A peek into the making of Tyrekickers, a lyrics and calligraphy video.

My videos tend to highlight a particular obsession of mine at the time they’re made. This one is all about the shimmer.

Tyrekickers is a dreamy song, and it makes me think of afternoon sun slanting into abandoned cars and bouncing off mirrors.

When I make these videos, I steady elbow and forearm against the table. I use my left hand to shoot, and my grip is awkward at best. But it works. I use a Lumix GX7 with a Leica Macro-Elmarit 45mm lens. The blur while it’s autofocusing becomes my marker for edit points.

My fave lens

My fave lens

Sweet Billy Pilgrim songs have lyrics that float somewhere in between your heart and your head, and Tyrekickers is written with a sweet restraint.

“we stifle yawns
that show our teeth
sometimes days are just a promise that we keep
under arches
badly parked
we pick the locks of our lonely little hearts”

All that shimmers is gold

All that shimmers is gold

Putting on the glitz? Many calligraphers and artists use Finetec mica watercolors. These are almost of a gouache-like opacity when used relatively dry, so you can practically spackle on the golden glimmer if you so desire. Their creaminess gives them an almost 3D effect during application, with the pigment settling as it dries.

Outtake. Still shimmery. 💖

A video posted by Leigh Reyes (@leighpod) on

Galactic level shimmer

Galactic level shimmer

J. Herbin’s Emerald of Chivor is an ink that would be at home in the farthest reaches of the galaxy, where I hear they throw the best parties. Layer Finetec atop Emerald of Chivor and you get retina burn.

Early experiment: Finetec over EoC

Early experiment: Finetec over EoC

The bright bluish emerald blends with the gold at the edges, producing a glowing green.

Emerald of Chivor macro because

Emerald of Chivor macro because

Sailor Tokiwa Matsu with Magic Indian Summer

Sailor Tokiwa Matsu with Magic Indian Summer and other things

This video featured a lot of unusual nibs. I also used a Barch-Payzant lettering pen, a folded pen, and a simple straightedge of wood.

Fun tools

Fun tools

The Kremer pearl luster pigment went straight into the Newton Prospector, joining the KWZ Honey ink that was already in it.

Newton Pens Prospector with KWZ Honey ink and Kremer Pearl Luster pigment in Colibri Star Gold

Newton Pens Prospector with KWZ Honey ink and Kremer Pearl Luster pigment in Colibri Star Gold

This is a flexible fude music nib with an overfeed. (It’s like the Cthulhu of nibs. Or the Megazord of nibs. Anyhow, it can do many tricks.)

Flexible fude music nib

Flexible fude music nib

The Romillo nib installed in the Newton Shinobi also saw a fair amount of use in the video.

Romillo nib

Romillo nib

Paper can make or break an experimental technique. My old reliable is Daler-Rowney heavyweight paper. I’ve learned to appreciate the unpredictability of Yupo. Canson XL Marker paper allows fountain pen ink and watercolor to dry on its surface without feathering, and with minimal buckling when sprayed with water.

iMovie is unfussy and renders quickly enough for my purposes. Occasionally I’ll use the stabilizer function when I need a clip to be a touch less vertigo-inducing, but that’s about it apart from the occasional use of cross-dissolve.

iMovie workspace for Tyrekickers

iMovie workspace for Tyrekickers

Hope this peek into my process is useful. Yes, I do wish I could make more videos, and explore more techniques. Someone give me a Tardis.

  • Matthew Carr
  • Julie Paradise

    Awesome! Thank you for letting us drown in beautiful shimmer and dream!

  • Don

    Mesmerizing performance! Love the flex fude music nib. I didn’t know they existed.

  • Jon Buller

    Great art!

  • Winnie Poley Uffelmann

    So beautiful and so relaxing to watch.

  • http://www.gourmetpens.com/ Azizah Asgarali

    Gosh… you spoil us. Thank you for sharing your stunning work!!

  • Toni Antonetti

    Beautiful work and video — and love your choice of music!

  • Philip Akin

    As always truly lovely work Leigh. And thanks for the intro to Sweet Billy Pilgrim. I have two of their cd’s coming.

    Philip

  • Andrew Timar

    Congrats on your new video Leigh. What is that fude music nib and where did you get it?

  • http://leighreyes.com Leigh Reyes

    Hi Andrew! Just search “duke fude” on eBay. 🙂

  • http://leighreyes.com Leigh Reyes

    Hurray! I love their music.