This is part two of the current series on tools changing the way that you draw. Specifically pens! You can see part one here.
Today I’ve putting up three sketches of musician and artist John Lurie.
He has had a series on HBO about his life on a Caribbean island. It’s a show where he paints and chats, and then interacts with his housekeeping staff and some locals (though not many). I find it an interesting show to watch and have enjoyed sketching him.
The opening image is done with a solid fiber tipped brush pen that is starting to get a little dry so the line is breaking up. I’m working in a hand made book that is about 8 inches square and contains Fabriano Artistico hot press watercolor paper.
There’s a sort of sparseness to the detail I included as the old brush tip was pretty floppy and not controllable. (Tools matter.)
On this second page spread (the same journal, small hot press watercolor paper), I used my go to pen, the Pentel Brush Pen (fine tip, pigmented ink, grey squeezy body). I added ink washes to that sketch (on the left).
The next day, while watching another episode I used a very dried out Sakura Pigma Professional Brush pen, which has a solid fiber tip. I used it to scribble and feel around for the different features.
Tools dictate a number of things to us—how fine or bold we can go with one stroke, how much detail we can fit into the same scale or space, and of course, if the tool is drying out, how limited a value range we actually have.
I think you can see that from the three portraits I’m showing here.
When we keep in mind the attributes and limits of our drawing tools we can use them to best advantage, or have fun pushing them out of their comfort zone.
Have some more fun this week drawing the same subject with different drawing tools.