View Full Version : Pen and Ink (plus) exploration sketchbook

06-28-2010, 01:35 AM
OK here goes! I have a small A5 visual art diary that is 110gsm cartridge paper. I am keen to get better with pen and ink style drawings, I usually stick to black but I have bought loads of colour pens over the last few months that I am keen to try out plus anything else that might work with ink...... Stabilo pens fine 0.4

06-28-2010, 01:40 AM
After looking up the Stabilo website I saw some experiements with colour pencil and the pens, so this is what I tried

06-28-2010, 01:44 AM
Next I started a drawing that I thought I would stipple the whole lot, but got fed up and played with cp's and Pitt Artist Pens in the Terra range. Don't know if I will bother to finish it off, but I guess that is the beauty of the sketchbook - maybe I will, maybe I won't!!

06-28-2010, 07:37 AM
What a lovely lily to start out with, and some interesting and colorful exercises, and I love the little girl with her bear friends. I would never have the patience to stipple something like that, but your stippling looks really good. and it even looks good unfinished. Great sketches!

06-28-2010, 08:44 AM
Virgo so glad you took the plunge to start your sketchbook thread. These are awesome. Love the coloured pen flower, so beautiful. Really interested in the cp and pen combo's, must give that a try myself. Love the girl and toys. Stippling is time consuming but very therapeutic I think, you get mesmerised by it, both doing and looking at it. Great colour on the girls dress, is that cp?

06-28-2010, 10:23 AM
Hi Jackie! What a great start you have here.

LOVE the lily. It's my favorite, but everything else is really great too. I love that you are working out techniques in this book and making notes. The little girl with her friends is a great picture, even in its unfinished state. I agree, the nice thing is you can finish or not finish, or even come back years later and finish if you want. That's the beauty of the sketchbook.

Nice work!

06-28-2010, 03:25 PM
Gorgeous lily. That's a spectacular opener to this journal. Cool exploration page, love all those rich colors. Good sketch of the little girl and bears, I like how you left the one bear just stippled, it fades off in an interesting way, like a child's imagination. I'd keep that one as is and keep going.

06-28-2010, 05:52 PM
Lovely lily. Great experiments with ink and colored pencil. The drawing of the girl and her friends is wonderful. And, yes, that is the beauty of working in a sketchbook. You can try things, leave things if it isn't working how you want it. Or come back later if it interests you again. Splendid start.

06-28-2010, 06:17 PM
Oh! thanks everyone for your kind support, it is nice that you all take the time out :)

Jacqui - I think of stippling as a kind of therapy..... ! The dress is layered cp with white over top as a "burnish". I liked the pencil over the ink too, the ink gave the paper a different feel and the pencils looked much deeper than on their own.

Robert - you've seen my finished works before, it is going to take some willpower to learn to pull back and remember to experiment. At times I need to "leave things alone" lol!

Michelle, Jean and Debby, thankyou - I did have fun.

I have been trying to look through all your journals and sketchbooks and you are all so prolific, it is lovely to share your ideas about techniques and subjects. Thanks for the welcome into the sketchbook/journal world :D

06-28-2010, 07:34 PM
I got so enthused yesterday that I filled a few pages (at A5 it is easy to do!) :lol: I borrowed a book from the library with lovely photos of angels and cupids in and decided it was a lovely subject to have a go at with pen and ink with a view to making some cards one day. I started out in pigma micron pen and then added some colour with the Stabilos


I was lazy and just tried to "smudge" the colour with a damp cotton bud - big mistake as it disturbed the black also. Now being a Virgo I should have done the experiments first but I didn't because as an "artist" I get too impatient and just jump in. I learned a lesson today! Here are the experiments AFTER I ruined the sketch :rolleyes:

While I had the bug for experimenting I got out my Pitt artist pens and did some more....

So back to the drawing board (or sketchbook!) and use the pens but then leave them alone, or maybe wash the colour with watercolours first and then enhance with the pen......... lesson learned for Monday :evil:

06-28-2010, 08:24 PM
The Cupid with dog looks great. I found out that Pigma Microns will smudge with an eraser too unless you really let them dry solid. Sometimes they can look dry but they've just soaked in. Do a test swatch and time how long it takes in your humidity for Pigma Micron ink to dry completely. If it's dried, then there's no smudging from water or from smearing with a kneaded eraser.

I'm impatient too though and sometimes wind up smudging it by erasing or by washing. That's interesting about your Pitt pens though, I haven't seen those smudge with water at all.

06-28-2010, 10:31 PM
The reason the pen Micron was smudging was because it wasn't dry yet. If there is any sizing in the paper, it will cause the ink to sit on top of the paper and not get to the fiber right away. Once the pen is dry it doesn't go anywhere.

Love seeing your experiments, even if they were after the fact. I don't think the smudging detracts from the cupid and dog. Great sketch.

06-28-2010, 10:32 PM
Very nice, and nice concept for a sketchbook! I really like this style of work.

06-29-2010, 03:10 AM
These are really great!

I like the way you are using the book to experiment and see what happens - I make notes like that too often.

I found that Inktense were like that - they do smudge a little. even though they say they don't - maybe I was being too hasty too. I'll have to go back to some old doodling and see if it still activates with water.

The lily is lovely and the cp experiments and the cupid and ..... :)

06-29-2010, 03:51 PM
Hi Jackie,
Wonderful sketches! I love the little girl and the bears. I agree with Robert to leave it and move on. The cupid is also really great and I didn't notice any smudging at all so it must not have interferred from my perspective. Keep em coming!

