When I think of fountain pens it takes me back to my childhood and my parents’ fountain pens. While I use black for drawing, my parents’ pens used blue ink for writing. There was always a fascination for me, the elegant case, the stylish point, the beautifully written script, in blue ink on writing paper, the old fashioned, thin but sturdy writing paper, slightly translucent. A lever on the side of the pen used to refill the pen with ink, part of the writing ritual.
In drawing class we used a dip pen; it has a tip like a fountain pen but no reservoir for the ink. There was always some tension for me, a slight worry about when the pen would run out of ink.
I am a favorite pen type of person. I tried Micron pens which ran out of ink too fast and ball point pens which leaked globs of ink on my drawings. I never imaged it would be so easy to draw and write with a fountain pen. My new favorite pen.
pen and ink portrait
My friend C protests she is not an artist but every year she takes a road trip on which she makes pen and ink landscapes. I am impressed. It takes me years before I am brave enough to abandon my pencil and eraser. Favorite pen #2, Platinum Fountain Pen, Preppy, Fine Nib, Black (PPQ-200-#1)
TV sketch plus, Scottie. Added a splash of watercolor. I am aiming for an Egon Scheile style of drawing. Pen, ink, and watercolor.
Reference sketch from the LOC on flickr; Amelia, ca 1915. Pen and ink on paper.
Reference sketch, from the LOC on flickr, Onishiki, sumo wrestler ca 1915. Pen and ink, on paper.
Another TV sketch, Arabella. Pen and ink on paper.
I like his mustache; Captain Walter Crosley, ca 1915. Old photographs fascinate me; reference photograph from the Library of Congress (LOC) which has a wonderful flickr site. Pen and ink on paper.
Quick Sketch : Young Gil
Ink on paper. I call these TV sketches as I sketch them while I’m watching a show. One doesn’t have time to be fussy, so the line work remains fresh. I used scrap paper and you can see some of the text from the back side bleed through. I have a sketch book, but where are they when you want one…
DIY Drawing Charcoal Holder
Another DIY, do it yourself, project using recycled materials. Working with charcoal can be a messy affair. There are times when using a charcoal holder not only keeps your hands cleaner but it can also give you more control. This charcoal holder can be used with the slim vine or compressed charcoal.
Materials & Supplies
- Bamboo: Dried bamboo stalks can be found at decorator and florist shops.
- Packing wire
You will need a bamboo stalk with an opening the diameter of your charcoal. I was able to use the bamboo from an orchid plant; the bamboo was used to hold up the flower stem. Make sure your bamboo has nodes as divider segments
From the divider node of the bamboo, measure an inch up, toward the top where the charcoal will be, and mark. The node keeps the bamboo from splitting completely.
Put the bamboo in a vice with the bottom facing up. The vice will hold the bamboo while you saw. Make the first cut, saw down the shaft of the bamboo to the 1″ mark. You can wrap tape around the shaft at the bottom end to hold bamboo together while you saw down the shaft. Remove the tape.
Wind the wire around the shaft, not too tight as you will want to slide it up and down. Make a wire stop to keep the wire from sliding off the bamboo. With the saw, gently score around the shaft of the bamboo, about a third of the way down the shaft from the bottom end. Apply glue in the score and wrap the wire around the glued scored area and let it dry for a day.
To decorate the charcoal holder, wrap the shaft with yarn.
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Tagged art, charcoal, charcoal holder, DIY, do it yourself, drawing, sketching, technique, tool, vine charcoal
On the Road with a Travel Kit for Watercolors
My small Altoid tin houses a few pans of watercolors: hansa yellow, undersea green, burnt sienna, alizarin crimson, indigo, ultramarine blue, quinacrodon gold. Also included are few fine tipped markers and a pentel water brush, and a Strathmore watercolor journal. This is the first time for this kit with these tools and colors. This kit is setup for tropical climates on the coast. Artist Cathy Johnson has a wonderful YouTube video on all her travel kits, she has many. She keeps a kit in the glove compartment of her car. Such a good idea! It’s a good thing, as Martha would say ;o)