Sunday, March 15, 2009

Pen & portrait

I've been working on a number of projects that have been curtailed a little due to this problem with my shoulder, so I've worked on little pieces that don't need to be on the easel which limits arm movement.

This little portrait was done in my colourful sketchbook. Its a treat to even choose which page to use for a drawing and anticipating how it will fit and look on the swirl of colours. This piece was done in pen and ink, freehand, just seeing how brave I could be with the finite marks that the pen makes. There are some things I could change but for now its just a simple exercise so no need to return and fiddle.

I used to be very fearful of pen and ink, but now I quite enjoy using it. I like the finished look of an ink drawing as well as the process of doing it. It can be quick and simple or very detailed and time consuming.

I'm working on a fish piece that's posted on Watermarks today. I'm using pointillism to create the effect of pigmentation and shadingon the fish. Its a slow technique but becomes rather hypnotic as you complete dot after dot, almost like sending out Morse code messages for hours. It also becomes rather addictive too.

Ink is also a lot more forgiving than I originally thought it would be, especially in looser pieces. You can easily 'hide' a mistake under layers of shading in ink. I have a variety of pens and different coloured inks but invariable return to my .25 Rapidograph and black or sepia ink. I love the fineness of the nib and will invest in a couple of finer yet nibs to be able to work details with more precision.

Reviews of Rapidograph pens often list them as tempermental and clogging readily but I have to say that I don't follow the rules with them of cleaning and daily use and they've not let me down, except to run out of ink.

And finally a little song that's stuck in my head for days, now for my daughter, who's headed to Las Vegas today. The Weepies - Vegas Baby.


Rose Welty said...

Jeanette, I totally agree with your thoughts on pen and ink. For a beginner, I do think there are a few awkward stages to get through. But, once you achieve some confidence in your strokes so that they are not tentative, pen and ink becomes magically freeing. I have certainly found this.

As well, I bought a radiograph largely on yours and others recommendations and have found it to be true. I don't have problems with clogging. I love the fine nibs as well. I'm sure some have had a clog at the end of a large piece and it has created violent emotions. For me though, it hasn't happened.

Hope the shoulder is healing...

Anita said...

There are so many different ways to use pen and ink - I can't be doing with all that stippling thing but had a friend who did the most wonderful paintings using pen and ink washes - the colours were luminous!
Love the fish!
Rest that arm!

Jennifer Rose said...

your fish looks great :D I love using pointillism on a piece, its very calming for me. I haven't used and Rapidograph pens before, I use Staedtler pigment liners mostly because its what I can find here pretty easily

hope your shoulder heals fast

Terry Banderas said...

Your lame shoulder seems to be allowing you to try more art like your pen and ink drawings. Color washes with ink is so much fun. Glad to see you doing it. Hope your shoulder heals.