Back to watercolor!

17 April, 2015. For whatever reason, I tend to work mostly in pen over the winter months. Perhaps it’s the greening of foliage, but as Spring and Summer emerge I begin to work in watercolor again. This is a small sketch using my favorites: a Lamy Safari medium nib pen, a number 10 red sable round, and my portable kit of half pan watercolors which is made up of my preferred hues from a variety of manufacturers.

I began with a very quick sketch in a small Moleskin sketchbook, using a Pilot Varsity fountain pen. I’ll often do a quick scribble like this one before investing more time in a slightly more detailed sketch, just to make sure it’s worth pursuing further.

My first step is to loosely place the main shapes with light pencil strokes and then mark in accurate, but purposefully simple line work. I try to keep the pen in motion so that I don’t lose the energy of the sketch.

Next, I will use a brush pen to block in some dark areas. This helps to focus attention on important areas of the drawing. Still pretty loose!

It’s important to make sure all the black lines are very dry before throwing down washes of color. If the ink hasn’t quite cured, the black may bleed and contaminate the color. Notice that I tend to use color temperature for contrast, and to create the illusion of depth.

And this is the kit I most enjoy using – small, portable, and a perfect companion to my Lamy Safari pen. By the way, I almost never use the travel brush that came in the kit, preferring a full size brush instead.


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