Monday, January 13, 2014

A Fresh Look at Gel Pens

1/13/14 Gel pens, Diamine Grey ink, Fabriano Studio hot press 140 lb. paper
Yesterday I saw some fantastic sketches by Marina Grechanik that had been done with a four-color Bic ballpoint pen. As I mentioned the other day when I was trying my hand at a still life in ballpoint, I’m not a huge fan of ballpoint pens even for jotting notes, let alone sketching. But Marina’s lively line work in multiple colors inspired me to try that style of sketching – except I used gel pens instead.

I keep gel pens in lots of different colors all over the house, and they are my favorite writing instruments for making grocery lists, notations in calendars or other casual writing, but it had never occurred to me to try them as a sketching medium. I grabbed several on my way to yoga class and stopped first for coffee at Revolutions Espresso. Knowing that gel ink is water soluble (I’ve certainly had my shopping lists smeared by raindrops), I was disappointed that I couldn’t really make a wash with the ink for shading. So in areas where I needed darker shadows, I used my waterbrush filled with Diamine Grey ink, and that did the trick. Out in the Green Lake parking lot, I used both a Zig marker and Diamine Grey for shading after drawing the cars and trees with gel pens.
1/13/14 Gel pens, Diamine Grey ink, Zig marker, Fabriano Studio hot press

Like Marina did, I dispensed with any thought of sticking with realistic colors, and the bright gel colors were a ton of fun! I’m keeping them in my bag – at least for a while!

1 comment:

  1. I like the way the colored gel pens give this a pop of color. How disappointing that you can't make them bleed when you want them to. Nice sketch of the coffee shop.


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