Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Pen and wash ... again


I read recently that the best paper for Pen & Wash is Hot pressed, because of it's smoothness. I don't have any Hot pressed, but I was reliably informed that Bristol Board makes a good substitute, and that I do have. So I decided to do a painting on Bristol Board and chose this scene of Crail Harbour from a photograph taken by my good friend Ingrid Ormestad. I found it very interesting how the water stayed on the surface and was slow to soak into the paper, and I was able to draw much darker tones out of the ink than I usually do.


By way of comparison I then did this scene of New Road, Robin Hoods Bay using regular Cold pressed NOT. The darkest tones were harder to produce, but the water soaked in quicker making it easier to control.

Both were sketched using a Rotring Art Pen (nibbed) which I find a joy to work with, and the water was applied using Pentel Aquabrushes, which are as good in the studio as they are in the field. I found the drawing easier on the smooth Bristol, but the water application more controllable on the watercolour paper. I think I'll just have to get myself some Hot pressed paper and see how it compares. I'd like to think it will give me the best of both worlds. Watch this space!!!

I so enjoy this medium. I often think to myself that it's not 'real' painting and it doesn't produce 'hangable' work, but it's such fun ..... and surely that's what it's all about!!!

14 comments:

  1. Wonderful work John, love the pen and ink wash look. Also, I use Strathmore Multi Media pads to do sketches in pen and ink. Great for quick and more studied approach. Great !

    All the best to you,
    Joan

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    1. Thank you very much Joan. I'll check out those Strathmore pads ... they sound good. ;-)

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  2. Both very good, love all that detail John. You manage to get it all in there... and for the life of me don't know how you do it... I like Bristol smooth also, but then again I don't do a lot of pen and wash.
    Wish I could..

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    1. Thank you very much BJ. I've used Bristol for pencil work before, but this was my first time using for pen. You ought to try P & W .... I think you'd be good at it. ;-)

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  3. Your work with Pen & wash is outstanding, John.... So many amazing details to see! and this is definitely "real" painting and hangable!!!

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    1. Thank you very much Hilda .... what a lovely comment.

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  4. Dear John - thanks for sharing your tips on the paper. I certainly love seeing your pen and wash work. Great drawings. Hope you are having a wonderful day.

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    1. Thank you Debbie ... how lovely of you to visit my blog.

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  5. Wow! A complex scene but you nailed it! I like both. I have two nibbed Rotring Art Pens, but I find them a nightmare to 'wake up'! They seem to dry out and by the time I pick them up I just can't get them going again. Any tips on this John? :0)

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  6. Prior to doing these two sketches I hadn't used my Art Pen for many months, but it started up first time. That said, I have a number of pens that I can guarantee won't work until I wash them out and refill them, and then they're all dried up the next time I go to them, but it's not a problem I've had with the Rotring Art Pen .... so far. I'm thinking that maybe we're not supposed to put them away for any length of time with ink in, but that's not so easy with cartridge pens. Thanks for the visit Sandra, it's lovely to see you here. ;-)

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  7. thank you for sharing your process! i know very little about watercolor, it scares me but someday hope to try it and your information is very helpful. both pieces are lovely. and every piece you do is REAL art and hangable!!!

    and thank you John so much for your very kind words. i appreciate them so very much.

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    1. I've only just seen this Suzanne, forgive me. I can't imagine there is any medium you couldn't master and I very much appreciate your generous comment. Take care.

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  8. This is really wonderful work! I'm glad I discovered your blog!

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    1. Katherine, I've only just discovered this comment, sorry. Thank you very much for visiting my blog and for your kind post.

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