Saturday, October 11, 2014

Again #inktober and a note on the care of brushes

This post is mostly made up of drawings I have done for the #inktober challenge.

For the 7th I wanted to do something with my dip pen and my new ink (Pelikan), so for once in this challenge I just winged it. I started with the snowman and went from there. The resulting landscape is totally out of my imagination. I am not happy with it, but didn't have time or energy to do anything else so I went with it. One thing I did learn from this quick sketch is I need to practice drawing clouds. And yes those are supposed to be clouds in the sky not mountains.

I spent more time with prep work for the drawing for the 8th. This is one of the feral cats my neighbor is feeding. I am off and on trying to get semi good photographs of all of them, and at some point hope to draw them all. I think there are 4 or 5, most of them I have at least one semi good image of, but there is one who is very shy and I have yet to really capture.

This is the grey tabby that I have sketched before. For this image I restored the ear which isn't all there in the real cat.

I used my technical pens for this drawing using mostly the very fine tipped 3X0 pen, though for the stipple work I used the 0 tip. I wasn't in the mood to be stippling forever, and besides the cat was sitting on a concrete step so the courser stipple more reflects the rough surface. I see things now that I am not totally happy with but for the most part I think it came out well.

After the cat I wanted to draw something less elaborate for the 9th. And I had been thinking about hauling out one of my brushes and doing something with brush work and ink instead of just pen. For a simple seasonable subject I thought pumpkins. 

I am semi pleased with the result. I like the shadows, but I don't like the all the black lines I used on the pumpkins. I started with those and added the shadows later when I should have done it the other way around, put the in the shadows and then added a few black/dark lines. I think I need to try something else with brush and ink to see if I learned anything from this experiment. 

Oh there are a few pen lines here also, I used a pen to put in the stems and added some lines to the background and foreground after I had done all the brush work. 

One further note on the care of brushes. India Ink has shellac in it which will damage brushes if not washed out. So when I finished with the brush I rinsed it first in clean water until I got  most of the ink out. Then I put a drop of dish washing soap in the palm of one hand and proceeded to rub the wet brush into the soap, pushing bristles around so that the soap was worked thoroughly into the brush, it is amazing how much ink can be cleaned out this way. Then I rinsed the brush in clean water and wiped it on a paper towel to check for ink. If I had seen any I would have redone the soap step. 

A last comment try to not dip the brush too far into the ink, you want to keep ink out of the ferrule if you can. Ink or even paint in that area of the brush can bleed into other colors when the brush is next used. 

After the disaster with the clouds in my pen and ink landscape I thought I should practice drawing clouds so on one of my shopping trips I sketched the above. Not totally happy with it, even though it is pencil and not ink, I think I need more practice.  I can understand why landscape painters in the past did many cloud studies. 

Yesterday instead of going back to the MFA I felt I should visit some different museums so I headed off to Harvard Square and the Peabody and Harvard Natural History museums. I did make some photographs there but won't inflict them on my reader at this point. Instead I have a photograph of Cambridge and some Harvard University buildings to share. Bicycles seem to be the mode of transportation in and around Harvard, so here is one on MA Ave. with some fall foliage in the background.

That is it for today, per usual comments are welcome.