06-30-2010, 05:51 AM
The "cupid and dog" is fantastic! Great tips for the PITT artist pens, they're one of my faves!

07-05-2010, 08:40 AM
:wave: Thanks for the kind comments everyone! I bought a couple of sakura Gelly Roll pens today, not sure what most people use them for in terms of drawing so just doodled to get the feel of them. I like the shapes found in old keys, these are from various sources on the internet.


Curious to know why people would use the Gelly Rolls for drawing.....

:o Also experimented with some Inktense I bought a couple of weeks ago and only just got round to playing with, the Graphitint I am ashamed to say I have had for a long time and didn't know what to do with them or how to use them..... what can I say, I am a sucker for art shops and a pencil addict :evil:


The inktense have brilliant colour but don't seem to react the same as watercolour pencils, I think the next experiment will be to use them in a pen and wash style drawing :)

07-05-2010, 09:28 AM
Great page of old keys. I'm not sure about the gelly roll pens either, except that gel pens in white and light opaque colors are great for putting details on black. You've really got a feel for them though.

Inktense are very different from watercolour pencils in that they're ink in dry form. They don't re-wet unless they weren't thoroughly wetted in the first place and they're very strong. A little goes a long way.

Graphitints are fun for sketching and sketch & wash. The little bit of color gives them a look of their own that I've had a lot of fun with. Testing these on that second page is a good start to using both of them well. A lot of the things I've done with Graphitints wind up having an eerie feeling, something that I've considered playing off of by sketching supernatural subjects with them. They have a strong value range so they're great for tonal sketching.

07-05-2010, 09:46 AM
Jackie - Great sketchbook - i like your flower right in the beginning and the little girl with the bears - stunning!!

Your old keys page is grabbing & you're right, they've got lovely shapes and they are almost mystical.

I have inktense & they're great, but like Robert said- once they wet there is NO going back... but i love mine!!
The graphitint's look nice too - don't have those yet.... mmmm (scheming to get me a set :) - hahaha - evil laugh)

07-05-2010, 10:57 AM
I haven't got any graphitints though I have used them - my students have this unnerving habit of bringing new equipment in and asking me to demo them! so I've played with them and they are nice.

I get a similar moody effect with charcoal drawings with coloured pencil over the top - it has a very similar effect to the one Robert describes. (There's one on my Canson book thread)

I like my Inktense and combine them with other media - I've only got a few. I find they do lift a little later but not enough to erase.

Keys like that are interesting to draw - and I really like feathers too.

07-05-2010, 02:11 PM
Love the keys. The gel pens are primarily marketed to the young for journal writing and drawing. It's a great idea to get the younger set journaling. Great idea to test the inktense and graphitints.

Vivien Maloney
07-05-2010, 04:22 PM
I use Inktense pencils a lot for sketches in the Scavenger Hunt and I love them. They are acrylic ink in pencil form and when washed with water and dried they're there forever. But can be used on heaps of different surfaces etc. I did use them for a larger painting and found them too time consuming used that way but for smaller drawings and sketching they are excellent. Experiment with them as you've done with other mediums here in your journal - which is excellent!

07-06-2010, 10:39 PM
:wave: thanks for your comments everyone!
I wanted to experiment further with the inktense and graphitints. I have long been a fan of calligraphy and haven't done any for quite some time, but I continue to love the shapes of different letters and fonts. Here is a page of A's trying out various techniques and colour combinations (all drawn freehand directly in pen or with brush):

I am starting to get ideas of how I might use the graphitints in the thief of dreams sketchbook for an "aged" look and the inktense have me a little bamboozled still!

Next is a very quick 10 min sketch from a photo. I was holding our bunny Harry for a photograph (long story for another time!) and didn't realise that behind us was a wrought iron dragonfly and he looked like he had wings....

Graphitints over graphite sketch with a touch of Pigma. I am quite new to pen and wash techniques (hence the need for this experimental sketchbook) but I like this concept and might see how Harry can be devloped into a composition at some stage. Thanks for looking :thumbsup:

07-06-2010, 10:49 PM
Great seeing your experiments in lettering. Harry with wings is a wonderful juxtaposition.

07-07-2010, 09:04 AM
I like the calligraphy page and Harry with wings is adorable :)

07-07-2010, 08:58 PM
Jackie I really like your keys and A's. What an wonderful image of Harry with wings.

07-08-2010, 02:29 AM
I did say earlier that I was a pencil addict :evil: . I will add to that by saying that maybe I should take shares out in the Derwent company :lol: I decided to play some more with the inktense, graphitint adding watercolour pencils and colour pencils into the mix when it dawned on me I have Aquatones too! So they got added in also. I made lots of notes this time, I don't know if you can read them all but generally they are just to remind me of what I used and what order.
I think I am starting to get a feel for the differences now and should start using them all before stepping into an art shop again for a while....... I can't help myself, it is like being a kid in a sweet shop again :D

07-08-2010, 03:37 AM
Jackie - Your lettering is fantastic - I also love Caligraphy & lettering - these are stunning - did you think up the designs yourself or did you google and get some references and ideas - either way, they great!!!

I love harry, he is just so gorgeous & those wings behind him are perfect.

07-08-2010, 04:39 AM
Hi Tania, thanks for your kind words, I looked at font sites for ideas and just scribbled them down freehand in pen. I was looking for some nice shapes to try the various pencils out with!

