My Mushroom House

In my creative art experiences I enjoy experimenting with different types of art paper. Using fountain pens and inks allows me to use a variety from mixed media to watercolor type papers. When I come across a perfect pen & ink & paper combination I experience a lot of joy in creating my artwork. Here is one of them.

I had cleaned out some of my TWSBIs and filled them with more shimmering ink colors. I made a mistake in my swatch sample on the back of this post card paper. Apparently in my excitement I picked up the wrong GO pen that had Enchanted Ocean ink. That blue color is not in my sketch. Oooops!

There are so many shimmering particles in my sketch.

Pens: TWSBI Swipe in Pear Green with Stub 1.1 nib. TWSBI GO with Stub 1.1 nib.

Inks: Colorverse Brane. Robert Oster Heart of Gold and Thunderstorm. Diamine Red Lustre, Brandy Dazzle, and Cocoa Shimmer.

Paper: Strathmore Watercolor Postcard 4″x 6″

An Unfinished House

I started this sketch a few weeks ago and for some reason I had to stop working on it. It’s an unfinished piece that’s been sitting in my journal.

Here is my pencil sketch. This was a rare moment where I remembered to take pictures.

I used my fine line pens to redraw the lines I wanted to keep. I used my eraser to remove the unwanted and stray lines. I left out some of the roof tiles and brick work to let the viewer fill in their own details.

I used the Winter Spice color to fill in some of the roof areas.

I cleaned a few of my GOs and filled them with different ink colors. I’m hoping my mojo for this sketch will come back so I can finish this piece. My fingers are crossed.

Pens: TWSBI GO with Stub 1.1 nib. Copic Multiliner SP in 0.1mm & 0.3mm.

Inks: Robert Oster Thunderstorm. Van Dieman’s Ink Eucalyptus Regnans and Styx Valley Forest Green. Diamine Amaranth, Vintage Copper, Winter Spice, and Storm.

Journal: Stillman & Birn Alpha 5.5″x8.5″

My Whimsical House

Sometimes I just feel a bit whimsical. Enjoy!

Pens: TWSBI Swipe in Coral with Stub 1.1 nib. Uni Pin Fine Line pen in 0.1 and 0.3mm.

Inks: Colorverse Brane. Jacques Herbin Cornaline d’Egypte. Robert Oster Heart of Gold and Thunderstorm. Diamine Vintage Copper, Amaranth, Cocoa Shimmer, and Winter Spice.

Journal: Stillman & Birn Alpha Hardcover 4″x6″

A Simple House Sketch

When I saw a picture of a house with an interesting roof tile, I thought it would be too challenging to sketch and so I put the picture in the bottom of my pile to sketch later. Something was telling me to just roll up my sleeve and create the sketch. I often remind myself to push away the negative thoughts and self doubts and just do it. I’m sure I’m not the only that goes through this.

One key point I mention in my pen & ink workshop is not to compare your artistic skills with someone else. Many years ago, I used to struggle with this. I would see a watercolor painting and say to myself I want to paint just like that artist. Weeks later I would struggle, be disappointed, and stop painting.

When I started using fountains pens as a tool to create my artwork, I found an artistic style that was unique to me. With each new challenge I tackled, I gained much more experience and comfort to the way I sketched.

I was taken back at how simple it was to sketch the basic lines. I started with a rough sketch using with my pencil. I used my Copic pens to sketch over my pencil lines and areas I wanted to define. The remaining lines were erased.

The fun part of my sketching process is figuring out what inky colors I will use. I currently have a dozen TWSBI GOs filled with various ink colors. I make sure to have a color variety that includes reds, blues, yellows and other colors that fall in between.

As I apply my ink to paper, I’m constantly reminding myself to leave enough white space (paper). I’m also reminding myself to add darker colors for contrast and to add more depth.

I plan on recreating this sketch within the next three months to see how much my artistic style has changed.

Pens: Copic Multiliner SP 0.7mm and 0.1mm. TWSBI GOs with Stub 1.1 nibs.

Inks: Van Dieman’s Ink Morning Frost. Colorverse Brane (glistening). Robert Oster Thunderstorm. Diamine Vintage Copper and Winter Spice.

Journal: Stillman & Birn Alpha 5.5″ x 8.5″.

Random Sketch of a Wall

It appears I’m going through a shimmery-sparkly ink phase. I noticed most of my art fountain pens are filled with shimmering inks. I have to admit I enjoy seeing the shimmering particles in my sketches and especially when I’m moving my paper around at different angles.

I still have a few Diamine Inkvent inks in my GOs that were filled from last December when I was blogging about the daily ink colors. Yes, three months later and my pens are still writing. One yellow ink color (Candle Light) has slowly become a dislike for me. I felt as though the yellow leaning orange color was not working in my sketches. So that pen finally went into my cleaning bin.

I looked for another yellow color to add to my palette and went with Heart of Gold. This is a lovely and bright shimmering gold ink color. More shimmers!

For the last few weeks, my focus has been sketching buildings and I’m currently experimenting with a few shimmering brown colors that I have in my collection. Winter Spice has been fun to sketch with and leaves behind a lovely combination of green sheen and blue shimmers on my paper. It has a lot of personality for a brown ink.

I went ahead and filled another empty GO with Cocoa Shimmer. This is a lovely warm brown ink color with gold shimmers. A lovely subtle brown color. In my sketch above, I accidentally picked up Winter Spice and used it on the middle section of the wood. When I saw what I had done, I decided to use Cocoa Shimmer for the remaining wooden structure. It will be interesting to see how these two colors work together in my future sketches.

