Monday, April 27, 2015

Bridge over the Middle Brook

Another beautiful Sunday and another opportunity to paint.  I am enjoying the surreal effect and look of watercolor on top of "activated" ink from the elegant writer.

              "activated" elegant writer marker and watercolor on 140lbs block 9X12

Friday, April 24, 2015

Calligra-Friday and Backyard Tree!

Calligra-Friday and my neighbor's tree collide in today's post.  I wanted to try out my new Caran D'Ache watersoluble wax pastel crayons, and what better subject that my favorite tree?  Exactly.  And to complete the sketch, I found this quote from Hal Borland.  The quote was a perfect compliment, especially using Pilot Isoshizuku chiku-rin ("Bamboo Forest" yellow green) ink. 

                     Watersoluble crayons and chiku-rin (Isoshizuku) ink on 180lbs paper

The Brause No. 361 "Blue Pumpkin" nib is notoriously difficult to control for mere mortals like myself (the nib exhibits a great degree of flexing but holds limited amounts of ink when dipped and therefore runs out of ink quickly).  People have created nib reservoirs for the Pumpkin (and the Rose) with masking tape.  It works, but is only a temporary solution.  However, I saw someone on the interwebs take a reservoir from Brause Bandzug italic nib and attach it to the Pumpkin.  And wow, does that little reservoir make a huge difference.  Glad I have my own personal McGuyver in Tina who kindly did the nib "surgery" for me.

Friday, April 17, 2015


One of my favorite quotes from my favorite book.  The nib fought me on this.  I tried a temporary nib reservoir (but the tape fell off) and without it the ink did not flow well. Not my best effort (I need to work on my flair). . .but not bad.

                       Murasaki-Shikibu (Isoshizuku) ink on rhodia dot paper

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Lake Creighton

This past Sunday was a beautiful day.  The perfect day for a hike and a painting.  For this piece I once again used the elegant writer pens for the initial sketch.  And unlike the eagle, I added watercolor over the top of the activated pen.  This marks a bit of a departure from my normal style (what ever that is) as this looks more surreal than anything else I have ever done (which is kinda cool).  There is a bit of "mud" where watercolor wash met still wet pen ink (I need to be more patient) but over all, I am quite pleased with this. 

           "activated" elegant writer marker and watercolor on 9X12 140lbs paper

Friday, April 10, 2015

Eagle Eye View

I saw this awesome instructional video by Karlyn Holman on the Cheap Joe's youtube channel on how to make incredible and unique washes using the Speedball Elegant Writer calligraphy pens.  I never would have thought to try this, but it is so cool.  I love how the ink creates blue-gray washes when the ink is activated with water.  And if you dab a particularly wet wash with a napkin, it lifts up pink!  How crazy is that?!? All of this great gradation of color from one pen. I initially intended to add watercolor to the sky but decided this picture did not need color.  To show how wild the washes are, I posted the black and white drawing is below.

                          "activated" elegant writer marker on 9X12 140lbs paper

                               The simple black and white of the drawing.

Friday, April 03, 2015

Calligra-Friday Begins!!

Those who have seen my handwriting are always surprised to hear I did calligraphy (in a time before computer fonts).  It has been decades since I have put nib to paper in a meaningful way.  To flex those muscles (and play with new toys), I have begun practicing.  Every Friday I will try to post the results of my practice by writing out a passage, poem or quote from the many books I find inspiring.  This one comes from "A Guide for the Advanced Soul: A Book of Insight" by Susan Hayward (the quote has no attribution).