Here is another quick sketch of Harry, I am starting to really like the graphitints for the subtle colour. If they look good on cheap paper, they may look even better on watercolour paper.... :wink2: It is strange how certain colours jump out on the scanned image on screen more so than they do in real life. The yellowish colour near his ears is much more subdued in real life...!

07-08-2010, 08:19 AM
Jackie - Harry is my new favorite pet... he's just gorgeous. Good work with these Graphitints - i'm so tempted to buy some... you and me both are like kids in a candy store... i know what you mean about certain colours coming through more than how it looks in real life.

07-08-2010, 08:25 AM
Great pages for the keys and the "A's" and "Z's". And that last sketch of Harry is wonderful!

Joan T
07-08-2010, 10:50 AM
Excellent sketches!!!! I love the sketches and your notes to go along with them. Harry came out wonderful and I loved the flowers and cupid too.

07-08-2010, 12:52 PM
Great paintings of Harry. You've got wonderful volume in them, good fur texture, excellent accuracy. Looks like you're on your way to knowing Harry the way I know Ari from sketching him that often. It's great. Good calligraphy too on your A and Z pages.

The cool thing about art supplies vs. candy store is that you're not going to gain weight from the art supplies. Just wind up drawing and painting more!

Vivien Maloney
07-08-2010, 03:04 PM
I like your page of A's and of course Harry is beautiful! I'm just beginning to use some pen & wash and enjoying it but I think I need to practise with it before I go much further. I'm also a fan of different art materials so I'm loving your sketchbook. Can't wait to see more.

07-08-2010, 03:34 PM
Looks like you are having so much fun! Great page of notes and Z's. Harry looks so soft. Great sketch.

07-08-2010, 07:41 PM
Thanks all. We've had Harry for quite a few years now but never really tried to use him as a model.....! He is a funny little critter, his fur is very soft and changes from mostly white to white with warm grey patches in winter, loves munching my plants and fruit bread (if he hears the bread bag rustle he becomes a white "Flash"), and is hilarious to watch playing with my son's soccer ball. He is a very easy to look after pet.

Robert, the other cool thing about art supplies is while I am using them I temporarily forget about munchies - I can lose a good few hours without realising it once I get into something creative. So, good for the figure all round I reckon lol! Your Ari sketches are what prompted me to start sketching Harry, I am so impressed by how you "know" Ari so well that you can do your quick sketches and nail it :)

07-10-2010, 10:02 PM
The purpose of this little sketchbook was to explore pen and ink combined with other media. I've seen some great sketches in ordinary ball point pen and as there are no long term archival needs for this book I thought I'd like to have a play.

I was interested in trying to see how subtle or dark the pen would go - the ink is black but not overly dense. Once again, I find the scanned version more scary than the real life - it really picks certain areas out that don't stand out so much to the naked eye :eek:

07-10-2010, 10:16 PM
Those are very evocative. The montage from Alice in Wonderland is scary, it's well laid out and very dramatic. Looks like the sort of thing that could go on a DVD cover or movie poster, well done!

07-11-2010, 10:25 PM
Wonderful stuff you are getting. Yup, scary. Glad I don't have to meet some of them at night. LOL Very well done.

07-12-2010, 04:44 AM
Jackie - Your Alice in WL page is fantastic - LOVE IT!!!
The other page is so good as well - you've done the hair so nicely - just shows you that if you're a great artist (which you are) then you can draw with ANYTHING!!! great ball-point work.

07-13-2010, 10:51 PM
jackie - how the heck did I miss this journal? :confused: Awesome work! I'm in LOVE with Harry!! Oh he's lovely and the way you captured him in the graphitints is wonderful! I love everything you've done in this book so far and always enjoy seeing your lovely ladies... they have such a beauty about them. Can't wait to see more! :thumbsup:

07-15-2010, 01:23 AM
Harry is a cutie:lol:

I am still on the ball point pen at the moment - experimenting with the inktense pencils and ball point was fun. These pages were dual purpose, to not only experiment with the two media but also draw freehand again and try to vary my line a little and be more confident to draw without a pencil and eraser :D

I used to have a shoe addiction before I found art materials....;) Next page may be handbags/purses because, of course, they are needed to accompany the shoes - can't have one without the other ahahaha :evil:

07-15-2010, 05:40 AM
Jackie - oh wow oh wow - beautiful shoes - i too have an addiction (but i'm going to therapy for it) - i buy both art supplies & shoes... LOL!!

Went yesterday to the art shop and was so tempted to buy graphitints, but i resisted - maybe at the end of the month or so....

But these sketches of your shoes is fabulous, i love those two heals that are back to back - stunning as well as the colourful boot!!! all awesome!! well done!

07-15-2010, 06:06 AM
Thanks Tania - it was fun, a girl never can have enough shoes eh?!

07-15-2010, 07:07 AM
Oh, I love your shoe pages. What a cool idea!

07-15-2010, 10:48 AM
SHOES! Now we're talkin'!!! Love the flowery "wellies" and the red shoe, it reminds me of one of my dance shoes! Great pages!

07-15-2010, 07:01 PM
Jackie, your shoe pages are well drawn and well composed. I like the balance of color in the page as a whole and the accurate rendering of every shoe. They look like sketches from a fashion illustrator, seriously.

07-15-2010, 07:06 PM
Great idea to sketch your shoes. You've done them very well.

07-25-2010, 08:37 PM
:wave: Thanks everyone!

