Monday, February 27, 2006

Ink spots

Many, many years ago I experimented with pen and ink, but not until fairly recently did I attempt anything on a grander scale. I armed myself with some basic Micron pens and started my adventure in ink.

These are the first attempts of 25 years ago.

Fast forward to 2005 and into a pen and ink class.
I located a Koh-i-Noor Rapidograph pen then quaked after with the horror stories everyone told me about how tempermental they were. I found none of the stories were true in my case. Either that or I lucked into a forgiving Rapidograph. I didn't intentionally abuse it, I used it. I also lost it. Temporarily. I went to Winnipeg and was drawing while waiting for a taxi to the airport and in the flurry of gathering things,forgot the pencil case with the pen in it. Luckily the hotel staff found it and mailed it to me. Two weeks later. First time I tried it, it worked. I left it standing for days and weeks on end despite threats that it would clog from others. Nope. Still worked. It stopped working only when it ran out of ink. I cleaned it, refilled it and its still going strong.

I llike Rapidographs, despite their price and their supposed temperment.

But I needed different sizes of nibs. And I liked colours that I saw. So I bought more Koh-i-Noors, but the Nexus line and found a true sepia colour that my first pen and ink drawing was done in.

Then I tried a new technique - stipple and wanted a smaller nib so I tried a Staedtler pen. Quick refills, clean, crisp lines and dots that I wanted for the pointillism effect I was looking for so I continued on with the next drawing using that pen. I now have an assortment of pens in an assortment of colours. Pen and ink is more forgiving that I imagined it would be providing that you have the bones of the drawing laid down in pencil before you make a mark in pen. It can be adjusted a little with tones by diluting ink with water and using different size nibs.

I still haven't had a chance to scan in some sketches done over the weekend. Tomorrow it will be done. But I will share a sketch done a long time ago. Its a simple and bright watercolour and makes me feel that winter will be gone soon. Rhubarb shoots pushing through the cold earth are one of the first true signs of spring here.

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