taking a line for a walk

The thing about working in reed pen and ink is that you have to be decisive. A bit like life really. Before pen touches the paper you’ve already decided on scale, composition, and viewpoint. Then as the tip touches the paper you have to keep going, a bit like driving a car with traffic behind you; don’t stop, press on! You can vary the pressure to alter the weight of the line but being a low tech method it is always going to be a little bit hit and miss, but I quite like that aspect.

I go with the flow and if I get an ink blot I make something of it. Today I made a BIG mistake so painted it out with white acrylic paint. It looks alright, but only just; it really looks as though I went over board with the Tippex, or it snowed in through the studio window onto my drawing. I think pentimenti is the correct term for mistakes, then covering them over and reworking, I’ll have to check. My drawings are full of mistakes which like blemishes on the face give character and should be seen as a positive thing; occasionally I get the whole drawing right at the first sitting but that is rare and it can look too perfect anyway. Personally  I quite like the messy look which probably says a lot about me.

Drawing is addictive and once you have a sketch book up and running it can become obsessional; this is partly because each study naturally leads to the next and because en masse they can be seen as a whole, a book, as well as individual sketches. If you’re anything like me, you always imagine the next study or sketch book will be better than the previous one. Sounds like I’ll be creating a whole library.

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