I got to thinking that I got so excited about experimenting with the inktense and graphitints that I forgot all about the Stabilo colour pens that I was having trouble working out how to use :eek: So this update has ballpoint pen with limited colours of Faber Castell watercolour pencils watchfaces and the page of hearts is black ballpoint with Stabilo and uniball Signo gold and silver pens. All from internet, drawn directly in pen.


07-25-2010, 08:58 PM
Jackie another great page. I love watch faces and you have a fantastic collection here. Great "old" feel to the page. Great pen work on the hearts too, that scottish heart is stunning.

07-25-2010, 10:05 PM
These a great sketch pages Jacqui, the ballpoint work on the shoes and boots page is so good, and these two new pages are fantastic. The jewellry and trinkets page is my fave, so rich and intriguing with the techniques used with the different pens, but I do like the way you've done the watches page too, with the splattereed wash and 'antique' look.

07-25-2010, 10:26 PM
Jackie these are awesome! You really are like a long lost twin! I used to work as a jeweler which dealt in antique jewelry and watches, lockets, seal rings, art deco and nuveau, Victorian and elegant Edwardian pieces - SO fascinating! These two pages just evoke those old nostalgic times and I can completely understand how they appeal to you! That Scottish heart is a beauty! Keep going... I'm loving it!

07-26-2010, 07:40 AM
Jackie - wow!! this is stunning!! i love hearts & heart pendents & yours are just so beautiful!!! - the colour and detail is awesome!! your page of old clocks is just as beautiful & i like the colours you've used, gives it that antique look!!


07-26-2010, 07:06 PM
Marvelous pages. The detail on the watches and the hearts is fantastic.

07-26-2010, 07:52 PM
Thanks everyone, I am really enjoying this sketchbook now, I am embracing messy at last :evil: I did quite a bit of drawing yesterday (day off work - once the washing was done I got drawing!). All work done directly in pen - no pencil drawing. I think it is helping me to observe my reference more intently before putting pen to paper. I am also drawing without intent, just placing things where they seem they should be - it is working sometimes to make an interesting page - other times looking messy but I am having fun and feel it is improving my skills a little each time.

I just can't get past my fascination with faces, so another page of faces but trying to remember to vary line work etc. Some more successful than others.... ;)

The aim of the next page was to use colour combinations that are out of my comfort zone - I went back to watecolour pencil with ball point pen because I was finding the Stabilo pens just too bright and strong in colour for me at this time!

Brian Froud is one of my favourite artists - so I decided to sketch some of his work (apologies to Brian :wave: ) This is a page of random characters I picked out of different pages so I didn't "copy" the pages exactly. Cobalt turquoise, light cobalt turquoise, helio turquoise and ultramarine are 4 pencils in my Albrecht Durer collection that have barely been used - in fact I think the helio was brand new!

07-26-2010, 08:55 PM
Jackie, these pages are so striking. I love the Brian Froud pages, that's beautiful. You've got the feel of it and your unusual palette seems perfect for these studies. They look eerie and magical.

Good pages of faces, all with so much character. Good pages of jewelry too, very colorful and detailed. I like how you're doing these themed two page spreads, they're very striking.

07-26-2010, 10:11 PM
OK - I'm just gonna go burn my book and pencils! Wow Jackie! Incredible. :clap: Those faeries and owl (two of my favorite things!) and all those faces.... I just can't comprehend how you even start something like this! Your brain certainly works in a different way than mine and I soooo wish I could glimpse into what you see, picture, as you set out to do something like this. Its fantastic! And that little mushroom to the left of the owl, it IS a mushroom right? Looks like he's had a chomp out of a fly agaric x parasol mushroom and is now worried about the effects! :lol: (if its not a mushroom forgive me!) Love all the pages... what type of pen did you use?

07-26-2010, 10:34 PM
Thanks Robert and Rachel :) You flatter me too much Rachel! OK, will go through your comments... ;)

Occasionally things gel - I started looking through Brian Frouds book and thought how much fun it would be to mimic his style - I generally just start with something that takes my fancy and then let everything evolve around it - as I mentioned before, sometimes it works sometimes it is a mess! Yes, it is a mushroom, but can't take credit - it is from Brian Froud, but the placement was a happy coincidence and yes, the critter does look like he is worried about eating it doesn't he lol! The owl is mine, I drew him from a reference photo - owls are magical creatures and he looked perfect for starting that page - all the rest evolved around him. Even when I do my "girls" I never plan them, I start with a central figure and let things happen - serendipity. For a virgo (when it comes to art at least!) I am hopeless at planning a piece - I just lose all the spontaneity and it looks too laboured.

The pen is a cheap ball point (I am a medical receptionist and one of the reps left it so it is not an expensive one....lol!) Hop[e that answers your questions without waffling too much :) Your comments are so encouraging, I do appreciate you taking the time to have a look.

07-26-2010, 10:40 PM
Your watch faces, hearts and people pages, and your cobalt turquoise page - they are all fabulous! All I can say is Wow!

07-26-2010, 10:48 PM
Well it is amazing to me the work you come out with! Thanks for taking the time to explain! I've not heard of Brian Frouds so must check him out sometime.
The fact that you dont plan a piece is what I think comes through in your work, it just has a certain style, like it just "happens". Beautiful. I tend to be too much of a perfectionist and as stubborn as the Bull that I am! And talking of astrology... I think its the earthiness that comes out in your pictures that I love and the beautiful colors you use together. I could go on and on! Can't wait for the next piece :)

07-26-2010, 11:07 PM
Jackie your pages just get better and better. I am totally in awe. I love the faces, and owl is stunning. You chose great combo of colours with them. Good old biro comes in handy and is actually nice to do sketches with.

