Why Sketch From Nature?

I don’t think I can say it much better than British artist Frank Brangwyn, but I’ll add my own thoughts, too. “Get some paper and a pencil. Not a beautifully bound sketch book – they’ll be afraid to spoil the paper! I often sketch on the back of an old envelope. Fear is the first […]

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August Flowers In Pen And Ink

I sketched some of the flowers in our garden yesterday morning and worked directly with the pen, no pencil underdrawing. From sitting in one spot on my rucksack/stool I did Gaura Lindhemeri, Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ and the still-green seed heads of a Papaver somniferum. I used a Pilot Kakuno pen with a Pilot Black Namiki cartridge […]

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Getting Started: Seeing Simple Shapes, Part 2

Continuing on from Part 1, which you can read here, I want to show you another way to approach seeing the big shapes and capturing those before you dive into detail. At the top is a finished pen and ink drawing of a white rhino. But you can draw just this… and anyone who has […]

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Testing My Current Inks for Water Resistence

I did this test last week because I’d like to be able to combine dip pen drawings and watercolor for working on location, either drawing first or watercolor first or back and forth, my choice without having to worry about it. The former means that I need ink that can take as wet a wash […]

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Sketches & Photos From Our Spring Trip

Last month we took a short trip down to Santa Rosa and then came back on Highway 1 via Bodega Bay and Fort Bragg. We stayed two nights in Fort Bragg at the Beach House Inn. Super dog-friendly and the rooms have balconies overlooking an estuary. We saw lots of birds, including a pair of […]

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Trees And Plants- Nib Try-outs

I’ve spent the last three mornings “test driving” a variety of dip pen nibs. There are quite a few nibs intended for drawing, but most were made just for writing. Some are very fine, some make a heavier line, others are monoline or do both thick and thin lines. Most are not expensive, one to […]

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New Nib Try-outs! And A Step-by-Step Demo.

This last couple of months or so I’ve been working my way through the nibs I’ve purchased that were specifically designed for drawing and drafting. For whatever reason, possibly because there weren’t as many made as the ones for writing or perhaps artists/draughtsmen (no “draughtswomen” back in the day) were harder on them, they can […]

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Combining Pen And Ink Sketches & Lettering

I’ve been having fun getting back to not only sketching and drawing in dip pen and ink, but also returning to handlettering. Which is actually full-circle for me since I started using dip pens, including feather quills, for the first time in the 1970s for calligraphy, specifically medieval illumination. Then I worked in a sign […]

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Working With A Two-Nib Technique

I got my dip pen and ink out this past Friday morning after toning some canvas panels for upcoming paintings. I’ve been accumulating quite a few old pen and ink instruction manuals, mostly via archive.org, but also “real” books. At least a couple have mentioned that some drawings may require two or even three nibs. […]

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