|4/19/13 Pilot Iroshizuku Tsukushi ink, Zig marker, Stillman & Birn Alpha sketchbook|
“What are you drawing?”
I was just finishing up the sketch of a bobcat skull mounted in a display case when I heard the tiny voice next to me asking the question. She couldn’t have been more than seven years old, and her hood was still dripping rainwater.
I showed her my sketch (below), and her already-large eyes opened even wider. She very articulately told me that she wanted to become a scientist someday. “Do you like to draw?” I asked. She nodded enthusiastically, so I suggested that the next time she comes, she could bring paper and a pencil and draw what she sees to get a head start on becoming a scientist. From her expression, I’d say the girl was having a light bulb moment.
Around the corner in the mastodon exhibit, I was again amused, as I often am in museums, by how little time people spend looking at the exhibits. Maybe I used to be that way before I began sketching, but I hope I took more than the five seconds or so that most visitors seem to take.
On any given day, I bet the Burke Museum is full of both light bulb moments as well as missed opportunities like these.
|4/19/13 Pilot Iroshizuku Take-Sumi ink, Zig marker|
Technical notes: At the same time that I got a sample of Pilot Iroshizuku Take-Sumi ink – my new favorite black ink – I also got a sample of Pilot Iroshizuku Tsukushi, which I thought might be a nice brown alternative to my favorite Diamine Chocolate Brown. Straight from the pen, it’s a warm medium brown, but when it’s washed, the shading turns mauve, or actually almost pink – too pink for me. Aside from the fun of being able to try lots of different ink colors, this is the best part about shopping for samples at GouletPens.com – I can try out an ink and its shading properties before committing to a whole (in this case, $28!) bottle of the ink.
The mastodon sketch was done with my new Sailor calligraphy fountain pen. I’m still not adept at regulating the nib angle to control the line width, but it’s a fun pen to use and experiment with. In areas that will be shaded darker, I apply thicker lines of ink, which makes it easier to get a darker value. In theory, anyway. If I had greater control, I could probably vary the line width to a degree that shading wouldn't be necessary to imply the value differences. More practice, more practice. . .