It has been a long, long time since I engage in one of the Virtual Paintouts. After joining the Urban Sketchers I have exclusively sketched on location, but tonight i was bored and wanted to practice with the bamboo pen.
This month the group is sketching via Google Street View at Isle of Man. I only had heard before of the place because it is home to my former side job, Pokerstars… Here’s my sketch for tonight, done with a bamboo pen, a kabob skewer and Higgins ink on 11×14 smooth Bristol board.
This may probably the last sketch of 2012, but is certainly my last post of 2012. We’re waiting for the New Year in my home, just family and arghh, no beer! I forgot to go to the store… I only have “coquito”, too sweet for me. I did the sketch with a kabob skewer, dippin on Higgins ink.
Thanks to everyone for your visits, comments and likes. Hope next year is great for you all. See ya on 2013!
I’ve been reading a lot about sketchers using fountain pens and I decided to see what all the fuss is about. I went to a local shop and purchased a Lamy Vista, medium nib and a bottle of Pelikan 4001 brown ink to start.
The pen is a joy to write with, but sketching with it is another story. I have the habit of rotating the pencil from when I started architecture school and drafted by hand. This is terrible for a fountain pen, it simply stops writing. This had never been a problem, as I always sketched with pencils or felt-tip pens.
Probably it just takes time to get used to, but anyway I simply don’t enjoy sketching with fine lines. I prefer the looser strokes with broader nibs like those of markers or pen brush.
Yesterday at lunch I tried to sketch with the pen and the drawing was feeling so tight I stopped, got out some Pitt art brush pens and tried to salvage it. I’ll give the pen a few more days, just because it looks so much nicer than a Sharpie, but if I can’t loosen up with it I’ll leave it at my desk. Here is the 15-minute sketch, done at Centro de Bellas Artes.
I’ve been wanting to use color inks on location, but still haven’t found a practical way to take my inks around. I would love to have separate pen brushes, but apparently the ink would clog the brushes.
This was actually a color test done with Higgins inks with a Cotman brush; then the random blots remembered me of a plaza in Old San Juan and from memory sketched over the washes with a dip pen with black ink. It’s not close to the real thing, but it was a fun exercise. I need to somehow get those colors to the field.
Here’s another quick sketch while taking a break in between jobs; spent around 25 minutes doing this one. I watercolored first, then used the Sharpie and then did a couple shadows with a greyish lavender Copic marker.
I did a few sketches yesterday with different media, charcoal pencil, graphite pencil, markers, pen brush and a felt tip point pen. Some of them were done while watching the Super Bowl with a group of excellent friends. I like that switching media keeps me exploring and even feels like I’m playing.
Here are a couple of sketches I did yesterday with the pen brush. The first one was a 10 minute sketch while at lunch. I colored it with Faber Castell Pitt Artist pens. The second one was done in-between jobs, in around 20 minutes, while having coffee at Café Cuatro Sombras in Old San Juan. I used watercolors with a Pentel waterbrush.
As always, there are parts of each sketch I really like, mixed in with ones that not so much. In the first one I like how the were defined with very few lines. In the second one I love how the barista with his full apron and the checkered floor pattern came out.
Color-wise, I like the man’s shirt a lot, probably because it is very different from the actual shirt. Don’t know why it is so difficult for me to improvise colors with the watercolors. I need to try using them more saturated to see if it makes a difference.
Lately I’ve been trying to do some more experimentation with other media. I found a pen brush I had bought a while ago next to my son’s box of crayons, so decided to take them for a test ride.
First of all, I’m in love (once again) with the pen brush; it’s responsiveness is unlike any other pen or marker I’ve tried. It’s barely controllable (at least at first) so it is a bit tricky. However, the range of lines I’ve been able to get with it, from broad strokes to hair-fine lines, is phenomenal.
Then the crayons… I thought that the contrast between the rough crayon and the smooth ink line would be very interesting. Maybe it’s the paper which isn’t rough enough, but I’m not thrilled about how the crayon came out. Maybe it’s a combination of the size and texture of the paper that isn’t helping, so I haven’t discarded the experiment yet. At this point I believe that a loose watercolor splash or a few selected marker strokes would’ve worked better.
Or with a high liter, perhaps? Hmm…