Category Archives: ink



I think this figure is known as an ojime, a gift from a friend. Drawn using a Pilot 78G ‘F’ fountain pen with Lexington Gray ink and a watercolour wash. The ‘F’ nib is one of the finest, and when turned upside down gets finer still; useful for drawing the scratches in the resin cast.

1 shade of Bombay Black


This week I have been mostly using dip nibs and Dr. Ph. Martin’s Bombay Black Indian Ink (which, fear not, won’t go near the fountain pen). Much scratchy noodling fun to be had, though best to wear old clothes and have a couple of buckets of hot soapy water to hand. A Winsor & Newton palette box works nicely as a nib holder and temporary ink well, as well as providing somewhere to put down the nib and holder whilst drawing.

I bought a random selection of drawing nibs from a local art shop. One of the sketching nibs (Gillott 404) was unpredictable in how much ink it releases but you can push it in any direction, and I can’t get one of the extra fine ones to flow (Gillott 290) but apparently the 291 is similar, and was used for EDM11: some stepped-on polaroids found in a field.

Why the long face?

horse-200-scan145 face-200-scan146face-photoshop

More fun with the fountain pen. Seems to be weaning me off the pencil. Multiple strokes build up into a surprisingly dark layer (though these poor scans are overly dark). The paper in this Daler Rowney sketchbook (A5 150gsm cartridge paper) starts to break up if overworked with the fine ‘F’ nib but still stays dark.

The face sketch (copied from a photo by Marta Azevedo) was an experiment to see if fountain pen, brush pen and watercolour lamp black will mix when run together. Lamp black and brush pen ink look almost identical on paper, though you can see brush strokes/unevenness in the original which don’t show in these scans. Lexington Gray at its blackest feathers in quite nicely to the brush pen ink.

Corrections and photoshop liberties taken in the final one. Is that cheating? Does it matter?

EDM 10 – hands


EDM#10 a tough one. These are copied from Mucha posters (I thought if I drew someone else’s hands then I’d have two hands to draw with!). Instead of being stylised and cartoony it’s surprising how much anatomical detail is in his figures (the flowing, effortless lines are lost in these copies).

new pen fun

cello-beardy-scan137-500 tulips-scan138-500 p63-the-printed-picture-scan136-700

New toys arrived in the shape of a Pentel Pocket Brush Pen and Uni Pin Fine Line markers. The brush pen is a delicate and twitchy beast which frightens easily but can produce a very satisfying line when it obeys, and because the inks are permanent and waterproof the watercolour can be applied after the ink (though in the chromolithograph copy, the 0.05mm Uni Pin was applied last as it hadn’t arrived at the time of colouring).

The top picture is copied from a photo by Mark J. Davis, part of the series Suspended Dreams: The Unknown Musicians, the vase with tulips was copied from a photo, and the chromolithograph reproduction was found in The Printed Picture by Richard Benson.