Friday, June 26, 2015

Summer Landscapes in Brush Pen

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sketching a field of St. John's Wort in the Summer Solstice
There's nothing like a brush pen on textured paper for awesome mark making when sketching a landscape. I absolutely adore the Pentel Pocket Brush Pen  which I'm finding available at more and more places. At $16 -$17 it might seems a bit pricey, but you can buy refills, so in the long run it's pretty economical.  Plus the tip is an actual brush made of long lasting nylon fibers, it's not just a flexible solid cone shaped nib like a lot of other "brush" tip pens. Also, the ink is jet black, really rich and bold and waterproof on most papers.
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 It took me a while to really fall in love with this pen. I absolutely liked it immediately, but it took me over a year to get accustomed to the boldness of the marks, and really get comfortable with sketches done with it being "me", since I was used to the thin refined line of a fountain pen, or the slightly bolder line of an ultra fine point sharpie. 

It also took me a while to figure out exactly how to work with it, and how to incorporate the deep black areas of shading I found myself wanting to add.

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There are times my sketches look like hand colored wood block prints (which I very OK with!) and other times , especially on paper with a texture that my sketches just sing with expressive line quality. 

I love this pen for subjects that I'm very comfortable with, like the landscape, but I still shy away from it with subjects that I find more challenging, like live and moving animals.  The boldness and blackness of the line makes "mistakes" terrifying. Of course I need to get over that, and I know I will as I gently push myself to use it a little bit more with challenging subjects. 

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