Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Forty Minutes at the Zoo

8/29/12 fountain pen, waterproof ink, Stillman & Birn sketchbook
I had only 40 minutes before I had to get to my next appointment – enough time for a sketch or two at Woodland Park Zoo if I walked quickly. I was planning to zip past the sloth bears because they are usually either hiding in their cave or looking like featureless black fur balls, asleep. What a surprise to see one awake and active! For a few minutes, at least.
On my way out of the zoo I caught a southern screamer waking from a nap. She let out a couple of pretty good screams while I sketched, and I empathized. My hair often looks like that when I roll out of bed, and sometimes it makes me want to scream.
8/29/12 fountain pen, water-soluble ink
8/29/12 fountain pen, water-soluble ink, colored pencil, brush pen
With such limited time, I decided to forego my preferred watercolors and stick with more convenient media. The bear was sketched with Lamy fountain pens – one filled with standard water-soluble ink, the other filled with Noodler’s “bulletproof” ink. The screamer was a mix of fountain pen, Kuretake Brush Writer and colored pencil, all water-soluble and given a quick wash with a waterbrush. I didn’t have the right colored pencils to blend the hue I needed for the screamer’s legs, and I considered pulling out my watercolors after all. But then I glanced at my watch and grabbed the pencils. What I lost in accurate color, I gained in speed and spontaneity. Not bad for a 40-minute dash through the zoo.


  1. I'm catching up a bit here. Bravo for the zoo sketches...those creatures are hard to do since they don't stay still! Love seeing your supplies and recent work. You are well on your way to another year of sketching!

    1. Thanks, Joan! I've learned so much in a year -- and have a LOT more to learn! :-)

      - Tina


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