I am keenly looking forward to your next pages of wonder.... :)

07-26-2010, 11:13 PM
Oh my goodness, the faces are wonderful. Love what you did with the homage to Brian Froud. The colors are perfect for the sketches.

07-26-2010, 11:17 PM
OK - Now I remember Brian Frouds! I've looked through some of his faerie books before, almost got "Faeries" at one time but never did go back for it! He has a great style, one worth studying! :-)

07-27-2010, 02:29 AM
Jackie, Jackie, Jackie - i'm sitting here with my mouth on the floor!!
These pages are absolutely out of this world and i'm going to sound a bit like Rachel, but i too wish that i could just be so spontaneous and if this were the result i would definitely let myself go more!!
Your pages and the colours you use are absolutely exquisite and i could just stare at them for ages (in fact i have been staring at them for quite a while now!!)
The page with the faces is incredible, you're so good at it!! are you self taught drawing people or have you had lessons? I'm terrified of doing people as they don't come out looking like people.
You turquoise page is AWESOME!! it's my favorite colour and i just love it, from the owl to all the other little critters, it's brilliant!!
You're right about drawing straight into ink, it makes you think before you put pen to paper and you learn to observe. Your previous works actually inspired me to purchase a ballpoint (which i did) now i just gotta use it!! if only i were guaranteed i'd get the same results as you :)

Anyway, I've said allot i think - but thanks for showing and inspiring me!!

07-27-2010, 05:57 AM
Your faces are developing really well with lots of character :)

Vivien Maloney
07-27-2010, 03:48 PM
Your pages are awesome! Love them, ALL of them!

07-27-2010, 04:47 PM
These are terific pages of work, Jackie, and amazing that they are done straight with ink. The faces are impressive. Do you have source material to do these or are you working from imagination? The colour pages are wonderful, those barely used pencil crayon colours look so beautiful together here, and they created a myserious/magical, but slightly eerie feel. Its great that you are really challenging yourself and achieving results like this.

07-27-2010, 10:58 PM
:wave: Thank you all!

The last few pages have been a combination of looking at Brian Froud's work and copying some of his figures but not the whole composition - eg just putting them where I felt they fitted and getting a feel for how he achieves the style he has. The faces were all from photo's on the internet, just random faces...!

I have had quite a few years of life drawing lessons and art lessons covering calligraphy, watercolour, textile art, printmaking but most importantly basic drawing. I tend to read a lot and study images that really appeal to me to work out why I like them and how did the artist achieve the look. My natural inclination is for realism and photorealism but I get frustrated if I don't achieve perfection so the purpose of joining this forum was to let my sketchbooks become more relaxed, messy and fanciful. Although I love realism as a style I love fantasy as a subject.

Sorry to send you all to sleep :evil: Here are the latest pages in trying out unusual colours (for me that is) I don't tend to use a lot of pink, and the greens are much more vibrant than my usual palette:

07-27-2010, 10:59 PM
OK, not letting me upload my pic, I will keep trying...... :D

07-28-2010, 12:40 AM
Hi Jackie,

Wow, I'm impressed with your pages. The faces (and of course the owl, given my interest in birds) are really wonderfully done. I like the effect of the densely illustrated pages.

07-28-2010, 01:23 AM
here we go... after technical difficulties...;)

left page inspired by the work of others, right side my creation:eek:

Orange glaze with green and indigo page - hmmm interesting - the orange is so bright in real life it sets my teeth on edge :lol: Left page Froud figures, right side my faerie creation with Froud face at bottom. I liked the idea of using some quotes from Good Faerie, Bad Faerie book decorated by the critters.....


07-28-2010, 04:34 AM
Jackie, some more great pages & your colour combinations are just excellent!!
Really beautiful to look at and i like your little notes and comments and quotes - all stunning!!

07-28-2010, 07:00 AM
going well :)

Have you ever read Lady Cottington's Book of Pressed Fairies? it's brilliant.

07-28-2010, 08:47 AM
Wow, great sketches Jackie.


07-28-2010, 01:16 PM
I had to smile at your desire and frustration for/with photorealism and wanting fantasy as the subject. Me too. :D There are a number of artist who manage to pull it off quite well. However, I find the sketches you are doing and the colors you are playing with quite appealing and may need to look at loosening up some myself. It is certainly working very well for you. I really like these pages.

07-28-2010, 01:32 PM
Fantastic pages as usual!!!:clap: Love your faerie on the last page and again, those lovely soft earthy colors! Like the little tattoo patterns on her arm and face too!! And that dress she's wearing has a lovely silver-like shimmer to it! Hmmm.... I'd love a dress like that! :D

08-08-2010, 08:36 PM
Thank you all! Rachel, I have a talented friend who paints and dyes on silk and then embroiders and adds gems etc before turning into clothes and bags, she makes some wonderful creations but I don't have the figure for them unfortunately!! :eek:

I returned to the inktense pencils (with black biro) for these pages - drawn totally from imagination - just trying to think about different styles or types of faces, painted or fantasy. Still not sure I grasp the correct use for the inktense, I keep trying to blend the colours like I do with the watercolour pencils but of course, they are different and it doesn't work!

I have only got a 12 set of inktense thinking I would be able to blend the colours to make more but haven't quite got my head around that yet :evil:

08-09-2010, 08:36 PM
I found a different ball point pen to try - ink is much "wetter" and darker. It was terrible! Difficult to get a range of tone and by the end of these two little sketches the nib was all scratchy. I tried to do some quick sketches from refs for the Pen and Ink Challenge - not great but decided to post anyway.....