From the picture above you can see I’ve switched to a different journal for this sketch. I was trying out a wire bound Canson sketch journal for an upcoming project I’m working on. So far, it’s working nicely.

Pens: Copic Multiliner SP in 0.7 and 0.1mm. TWSBI GOs with Stub 1.1 nibs.

Inks: Van Dieman’s Ink Morning Frost. Colorverse Brane (Glistening). Robert Oster Heart of Gold and Thunderstorm. Diamine Vintage Copper, Winter Spice, and Cocoa Shimmer.

Journal: Canson Artist Mixed Media 138lb (224g) 5.5″ x 8.5″

Trying My Hand at Sketching a Double Door

I have been following a few artists and seeing lots of door sketches in my social media feed. I thought to myself I should give this a try. This self-inflicted challenge will help me get closer to (and comfortable with) sketching outside.

I picked up my chunky pocket journal and started sketching with my pencil. Once I had the main lines sketched, I went over the lines with my Copic pen. I wanted the doors to be my main focus. I used my Copic pen to add some curves and lines to give an illusion of wooden doors. For the surrounding areas I thought “less was better” and tried not to go into too much detail. Any remaining pencil lines that I could see on my paper were erased.

Unfortunately, I do not have a photo of my initial sketch to share with you. Once I get into my artwork, it’s hard for me to stop and remember to take a picture. I want to fill my paper with lovely inky colors immediately.

When I’m sketching with my fountain pen inks, I use whatever colors are in my TWSBIs. I tend to do my own thing and ignore color themes, color temperatures (warm or cold), and color theory. It makes it so much easier to just go with the flow and use what I currently have.

I have to give a shout out to my Copic pens. I like how they lay down a nice consistent line on my paper. I have not had any issues with this pigment ink smearing. Plus the pen feels good in my hand when I’m sketching and writing.

Pens used: TWSBI GOs with Stub 1.1 nibs. Copic Multiliner SP in 0.1.

Inks: Van Dieman’s Ink Morning Frost and Eucalyptus Regnans. Robert Oster Thunderstorm. Diamine Candle Light, Vintage Copper, and Winter Spice (Red Inkvent).

Journal: Stillman & Birn Alpha Hardcover (4″x6″).

A Simple Building Sketch

Oh my! I completed only one blog post for the whole month of February. I blame this blog-silence on my creativity. My creativity tends to come and go. Right now it has been going full force and I’m having a blast with it. I’ve been creating my pen & ink art on a daily basis. Some days I’m creating practice sketches and most days I’m creating real artwork. I’m in a happy state of mind.

I’m now finding some time to blog again and I’ve noticed my writing skills are a bit lacking. Bear with me as I try to remember how to write and punctuate my sentences correctly. I’m sure all of this will come back to me. Like riding a bicycle, right?

As I mentioned before I’ve been focusing on my pen & ink sketches and techniques. I’ve been working in two of my Stillman & Birn Alpha journals. The larger one is a soft cover in a size A5 (5.5″x8.5″) and I covered it with a few of my stickers I created using my Cricut Maker. The smaller black journal has a hardbound cover in a size 4″x6″. It’s a chunky pocket size journal and as you can see I have yet to decorate the cover.

I’ve been using my smaller journal for quick sketches and for sketching smaller objects. Also I’m using it to test new sketches or techniques. It’s so nice to work on smaller paper with immediate gratification.

A few weeks ago I made a transition from sketching gnomes to sketching buildings. I’ve been wanting to learn something new and “Urban Sketching” kept appearing on my radar. Actually, I’ve been wanting to do this type of sketching, but chickened out as I was not ready to sit outside and sketch buildings or sit in a coffee shop and sketch the surroundings. I was not ready to sit and sketch in public. For now, I’ve been practicing by sketching from photos.

I’m a decent sketcher when it comes to objects that sit on a table or desk. Like what I have for breakfast, my fountain pens, gnomes (from my mind), shells, flowers, etc. This is all good until I get bored. This is why I’m jumping on the Urban Sketching band wagon. Broadening my horizons. Learning something new and most importantly challenging myself.

I’ve attempted to sketch buildings and sometimes they come out wonky or flat looking. I hope to change that with lots of practice. Here’s my sketch of a simple building using my Copic Multiliner SP markers in 0.5 and 0.1.

I decided to use only two fountain pen ink colors in this pen & ink sketch. Black Ivy is turning out to be a new favorite color for me. You can see in my swatch how the ink starts out as a dark color with a red sheen and when I apply water to the ink it turns into this lovely green color.

I built up the layers of colors. At some point my paper started to buckle from the multiple layers I added.

My small journal sat on my desk for a few hours and the paper eventually settled down and flattened itself.

I enjoy using this journal and paper for my pen & ink art. It’s somewhat durable and accepts the many layers of colors I lay down. The only time I’ve had any bleed through was when I was “scrubbing” the paper with my water brush a bit too much. Other than that, I’ve been quite happy with this journal brand.

I’ll be back to share more sketches.

Pens used: TWSBI GOs with Stub 1.1 nibs. Copic Multiliner SP in 0.5mm and 0.1mm.

Inks: Diamine Black Ivy (Red Inkvent Calendar). Robert Oster Thunderstorm.

Journal: Stillman & Birn Alpha Hardcover (4″x6″) 150 gsm.