I’ve done pen and ink work for a LONG time, since the mid-1970s. Back then I used Speedball and then Brause steel nibs for lettering, along with turkey quills for medieval and celtic illumination. For commercial work it was Rapidiograph technical pens or bust. I recently unearthed a folder with tearsheets of drawings I did for various clients and for myself, mostly from the 1990s when I freelanced as an illustrator and also a graphic designer (which I’d been since the late 1970s, including five years working in a sign shop). I found a couple of pieces with a holiday theme and thought I’d start by sharing them.

This was fun job I did for our local PBS station. I love doing research so off the to library I went since, in 1995 as yet there was barely an internet, no Google, no Wikipedia. Illustrators back then had to build up their own “scrap files” of what they could find tear out of magazines and other print media. I still have three 3-draw filing cabinets with a fair amount of that material. Trains aren’t exactly my thing but I had fun drawing this great old engine with a variety of Rapidograph nibs on hot press illustration board.

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