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sumac

Sometimes less is more when rendering a forest scene.

After I got a new fountain pen I suddenly got the confidence to attempt ink drawing on-site, and this is one of the results. Since I was using my small sketchbook I went for a bit more detail. Despite it being well into fall the leaves in this forest were still nearly all green. But rendering them so later just made the main trunk look incongruous and the line of grass at the edge of the forest sloppy. Eventually realized that the main thing here was the composition, and it would work if the color was subordinate to it. So I just accented the leaves and avoided the earlier problems.

6 1/2 x 9 15/16 inches, watercolor pencils on printed copy of fountain pen original done on-site, this version finished 2019. Print is a matted, mounted, signed 600 dpi color print on white acid-free cardstock with half-inch borders, in a limited run of fifty. I only use permanent, pigment-based HP inks which meet the ISO 11798 standard.

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campus

Even though I read a lot, I never could study in a library, and it turns out I get bored drawing them, too. So I just looked out the window to my left and put most of what I could see in the room with me. Walking home I stopped on one of the lawns and sketched the leaves and flowers in the lower left corner.

8 1/8 x 10 13/16 inches, watercolor pencils on fountain pen original done on-site, 2019. Print is a matted. mounted, signed 600 dpi color print on whtie acid-free cardstock with half-inch borders, in a limited run of fifty. I only use permanent, pigment-based HP ink which meets the ISO 11798 standard.

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side door

After a very abstract rendering of the opposite side of this building, I wanted to do a representational version of another aspect of it, even if just a part of it. Had a hard time deciding how to finish it until I hit upon the idea of greys and pinks so muted one seemed to almost match the other but different enough to model the building clearly.

6 5/8 x 9 7/8 inches, pen and ink, color pencils and ink wash on printed copy of pencil original done on-site, 2019. Print is a matted, mounted, signed 600 dpi color print on white acid-free cardstock with half-inch borders, part of a limited edition run of fifty. I only use permanent, pigment-based HP inks which meet the ISO 11798 standard.

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back yard

Revisited an old idea I first had back in school.

Did this improvisational rendering of a site I’d been revisiting over the past year and liked the result enough to augment it with some color later. I remember first trying this style way back in college and listening to a self-described punk-rock type trash it for being too messy during a critique session. I wish I had not taken that advice to heart as much as I did, as I think it could have led to some decent work. So I guess I’m saying don’t be afraid to take your improvisation seriously.

10 x 13 inches, watercolor pencil on printed copy of fountain pen original done on-site, 2019. Print is a matted, mounted, signed 600 dpi color print on white acid-free cardstock with half-inch borders, part of a limited run of fifty. I only use permanent, pigment-based HP ink which meets the ISO 11798 fade-resistance standard.

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beargrass creek nature preserve

Saw this view during a walk in late march and a few weeks later spent about four hours doing a fountain pen rendering. Finished it with inkwash and limited color on a printed copy a few days later. This took a lot out of me, but it was good to try and make something presentable out of such a complex subject. Reminded me a bit of drawing a large tree thirteen years ago (see “Giant Oak”). Anyway these woods were part of a preserve started in 1982, one of the few established in a semi-urban environment.

10 x 13.25 inches, ink wash and color pencils on printed copy of fountain pen original done on-site, 2019. Print is a matted, mounted, signed 600 dpi color print on white acid-free cardstock with half-inch borders; limited edition run of fifty. I only use permanent, pigment-based HP ink which meets the ISO 11798 fade-resistance standard.

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older tree

Done in Joe Creason Park, on land that used to be an orchard and a horse farm about seventy years ago.

Had a go at this with fountain pen with imprecise results. Tried again with pencil about a week later, getting it down in about two and a half hours. Inked the original at home using my usual 102 nib pen, but also with a 107 nib pen for extra detail. Got a pretty visceral image out of this.

10.75 x 8 inches, dipping pens with 102 and 107 HUNT nibs on printed copy of pencil original done on-site, 2019. Print is a matted, mounted, signed 600 dpi print on white acid free cardstock with half-inch borders, in a limited run of fifty. I only use permanent, pigment-based HP inks which meet the ISO 11798 fade-resistance standard.

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march trees

One of my best on-site ink drawings.

Did this from life with fountain pen in about three hours sitting at a corner outdoor table at a Sunergos cafe. Finished a few days later with modest amounts of watercolor and inkwash, since I thought the line work was good enough to be the main feature (and the leaves hadn’t come out yet). The dozen or so FB art groups I’ve been in have made it very clear to me that people tend to like color pieces a lot more than black and white ones, but I wanted to stand out and I also thought using color the way I did here clarified the drawing in a nice way.

10 x 13 inches, fountain pen, ink wash and watercolor pencil, 2019. Print is a matted, mounted, signed 600 dpi color print on white acid-free cardstock with half-inch borders, in a limited run of fifty. I only use permanent, pigment-based HP inks which meet the ISO 11798 fade-resistance standard.