Loosening up once again

For a couple weeks I’ve been trying fountain pens, but I really haven’t get used to them. I feel much tighter, thinking too much about holding the pen in such a way that it doesn’t skip.

Today I got out an 8B Kohinoor Progresso woodless pencil and a Prismacolor Sanguine pencil while having lunch at a nearby Subway. I hadn’t sketched that much in a while, so sketched the customers while in line waiting for their sandwiches.

I really liked how both felt on my Strathmore Windpower sketchbook; a bit messy because of the 8B, but I felt quick and loose. I like sketching here, lots of unsuspecting subjects pretty still for a couple minutes.


The Pen isn’t my Friend

I’ve been reading a lot about sketchers using fountain pens and I decided to see what all the fuss is about. I went to a local shop and purchased a Lamy Vista, medium nib and a bottle of Pelikan 4001 brown ink to start.

The pen is a joy to write with, but sketching with it is another story. I have the habit of rotating the pencil from when I started architecture school and drafted by hand. This is terrible for a fountain pen, it simply stops writing. This had never been a problem, as I always sketched with pencils or felt-tip pens.

Probably it just takes time to get used to, but anyway I simply don’t enjoy sketching with fine lines. I prefer the looser strokes with broader nibs like those of markers or pen brush.

Yesterday at lunch I tried to sketch with the pen and the drawing was feeling so tight I stopped, got out some Pitt art brush pens and tried to salvage it. I’ll give the pen a few more days, just because it looks so much nicer than a Sharpie, but if I can’t loosen up with it I’ll leave it at my desk. Here is the 15-minute sketch, done at Centro de Bellas Artes.


Directly to Color

I had to shelter from the rain at Cuartel de Ballaj√°. Actually I’m blogging from there right now; the non-stop shower, although light, hasn’t let me get to my destination.

A couple days ago I found in an art supply store, hidden among discontinued and obsolete items, two sets of six Design 2 markers. I felt like I was in American Pickers… The owner, an old friend, sold me each in $6. And they are really juicy!

I remembered I had them in my bag, so decided to give them a test ride. As part of the upcoming Urban Sketchers Symposium I’m taking a workshop that is about going directly to markers, no pencil or pen lines, so did the double test. Here is a pic of the sketch: