Wednesday, January 9, 2013


1/9/13 Pentel Pocket Brush Pen, Pitt Big Brush marker, Moleskine 
My mother was 14 when she and some of her siblings returned to Yakima, Washington, to help their father farm. (She was born in Yakima but grew up in Japan. Although her family’s intention was to eventually go back, they ended up settling here.) I think this studio portrait was taken around that time. While her father and older sisters farmed, my mom’s mother stayed behind in Japan with their younger children for much of my mother’s teen years. I know this because she used to tell me how much she missed her mom back then.

She is sitting somewhat awkwardly in a wicker chair that would probably have fit a larger person better. I have tried several times to sketch this photograph “accurately,” but my attempts never captured the sadness or wistfulness I see.

(Technical note: This time, I tried using a Pentel Pocket Brush Pen, which is similar to the Kuretake Fountain Brush Pen I used previously, on a Moleskine sketchbook. The paper has a plate finish almost as smooth as the Stillman & Birn Epsilon’s, except the paper is quite a bit heavier, so there’s very little see-through. I like the way these portraits from photos look on the Moleskine’s cream-colored pages.)

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