Dry Pens Are Sometimes the Most Satisfying

April 10, 2020



I made this sketch one evening while watching television.

I hadn’t been able to draw anything that day. Sitting next to me I had a lovely handmade journal I made with the old Gutenberg paper which has a lovely laid texture, flecks and a creamy yellow color. It loves pen  and ink. 

But I wasn’t going to be able to go into the studio and get a new pen because Dick had already gone off to bed.

So I made due with the pen I had (a Sakura Pigma Professional Brush Pen FB). I kept scribbling, putting in values, and making patterns—like in the sweater.

And each line was a great joy. I look at this sketch and the clunky areas don’t bother me at all. I savor the negative space and I simply remember all the fun  of making that pen give up its last bit of ink. (I still used it for several more days!)

Of course I talked to my students about pattern and mark making after this. Sweaters. My new favorite thing—wait I guess not; I have a category that is “wallowing in patterns.” I must feel this way often. I’m so glad.

    • Pat Shorten
    • April 11, 2020

    When my pens dry out I pry the back off or pull out the tip – whatever I can get open and I add a few drops of water. Have a sepia toned Micron 05 that I have done this to at least three times – I keep expecting the color to get lighter or completely run out but it hasn’t and get this, it’s still (seemingly) waterproof. I can’t explain it… done this with Tombows and Zigs and it works well. If you are going to toss them in the bin – try it, what do you have to lose!

    1. Reply

      That’s a fun idea. My point though is that I like the quality of the dried out pen line. If it started working well again I’d have less fun. When I’m absolutely sure I’ve got nothing left in it I’ll have to try and get the base off (it’s a thin sliver of an end cap and may be melted on?) or pull the tip out and see if I can get that off. Everything else is one piece.

      I used to use the Faber Castell Pitt Calligraphy pens a lot, but then started using different papers so I don’t use them as much. I loved them when they dried out also. But after a full barrel of ink’s worth of work the tip would start to wear—and you could take the tip out easily and put it in again and have a new edge. It was a nice feature to work with.

  1. Reply

    Love IT Roz!

    1. Reply

      I so glad you enjoyed this one. I hope you also enjoy the sketch on the new beige paper!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Close Cookmode

Pin It on Pinterest