Wednesday, November 17, 2021

ink drawings

 Ink, as in dip nib pen ink, is one of my oldest hobbies that I have begun to get back into.  What now, twenty years ago? The year 2000, so yes... I did this almost every day as part of my drawing training at NDSU - I would do large 18x24 sheet papers of ink in many colors.  It took lots and lots of patience and close vision - which I had back then, and time, which I also had in abundance even though I was going to school and working at the Michael's store. (I also did not sleep much then, either *ha*)

I tried a little bit when Esme was small, but didn't stick with it.  Some of my inks have deteriorated over that time and I had to replace them - the brown turned to a purple, the yellow to a brown, and the red mostly just clotted up and is unusable.  So, I ordered some replacements and they came in the mail last weekend.


Kentucky BlueGrass ink from the Birmingham Pen Company
and Higgins yellow drawing ink (new stock)
Paper study between Master's Touch Mixed Media, Grumbacher Mixed Media, Stonehenge drawing paper and a regular Master's Touch drawing paper.  The results?  Both of the mixed medias (which I have because they are diff. sizes and I was at diff. places when I bought them) have their own unique qualities that could be used to get an effect with the ink.   
The Grumbacher is smoother, but can pool and make dark spots with the ink and those spots can easily tear or 'rough' and look bad in the finished drawing.  But it is a brighter white and takes the ink more smoothly across it's surface.  The MT has a rough tooth, is sort of ivory colored, but also leaves 'high points', white spots where there wasn't enough ink to fill in the tooth and the top of the surface.  Each has give and take.  I have yet to make a tear or rough pool point in the MT.

A small porcelain tea bowl I purchased at a specialty tea shop with my husband many many years ago - and finally found again this year through a comedy of errors in my cleanup of the studio after my eye surgery.  It is now in my ink kit where it belongs.  The pen on the left is a regular pen with a regular nib.  The crow quill pen is in the middle and I don't like it (but I gave it another try).  The brush is a small camelhair brush and I do use it a lot.  The pen comes with various other nibs meant for calligraphy, but I tend to use the one with the sharpest fine point.  Some nibs like the ones by the bowl have reservoirs, that hold more ink in them.  The one that is on the pen in the picture does not have a reservoir.

I've recently been embracing the probable fact that I was supposed to be left hand dominant, but was trained with my right.  I made a post earlier this month about that revelation while trying to draw portraits again.  All of the drawings to follow were drawn with the left hand only.

Manx Kittens Lyffan and Loki
in a mixed ink of 10 year+ brown and new red
which turned out sort of ruby or cranberry colored

Wood Thrush 

drawn the day the new brown ink came, with a nib that does not retain and needed to be dipped every third stroke or so - I then changed it out to one that had a small reservoir, and have been using that one since.  Although, it must be taken care at the end of writing or drawing to either 'draw it dry' or stroke on a piece of cork or ragged paper until all the ink is drawn out and it is as clean as it can be.  I used to have pen cleaner - but I never used it, and it went dry before I opened it.  I find 'drawing it dry' useful and leads to some interesting things, little sketches or lines of poetry sometimes.

 Hazelnut / Filbert tree

only one color of ink here - the new brown, but the 'fresh' ink in the pen is super dark, and as it lessens it becomes more of a 'tea' than a full ink of the pigment and gets lighter and lighter until the pen is dry and must be re-dipped.  This is something that can be used to advantage in drawing, but it will take practice.

No comments: