More Alun Armstrong and More Messing about with a Dried Out Pen

October 13, 2021
Sketch with a dried out Sakura Pigma Professional Brush Pen FB on a page in a handbound book I made using the OLD Winsor and Newton Hot Press Watercolor paper, approx. 8 inches square.

I keep returning to Alun Armstrong the subject of my 31-day March 2021 project—I keep finding more drawings that didn’t get scanned because my backup equipment failed. (Issues still not resolved, making it very interesting here.)

I just wrote a post last week about using a dried out brush pen and if you missed that post and the portrait sketching demo it included you can check it out here.

Here’s a detail from today’s sketch. You can see there isn’t much ink left in the pen, see left, hair area. But I was able to force it and get some darker values. The problem is there comes a time, and it depends too on the paper, when the tip of this particular pen is too soft and worn, as well as dry and you run a risk of getting annoying dry blobs at the end of your strokes. You can see those in the detail image too. Let this be a cautionary tale to you. At the point get up and get another pen! But don’t beat yourself up if you are having so much fun that you don’t want to stop to get a new pen but just want to gut it out. I made my choice and I’m happy with it! 

The great thing about Alun Armstrong is that when you sketch him no one can really say you got carried away on the eyebrows. They really are that marvelously wonderful and wild. Unlike Dick’s eyebrows (which threaten to take over the world) Armstrong’s eyebrows are dark. I find those infinitely more engaging to sketch.

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