The second image I copied from a photocopy - unfortunately I hadn't made a note of the book it came from or the artist. I need to try new subjects and I have a terrible fear of landscapes and buildings :lol: I sometimes learn better if I attempt to copy work in a style that I admire to get the feel for how to do it. I know this has some errors but I like it anyway ;) I used the inktense pencils for a very light wash to hint at colour.

Vivien Maloney
08-09-2010, 10:10 PM
I like your latest sketches. I'm not very good at building either, so you have my sympathy, but I can't see anything wrong with yours. It's great!
You're doing well with the Inktense. When I first began using them I hated them but after I became used to them, I really liked them. Yes, they do handle differently than watercolor pencils. You can blend them but I find that (because the color doesn't lift) it works better for me if I let layers dry and them apply another layer over the top. A much slower method but one that gives good results. Hope this helps you - I'm still learning too.

08-09-2010, 10:18 PM
Thanks Viv, I think I am being too impatient - I must try to let it dry and then wash over top like you are suggesting, patience is not one of my strong points hahaha!

I am confused as to how this is happening but the pics for this thread and the Little Gems thread seem to be not loading correctly - apologies again for doubling any of these pics up...... :confused:


08-09-2010, 10:20 PM
hmmmm, really confused - when I go back now the pics are correct - I am not sure if my computer is to blame or WC - sorry all for doubling any of the images ;)

08-10-2010, 12:04 AM
I think WC has sorted out your loading problems. I can see everything bright and clear -- WOW! It's been a while since I looked at this thread and you've posted so many beautiful pages. I like the combination of your original faerie characters with Brian Froud's characters. You're getting the style and also making it your own, I can see yours evolving from the source.

I think your creatures are a little gentler and sweeter than Froud's. That's not a bad thing, your Faerie is a happy place of many colored light! The variety of different limited palettes you're using is delightful, another thing that gives them a fascinating, illustrative feeling. Gorgeous work.

I like your Pen & Ink Challenge pieces too. You may have had problems with the pens, but I like how the drawings came out, both of them. Your perspective on the building is excellent, it looks good from here. Minor errors don't destroy the feel of the sketch or make it seem that inaccurate. More like the building's quirky and maybe the bottoms of the windows aren't actually on a level with each other - both are in good perspective, it just looks like a mistake of the builder more than the artist.

WC had problems yesterday, big ones, so it probably was WC more than your computer. I love everything you've posted since I last looked and did leaf back through the thread looking at it all.

08-10-2010, 07:37 AM
Jackie, you faces page with the inktense is gorgeous. i love your use of colour and how everything seems to be strategically placed and planned on the page - your sketchbook is so awesome to look at!!!

Your pen sketches are so good, but i can see how that pen you used is different, but to me it still looks really nice, i love the koala's face, it's so cute!!

08-10-2010, 12:06 PM
Interesting faces and characters. You seem to be getting a handle on the inktense. It looks really good.

Sorry about your pen problem. However, the results are great.

Your building looks fine. Like the subtle colors you used.

08-10-2010, 03:14 PM
I quite like biro to draw with and my favourite is my Parker biro - it isn't wet, doesn't blot or blob and can get really subtle light marks as well as the more positive ones.

These are nice despite being drawn with a pen you don't like.

09-14-2010, 01:24 AM
:D I haven't forgot about this sketchbook.... just distracted by all the others I have accumulated :evil:

Fairies on left sketched with biro from imagination - not all that impressed - don't know what I was thinking to put her mouth and nose like that - oh well we all have bloopers! The bee is black biro with stabilo pens, I just really liked the quote and I have had the fascination with bees just lately...

We went fishing onthe weekend and it got rather windy - I retreated to the car and used a biro and 4h pencil to sketch these pages. The tree was in front the car - only concentrated long enough to get one branch down, and a little lad was flying a kite. He did not stand still for longer than a few seconds so I got fed up and drew the dryad over the top of the pencil sketches! (sorry about the ghost images from the other side of the pages, they are just doodles really not worth showing :lol: )

09-15-2010, 12:17 AM
Bees are very cool creatures. Nice job on the bee sketch. Your fairy drawings are interesting.

09-15-2010, 12:26 AM
Well, you know well rendered tree bark gets my heart all a twitter. :lol: The rest of it is great too. I really like your imagination. Imagination is something I seem to lack.


Joan T
09-15-2010, 10:38 AM
Jackie - I am still trying to get caught up with what I missed while I was gone. Your sketchbook pages are wonderful. I like how you are trying so many different pens and media for your sketches. Your pages with the watches and hearts and the fairies ala Brian are just super!!

09-16-2010, 06:59 PM
More cool stuff! Love your little Pen sketches, esp the koala bear and the little tiny landscape below it! Awesome!
Love the bee! We really do have similar interests! lol. I keep little boxes here for solitary bees, they nest in them each year then plug the holes up with either wood (mason bees) or leaves or flower petals (leafcutter bees)... facinating to watch!

09-16-2010, 07:21 PM
Every time I look at this sketchbook, I am blown away by how great your pages are! I'm becoming more fond of ink, and in fact just bought my first set of Pitt pens yesterday (sepia and black). I have dabbled with Inktense but haven't really gotten comfortable with them yet. Haven't tried Graphitint yet. So many media and blank sketchbook pages, so little time...:) .

