Song Sparrow

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11″ x 15″, Dr. Bombay India Ink on Khadi watercolor paper

I didn’t plan this one out too much, just did a simplified pencil drawing of the Song Sparrow perching on the cup plant based on a photo I had taken. I let it sit for a day as it looks on the right, but in the morning light, I realized I had to do something drastic to get some contrast into it, so I used India ink straight and brushed it around the leaves. It’s now very dramatic and, I think, far more interesting.

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Grackles in Ink

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More grackles. They’re so expressive.

12″x18″, India ink on Khadi smooth watercolor paper

I purposefully held back on this one. If I did this again, I’d probably spend more time on the plants (yellow pond lily or Spatterdock). I don’t think I’d add linework but would use more layering. I’d like to think I used restraint for once, but I think it’s more honest to say I wasn’t certain what to do so I stopped. In the end, it has a rather print-like feeling.

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Beach Chairs in India Ink

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10″ x 14, India ink on Khadi watercolor paper

About six months ago I splurged and purchased a reusable fineliner/brush pen called the Lumos Pro by Tom’s Studio. I used it quite a bit, enjoying the fact that I could use fountain pen ink in a clever wick-filling pen, and I could interchange the nibs. However, I ran into some problems when using handmade paper. The ink would stop flowing. On a more hot-pressed or smooth paper, it worked just fine.

For my birthday, I again treated myself to another small company artist’s pen. This one is the Indigraph, a fountain pen made specifically for India ink with a small water reservoir in the cap that keeps the ink from drying out. It works great. This pen is more usable on handmade paper than the Lumos, but the nib does get paper fibers stuck in it, so I have to be a little careful.

Indigraph is on top, and the Lumos Pro is on the bottom.

Between the two, I’m a little more fond of the Indigraph. It’s a comfortable pen, and I find a fountain pen nib works well with a variety of paper types, and India ink is such a wonderful, permanent medium. I far prefer the Indigraph’s design because it’s so easy to twist off the cap. The Lumos is difficult–the threads are just too fine for me. However, they’re both lovely, and every pen and ink drawing I’ve done in recent months has used one or the other, with the exception of the recent ballpoint pen drawing.

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