your incredibly lame little confessions these days? I'm using Blogger.


Graham Powell said...

Well, I use Word, but when I don't feel like lugging a computer around I have a little notebook I take with me. It's a Moleskin, so you'll know instantly that I'm cool.

Shouting Thomas said...

Finally, a topic I can address, since I've recently taken up pencil sketching.

I use Strathmore 300 Series Vellum. It's heavy stock. Before you start drawing, check to see which is the smooth side and which is the rough. Better to draw on the rough because it adds texture.

I took up sketching because the Old Dawgz need an illustrator for PR purposes, and we can't afford to hire R. Crumb. I'm not going to give Althouse any ammunition for believing that I have any desire to kiss her ass by linking to my blog so that you can see what I've been doing.

Henry said...

The Kindle highlight feature.

Offline, the flip side of generic white print/copy paper. It's a big win for the kids when I let them use the unprinted paper instead of the printed.

El Pollo Raylan said...

Decades ago, on the theory that it's the best paper, I used to draw on money.

Money is printed on cotton fiber (cellulose) not paper paper (processed lignin) but we knew what you meant. May be you should have drawn on white jeans?

Henry said...

Decades ago, when I was a kid, I drew on computer printout paper my Dad rescued from the trash at his work. It was thin 17 x 22" daisy-wheel paper that printed to long, continuous z-folded stacks. On one side was incomprehensible machine code. The other was blank. 8-1/2 x 11" copy paper just isn't the same.

Shouting Thomas said...

Recently bought a nice set of 24 Derwent graphite pencils too. 9H to 9B. Turned out to be overkill, since the point of everything past about a 4B breaks when you sharpen it and touch it to paper.

6H or so is about the limit for me in terms of outlining a sketch, but I've met illustrators who claim to find a use for a 10H. Problem is, graphite that hard carves a crevice in the paper.

Henry said...

@Shouting Thomas: I love 6B pencils. At one point I did a lot of drawing with 6B and 8B on rag paper with gum erasers to blot up the excess graphite.

For me, anything above an HB was too hard.

Now I just keep a few black or blue roller-ball pens handy. I mostly draw diagrams and want to get my ideas down clearly.

dbp said...

I never used odd paper but sometimes used paper oddly. I used to write a lot of letters but never seemed to have envelopes, so I would fill one side with a note and then fold it into thirds, tape it shut and put the address and stamp on the other side.

In drawing, I would use normal white printer paper since it was always available and then draw with odd things. Dark chocolate makes an excellent crayon.

rhhardin said...

Paper napkins are best for math, using a traditional ballpoint.

Robert Cook said...

Shouting Tom, for a beginner draughtsman, your drawings are not bad at all.

jimbino said...

It's not illegal to deface currency unless your intent is to make it unfit for circulation.

Ann Althouse said...

"It's not illegal to deface currency unless your intent is to make it unfit for circulation."

So let's say you frame and display, in a public space, dollars that have been inked in various interesting ways, changing the words and numbers, blacking out certain areas in a way that expresses whatever…

Have you provided the evidence of the requisite intent? If you are a nervous young person with aspirations in law, would you feel secure?

I'm a big rule follower, and I'm afraid even of being accused.

For the first few years of blogging, I was continually feeling anxiety that I might be doing something criminal… even just copying blocks of text for discussion purposes.

Graham Powell said...

Regarding pens, I use the Uniball Jetstream ballpoint, and it's excellent. I bring my own to work because the ones they have there are pretty stingy with the ink.

Robert Cook said...

"I'm a big rule follower, and I'm afraid even of being accused."

I can definitely relate. I deeply internalized my parents' rules and expectations of good behavior. I was always well-behaved growing up...and I still am.

As a compensating mechanism, I have an attraction to iconoclasts and iconoclastic ideas, and my favorite maxim is one put forth by Rev. Ivan Stang (i.e., Douglass Smith), founder of the Church of the Sub-Genius:

"Orthodoxy is the only Heresy."

While there's a certain brilliant irony and mind-fuckery to it, it also strikes me as deeply true and important.

(One can turn this around to it's equally potent corollary: "Heresy is the only orthodoxy.")

Sigivald said...

Money is very sturdy paper (contra Raylan it's still "paper" - wood is cost effective but any fiber qualifies), but it's not meant for drawing; it's meant to be printed on.

The "best" paper is the one that feels best as you use it; what tooth is best for you depends on your medium and preferences.

(The legal argument is ... questionable; the key is with intent [to render it unfit for circulation].

Drawing all over it, so long as it's recognizably money of its denomination, wouldn't seem to make it unfit for circulation.

There's also the question of a First Amendment defense, though I don't know if there's any case law on that; I'd expect the Expressive Content there would facially make the ban not apply to Art On Money.

The point of 18USC333 is to (as I understand it) prevent Sabotage of the Paper Money supply - a relic of times when that might matter.)