09-17-2010, 01:56 AM
The fairies look haunting and a bit wicked, you caught the Unseleigh crew this time. Very cool fairies. Gorgeous bee, with an interesting theme. I love the boy with kite and the dryad, it's like she's thinking about the boy or he hasn't seen her and he's off in the background just enjoying his life. The tree is lovely even if you didn't have time for much of it.

Excellent new sketches! My access has been erratic lately and often eats posts, so I've been falling behind in watching other journals, but I'm so glad I came back to yours tonight. Very cool new ones!

11-09-2010, 06:01 PM
Still caught up with the wonder of experiments with gesso and various media :evil: These pages are VERY rough drawings but wanted to try various wet and dry media over the gesso to see what happens..... Ballpoint pen is quite interesting over the rough texture - I wouldn't use a "felt tip" or expensive nib - the sandpaper like quality would chew it up in no time! The inktense and graphitints wet go a long way with the gesso - because it is not soaking into the paper a little bit of colour does a lot!


(gesso right hand side of page only)

haven't forgotten the angel/cherub theme, just sidetracked with the celtic sketchbook for a while :lol:

11-09-2010, 06:37 PM
Like seeing your experiments and reading your comments about what does and does not work with the gesso. Good information.

11-15-2010, 02:14 AM
I just happened across this sketchbook thread this afternoon. Lots of awesome stuff. Fun to watch you try out this pen and then that pencil. I've decided it was time to start doing more experimenting with all of the luscious colorful toys I've bought in the last year or so. Reading this thread and looking at all your wonderful sketches just gave me the additional nudge I needed.

11-15-2010, 07:00 PM
Thanks Debby and Margo! :thumbsup:

Margo, this was the "first" sketchbook that I started in this forum giving myself "permission" to experiment. The sketches are not meant to be perfect (something that bugs me but I am learning to get over that!), this little book is more about playing with the huge collection of art materials I have amassed but never really used other than my pencils! It has been very useful and freeing.

I hope I have inspired you to do the same and that you enjoy your time playing with the "toys" - it is a nice feeling knowing that sharing the good and the bad on this forum can inspire others :D

11-15-2010, 07:26 PM
Hey, these are great! I just realized you had another sketchbook you were doing these experiments in. LOVE this.

11-18-2010, 12:43 AM
Awe inspiring pages. I have looked through your thread before but briefly while at work. Spent too much time oggling so didn't have time to comment!. Your work in inspirational

I love it - the way the pages are covered with a pattern of similar objects with colour swatches behind, your notes on mediums.

Harry is adorable. And the bee.

Thank you.

Joan T
11-18-2010, 03:56 PM
I love the delicate look to the shading on the last entries. Good job!

11-18-2010, 11:32 PM
This sketchbook is SO inspiring, just your style, the variety of ideas, designs, faces, media, and the notes included. All so appreciated by myself and so many others here. Bravo.:thumbsup:

11-19-2010, 05:38 AM
Thanks so much Debby, Margo, Rainy, Elain, Joan and Candace :) Your comments are very encouraging!

I quite enjoyed the gesso and I am keen to experiment some more - working on a watercolour for someone at the moment but want to get back to the sketchbooks soon. This little sketchbook is almost finished and has been a good progression and I feel like I certainly learned to loosen up in it!

11-20-2010, 04:56 AM
Oh my gosh... HOW did I miss this one so long when this has so many really neat things in it I don't know where to start commenting? Okay... so I have to comment on the bunny, because I have 3 house bunnies and love all things bunny! The graphitints for him are so lovely and the ink is nice and delicate, they'd make fabulous prints, giftcards etc! Any of the bunny rescues/house rabbit society places would probably be a top market. I'm loving all the pages you used the graphitints on tbh, the effect is such a nice soft subtle one. How have you found them for lightfastness? The intensity of the inktense works well for the fantasy subjects too. The collections pages of letters, antiques and shoes also stick out for me - especially the gumboots! :heart: So many fun things! LOL

11-20-2010, 11:35 AM
Great assortment of experiments. Don't feel too bad about being a pencil addict. There are quite a few of us around.:evil: Your pen portrait sketches look fantastic and I loved the rabbit drawings. We learn a lot when experimenting. Way to go.


11-20-2010, 07:25 PM
This book is too cool, if I'm allowed to say that. The pages crowded with faces, fairies whatever look really good. Nice experiments! :clap:

Carole A
11-21-2010, 07:30 PM
Jackie ~ Your style here and in your Little Gems book is just facsinating. I love your botanicals in Little Gems and, here Harry and the keys pages are my favorites.

Anxious to see more.

Carole A

11-21-2010, 09:49 PM
:clap: Thanks for the lovely comments all!

WYSIWYG - Yep! That's how I could relate to your bunny stories - Harry is a little character and quite often has me chuckling at what he is up to - I think my neighbours have determined I am crazy! I talk to him all the time......

Chris - feel free to say whatever you want :lol:

Carole - this little sketchbook becomes flavour of the week and disappears again depending on what I am doing! I wanted to keep this mainly as an ink plus....... theme to experiment some more with the Stabilo pens I picked up but seem to use everything BUT the Stabilos :D

Went fishing on the weekend, the fishing was slow so I did some doodling and added the colour washes with inktense when I got home. The left hand side I used a Staedtler sepia pen that I thought was waterproof but the colour ran when I added water - oh well! The rest is just a black BIC ball point pen and inktense pencils.


