Saturday, October 17, 2015

Just Because

10/17/15 inks
On my walks around the neighborhood, I’ve noticed so many varieties of maple trees (it’s not called the Maple Leaf neighborhood for nothing!) – each with a slightly different leaf shape or coloring pattern. Some are barely turning at all, and others are already brown and ready to drop (or have dropped).

Ever since Inktober started, I’ve been wanting to make some colorful drawings using inks only – no paint, colored pencils or anything else – only inks. The maple leaves were just the right subject, so I gathered pens and brush pens containing seven ink colors (no, I didn’t even have to ink up any new pens – they were all already in my bag or on my journal-writing table) to sketch as many leaves as I could in an hour. All leaves were sketched while still on the trees, not picked from the ground.

I had an interesting encounter during my sketchabout. Standing on the lower steps leading up to a house, I was sketching a leaf on a lovely Japanese maple growing on one side of the stairway. Just then the owner happened to pull up and parked in the driveway. She came out of the car looking very cautious and even suspicious, and as she approached, she said, “Is something wrong. . .?” looking at me intently.

“Oh, not at all – I’m just sketching your lovely maple!” I said, smiling and showing her my sketchbook.

10/17/15 inks
She stared at my sketchbook and then at me, and then said, “Why?”

“It’s so pretty! Why not?”

After thinking a bit longer, she finally broke into a smile, complimented the sketch, and turned to go up to her house. It’s as if she couldn’t quite comprehend someone standing out on her steps to sketch a leaf just because it was pretty.

Pens used (from left): Pilot Prera, Sailor Candy (with replaced fude nib),
Pilot Parallel 2.4mm, Lamy Nexx, Pilot 78G and three brush pens.
Inks used: Sailor Okuyama, DeAtramentis Moss Green, Diamine
Chocolate Brown, Diamine Autumn Oak, Sailor Tokiwa-matsu,
Private Reserve Avocado, Iroshizuku Chiku-rin.


  1. Wonderful collection of colorful leaves!!! Who knew there were so many varieties of maples? Live and learn.

  2. Great maple leaves, though one of them is an oak leaf. An interloper I guess :-) It's really sad that people have difficulty understanding sketching, appreciating the world around them, or anything that doesn't make money or isn't a sport. --- Larry


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