Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Emu and Hollyhocks

Emu - 7" square Pentel Brush Pen and watercolor 

7" x 9" Color Conte on black Canson Touch sanded pastel paper

Two for today, the Emu was something I conceived yesterday but didn't sketch till this morning. Minor breakthrough with that Pentel Pocket Brush Pen, I didn't pencil it first. Reference by hugashrimp for the October Watermedia Challenge. Watercolor is my Daniel Smith palette. 

Hollyhocks was the October Pastel Spotlight challenge and I expect to do a third or fourth piece today. Will be going out to the clinic this afternoon and depending on how I feel, go for some plein air sketching or photos or both. That and I'm going to have a go at a cat gargoyle from imagination.


  1. I have so enjoyed your paintings for the 30 day challenge and beyond. I have subscribed to your email notifications and it has been great seeing a new painting every day. I really love how you use the pentel pocket brush. I had been hesitating for many months over buying one myself and went for it after seeing all the fantastic paintings you had produced. I knew it wouldn't be easy but oh dear! I have tried and tried but every time I think it is starting to get better I overuse it and it looks a mess. To be honest it never has a point where it looks particularly good, just a little less bad than before.

    I hope the fact that you have been producing all these fantastic paintings means you are feeling good at the moment. Long may it continue.

    1. Don't give up! My first efforts were ghastly, many of them not even posted. Try penciling before using it and really concentrate on pressure, controlling the line. I was already used to many brands of brush pen before I started with this one.

      It is insanely sensitive! Getting it to produce the fine marks is particularly hard. Try doing lots of exercises that aren't serious drawings, like shading spheres over and over, stippling, repeating the same sketch subject, and pencil first so all you concentrate on is controlling the pen.

      Writing with it is one of the best control exercises. I still don't fully control how my lettering with it works, though it's gotten legible. Try filling a sketchbook page with text and don't worry about the mistakes so much as look at how much better the text at the end of the block is than the last. Block letters, I don't even try cursive with mine yet.

      It's taken several months to get this far with it and I'm using it a lot. So keep going! Even James Gurney had some trouble learning to use it and he was brilliant with pen work before starting. Just measure progress, don't expect good results till after they start coming up now and then.