Sketching with a brush pen

16 January, 2016. It’s Restaurant Week, a particular favorite time of year for people like me who enjoy fine cuisine. Kicking things off right, we began the week closer to our Northland home with lunch in the bar area of Trezo Mare. Over the years I’ve made quite a few paintings of diners and dining. Joining me for a meal, conversation often goes quiet as my sketchbook and pen emerge and I begin to ignore my table and begin to draw the people and place. Getting engaged in the process, I make little attempt to disguise the fact that I’m sketching. Aside from curious servers I find I’m seldom aware of any attention, but I’ve been told that other patrons are generally curious to see that I’m drawing and sometimes make poorly camouflaged detours to casually look over my shoulder.

The past couple of weeks I’ve given my Lamy Safari pen a break from duty and have been drawing with a Pentel brush pen in its stead. I’ve always liked the look of brush drawings but have never found a brush pen that I liked very much. The Pentel is my favorite so far, but nevertheless it’s still somewhat strangely dissatisfying for some reason – not the drawings themselves, but the actual act of using the brush pen.

I’ve no reason to replace the Lamy in my tool kit, nor any desire to do so. Rather than the Pentel getting used as a solo drawing instrument, I’ll very likely use it to supplement the Lamy in sketches that might benefit from having a greater variety of line weights, or to quickly block in shadow areas. I don’t lightly consider adding anything to my kit. I’ve no desire to haul around a bunch of drawing crap – a pen and book are already cumbersome enough.

Later in the day we found ourselves in the Northeast, dining at Ophelia’s on the Independence Square. The place was quiet as a church due to the fact that the Chiefs playoff game had pulled regular patrons away to sports bars and game parties. A few tables were occupied, and a piano provided soft background music. The place was kind of dark, and I had made an awesomely poor choice of tables: the line of sight to the piano was far from a clear shot. Oh well. (Pentel brush pen in Canson sketchbook, Kansas City and Independence, Missouri. Approximately 6 x 9 inch pages.)

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