11-21-2010, 10:11 PM
More great work, Jackie! You get such excellent results with the water-soluble pencils - very smooth, even and subtle. I tend to use them too heavily, I think. I love your comment about purses vs. tackle boxes. I swear my wife carries enough stuff in her purse to survive in complete wilderness for a year. I've been trying to figure out what kind of shrinking device she uses to get everything to fit in there - and how it changes back to full size when it's out of the purse.

11-22-2010, 09:45 PM
The lures and other fishing gear is awesome. Like the words you added. Definitely adds to the overall theme.

11-23-2010, 12:49 AM
Those lures look great, like the colors you used... and what a great mystery they are! Great job! This reminds me.... I was going to try and build some wooden lures!

11-23-2010, 01:47 AM
Jackie, such a clever idea for a sketch- all the interesting shapes & colors of lures. Collections we own could be a great theme for a sketchbook! (I am on a hunt for themes because my imagination has gotten lazy lately but I crave sketching! )

11-23-2010, 02:04 AM
ROTFLMAO... the sentiments with the lures makes for a spot on page! I have no idea how most of them work either but they sure do come in a fascinating variety to sketch! The fishers in my life would probably roll their eyes at me for that thought! LOL

11-29-2010, 12:32 AM
Virgo68....just found this thread.....and read every post...like everyone else...I really like what you do. I dabble in ink drawing and watercolor...I buy more books and supplies than I spend time drawing....I know...that's my problem....your thread is such an encouragement to draw more. I've just discovered Inktense and have the 12 pencil set. I've got a copy of lightfast chart from Derwent..some are not going to last long...wonder if UV spray would help? Anyone have any thoughts about that?

11-29-2010, 06:20 PM
John - heehee the mysteries of purses! I use lots of water with any of the watersoluble pencils and generally wet the paper first and then "drop" the colour in with a very wet brush - I think that is how the result ends up quite soft. If I want stronger deeper colours or hard edges I layer it up till I get to that point, far easier on watercolour paper than the standard sketchbook ;)

Debby, Chuck, Candace and WYS - thanks for your comments! I found that I quite like drawing these little "collections" - the variations on the same item is quite interesting for sketching purposes :thumbsup: I did get some very strange looks while sitting on the jetty next to the "fishers" drawing their tacklebox :lol:

Artlike - Welcome and thanks for taking a look at the whole thread :wave: Sounds like you are one of us and will in fit in just fine! I have given some thought recently to the lightfastness of the Graphitint range - I can't remember if it was WYSIWYG or Rainy who raised it in one of their threads. I was shocked to discover that they can fade in a closed sketchbook. I confess I do not know a lot about fixatives and UV sprays but it is worth exploring for any work that you might think is worth preserving for years to come to look back on. This book does not really contain anything of that calibre but I have been doing some work in others that I would like to last a while! Definitely is a subject I need to learn more about. I have sold framed work with watercolour pencils and colour pencils but just by luck it seems that I tend to work mostly in colours that have a higher lightfastness phew! In future I think I might pay a bit more for framing and select UV glass for the work that I plan to sell.

Well here is the next doodled "collection"! Bic ballpoint pen with Faber Castell Albrecht Durer watercolour pencils this time.......
I cut off the bottom in the scan, it reads "closely followed by purples"

11-29-2010, 06:52 PM
Nice doodle of art stuff, you seem to have more of this stuff than me, I'm slowly working through stuff I bought years ago....:D

I don't like it when something fades in a sketchbook, but I have had it happen. I try to stick to the basics and leave all the new pretty things alone. I went and checked out the lightfastness chart for Inktense pencils ( I only have 3 of them!), and thought it was a waste of time - why does Derwent give them a rating, but no explanation of what the scale is and what it means?! Useful as you-know-what on a bull. :D


11-29-2010, 08:08 PM
Great creative and wonderfully busy and colorful page!

11-29-2010, 09:26 PM
Really like the collection of art supplies, and your color chart.

11-29-2010, 09:55 PM
I LOVE all of your drawings! They are amazing and fun! We have so many of the same interests (keys, faeries, shoes, purses, owls, watches, etc...) In fact...I just bought 2 faeries books right before I came upon this thread and have been looking for ornate antique keys on eBay to hang off my Saddleback Leather Satchel!!!

You have inspired me to journal more often.

11-30-2010, 02:57 AM
great fishing/tackle box pages. Like your commentary too!

But the doodle of drawing things with lettering and here and there colours is really wonderful.

John, a magic shrink bag - gosh I could even fit more in with one of those! :)

11-30-2010, 09:39 PM
:lol: Chris - I get your meaning! I have just taken the plunge and ordered 72 Inktense from Blicks (I am getting them, a sketchbook, a new brush and some transfer paper plus postage for the same price as the pencils here in Oz :evil: ) I decided that I like them and I am going to enjoy them in my sketchbooks. If anything is frameable I will get UV glass.....

Thanks John and Debby!

Eilene - Yay! How nice your comment was - if I inspire anyone to do anything arty then I am honoured :D I look forward to seeing you post some of your work maybe.....:wink2: Enjoy your faerie books and purchases!

Elain - thankyou! A shrinking bag would be great for me to hide my stash of art supplies :lol:

The last page got me thinking about candy stores and sweet treats! Combination of biro pen, Albrecht Durer w/c pencils and prismacolour over top in some areas...... very busy but it was fun!


11-30-2010, 11:18 PM
Yay! Candy, my favorite and very well done. But you are correct, drawing them is better for the waistline. *sigh*

11-30-2010, 11:26 PM
Very cool sketches, all those treats reminds of a candy factory that we would visit on road trips...