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Will McCarthy: Artist of the Month - August 2015

We sometimes ask an artist to design a banner for our newsletter - Penorama. If you don't already receive Penorama, you can subscribe here.

This month's artist is Will McCarthy, who is currently studying Computer Science and Philosophy at Oxford University, and mainly draws and paints people.

Here's the banner Will designed for us:

Cult Pens: Tell us a bit more about yourself?

Will: I’m currently studying Computer Science and Philosophy at Oxford University. I’ve always been into art and put a lot of time into it while I was at school. Since finishing art A-level and going to uni finding the time to do as much as I want to is difficult, but I know it’s something I’ll always do.

Cult Pens: How would you describe your work?

Will: I mostly paint and draw portraits. They tend to look quite geometric- I map out the form with straight lines and like to leave work with an unfinished appearance, which means the construction is often left behind. Apart from that I like to use large but precise brushstrokes in paintings and finer marks in drawings.

Cult Pens: What got you into drawing/illustration?

Will: I've always drawn and although I took a bit of a wavering path to get here, I don't think there was ever any question in my mind that I would end up doing something like this. There was a point where I thought I might get stuck forever working in a warehouse, but I think I'd have always drawn on the side as well even if that had happened.

Cult Pens: What got you started with drawing?

Will: I used to be quite into games. I remember one day I decided to try and draw all the Pokémon- I gave up about 50 in but I was hooked on drawing. I branched out into manga for a while. That was a good way into drawing because it was quick to produce and didn’t really require a model or reference. When I wanted to spend more time on pieces I started using photoshop, then physical mediums and started working from real people.

Cult Pens: What are your favourite subjects/topics to draw?

Will: People. I draw myself quite a lot but only because I’m the nearest person to hand- if I could get people to sit for a few hours for me that would be ideal.

Cult Pens: Where do you get your ideas or inspiration from?

Will: The internet mainly. Pinterest and Tumblr provide regular sources of new artists.

Cult Pens: What are you currently working on?

Will: Experimenting with acrylic paints!

Cult Pens: How long does it normally take to complete a project?

Will: It varies a lot.

Cult Pens: What are your top five pens or pencils?


Cult Pens: What pen or pencil couldn't you live without?

Will: OHTO Super Promecha Pencil PM-1500P.

Cult Pens: Do you know when a work is finished or are you constantly tweaking?

Will: Have to stop myself from coming back to tweak too often. Normally the longer I leave a painting without touching it the more I like it.

Cult Pens: What work are you most proud of?

Will: My final piece for A-level. It was a massive, colourful, not particularly flattering portrait of my Dad done with oil paints.

Cult Pens: What tips do you have for aspiring artists/illustrators?

Will: Spend as long as you can on your art but make sure you’re in the right frame of mind at the beginning of each session- there’s no point half practicing.

Constantly look for artists you like and want to paint/ draw like- they’ll keep you inspired and motivated.

The harder you find something to draw the more you’ll get from drawing it.

12 August 2015


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