Monday, January 7, 2013

Pensive, Exuberant

1/7/13 Kuretake fountain brush pen, Tombow, S & B Epsilon
In a formal studio portrait of my father taken in the late 1930s, he looks serious and pensive. Once again, he is dressed remarkably stylishly (I’m obviously having difficulty imagining my dad dressed stylishly).

My mom is laughing exuberantly as someone snapped her picture in the late 1940s. A huge corsage is pinned to her shiny dress, which means the occasion may have been a wedding. Her naturally straight hair is done in what she always called a “permanent wave.”

1/7/13 Kuretake Brush Writer, Tombow

(Technical note: The sketch of my dad was done with a Kuretake Fountain Brush Pen filled with Platinum Carbon Black ink and some Tombow marker for shading. I sketched my mom with a Kuretake Brush Writer. Although with watercolors I prefer a toothier surface, the smooth plate finish of my Stillman & Birn Epsilon sketchbook takes these brush markers beautifully. I can’t wait for the heavier S & B Zeta to come out, which will prevent the see-through from the other side of the page.)


  1. These are wonderfully evocative sketches! You have inspired me.... I have a digital print of my favorite photo of my mother sitting on my art table.

    1. Thanks, Kate! I'm glad you're inspired. I'll look forward to seeing yours!

  2. I love how you captured them with a minimum of fuss!!!

    1. Thanks, Joan! These are so much faster and more fun than some of the attempted "accurate" sketches I labored over previously!


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