Steel nibs, a dipping pen, and bottled ink
This Old House
8" X 10" pen and ink
Horse-drawn Sulky Plow
10" X 8" pen and ink
I've been experimenting with steel nibs, a dipping pen, and bottled ink, instead of the felt-tipped Micron pens that I use for my pet portraits. I've also been drawing inanimate subjects, although I like to think that my lilting house and sulky plow, abandoned though they are, still breathe. My house is due to grace the cover of the "Wife of Bath" literary journal in April. I drew the sulky plow with sepia-colored ink on cream-colored paper. Tom painted a wooden frame brown and cut a cocoa-colored mat for it, and it looks quite lovely! It will hang on one of our walls.
Next I'm going to try cutting a quill pen from a feather, urged on my John A. Parks in his article "The Quill Pen: How to Draw with the Tool of the Masters" (Drawing, Winter 2010). Parks writes: "Looking back at the master drawings from the preceding centuries, we are struck by a lively warmth in the line, a delightful give-and-take between thick and thin, and a glorious sense that the line has a life and will of its own. A quill is a living thing--its wear is uneven, and its behavior can be erratic and capricious. It often obliges an artist working with the quill pen to take risks and adapt to accident and inconsistency." I think it will be good for me to work with an erratic and capricious pen, to take risks, to court accidents, and to embrace inconsistencies. Who knows what lively lines might be trying to escape from me!