Let it Bleed!

12 July, 2016. Today I dedicated my afternoon to experimentation. I need to do this now and again just to stay fresh. Rather than perfect black lines, I wanted to draw with more of a sienna-toned ink that would bleed when re-wetted. I like how this sort of thing tends to compliment a more organic approach to drawing.

After visiting the Pen Place at Crown Center  to research colored inks, I found that Noodler’s met my objective. When inked onto Aquarius II paper, a damp brush and washes of watercolor reactivate the line work. It’s also easy to get a little “heavy handed” with the washes, which happened in my second sketch (below). To avoid that “coloring book look” I’ll remember to leave some key areas of white – “unfinished” looks has more energy than filling the sheet with color.

I’m preparing a couple of commissioned sketches at the moment, which rely on black inked lines and more carefully applied washes of color (above). My drawing pens are loaded with black Noodler’s at the moment and I am not going to buy another pen just to “test the waters” with today’s ink bleed experiment. So while I’m using my Lamy for the commission work, a dip pen is being employed for the playful sketching exercises. I don’t use dip pens very often and I was concerned that the fountain pen ink might be too thin for the purpose. But I needn’t have worried: it flowed perfectly. It was also fun to use the dip pen and will likely try to do more with it.

By the way, none of today’s sketches technically count as “urban sketching.” (And I’m perfectly fine with that.) I pulled some of my reference photos from last year’s trip to Alsace and used them as a starting point for today’s experimental sketches. (Meaning, of course, that I sketched at my drawing table in the comfort of an air conditioned room rather than the 99% humidity/95 degree temperatures outside today.) Today’s tools included a 513EF Hunt Globe bowl point steel pen, Noodler’s “Beaver” color, Koi brush pen, and watercolor.



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