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New Sketch: Dallin’s “Scout” Statue

May 15, 2018

I was skimming through auction sites yesterday looking at sculpture, and came across a photo of a miniature bronze reproduction of a statue by Cyrus Dallin called “Scout.” I thought it might make a nice drawing. This is 11 x 17″.

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New Sketch: One Too Many

May 9, 2018

I dug out a picture from my reference files that was a screengrab of some TV show. Unfortunately, I didn’t save the name of the show or actress, but liked the pose she had at the bar. I decided to make a sketch of her.

I used the Pentel Color Brush that I showed in my previous post. I refilled it with a diluted Sumi ink, Yatsutomo’s Ultra Black. This was used to render the main figure and foreground, and a larger brush was dipped into the ink bottle for the background areas.

To follow up on my previous post, I wanted to show how I refill the Pentel Color Brush Pen. This ink is very dense, so only a small amount is needed to get a medium grey tone. I fill a small jar with the shade of ink I’ve mixed up, and then pull that into a small syringe. A wad of poster putty holds the pen handle upright, and I gently add the ink to the handle. I discovered that it works best to slowly push the ink in at an angle. If I hold the syringe tight to the rim, the ink will back up, and overflow. I think it’s due to the air pressure inside the handle having to escape.

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Refilling a Pentel Color Brush Pen

May 8, 2018

In the above image I’m showing two Pentel Color Brush Pens. The one on the bottom is brand new, but the one on the top is an old one I’ve taken apart. The way Pentel sells these pens is that the bottom section can be replaced with another handle that is already filled with ink. That struck me as wasteful, and I figured out a long time ago how to fill it with new ink of my own choosing. Also, their old pens only came with dye based inks. They now sell a pigmented ink option, which is in the bottom pen here.

To refill these pens (this method works with the new ones too,) You have to disassemble everything. You carefully pry off the plug (D) from the handle (B), and then remove the two tubes (C) attached to the plug. I use a 1ml syringe to fill the handle with ink. It holds about 7ml of liquid. Don’t fill it completely full, so that there’s a little bit of air to push the ink into the brush top. Replace the plug on the handle without the tubes, and screw the brush top back on. On the new brushes, you are supposed to leave off the spacer ring (F) for the top to screw all the way down, but on my old one I needed to keep the ring between the top and the handle to make a good seal. Gently squeeze the handle until the top fills with ink. It will take a long time for the ink to fill into the brush, so I do this a few hours ahead of time. Replace the cap (E) to keep the brush from drying out. There are different size brushes available, too, including a flat style. I’ve seen other brands that have different sizes of flats, also.

You can refill these with any type of ink, but I would recommend not using a type that is waterproof, such as shellac or acrylic inks. These can dry inside the brush top and make it useless except possibly as a dipping brush. It is possible to use those inks if you give the brush a good cleaning after each use, but that can be tedious, and the inside of the top is hard to get completely clean. You have to fill the handle with water, screw the top back on, and squirt it through the brush a few times. Sumi inks work very well, and are available in a limited range of colors. Since they’re not waterproof, you don’t have to worry about leaving the ink in the brush. Fountain pen inks also work well, but are not pigmented.

Pentel also sells another similar style tool called a “Aquash” brush. I’m showing one here filled with sumi ink that’s been slightly diluted. This is mainly sold for watercolor painting, but will work with ink the same way I’ve described above. However, for watercolor painting you only fill the handle with water, not paint. This allows you to dip the brush on your palette and use different colors as you would with a regular brush. The water in the handle keeps a constant flow of water on the brush. To refill it you just unscrew the top, and add the liquid in the handle – no plug or tubes to deal with. When refilling it with ink, don’t press the syringe tight against the rim of the handle. Instead, leave a little bit of an opening to let air in, so the ink will flow inside properly. If your syringe has a needle, that won’t be necessary, but needles are a little harder to clean.

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New Sketch: Mary Eating Pizza

May 5, 2018

Sorry for being away for awhile. I’ve been traveling around with friends. Here’s a new person I met, named Mary, who let me sketch her eating pizza while she watched TV. I did a light wash in ink with brush, and then finished it up later. It’s about 12 x 14 inches.

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New Drawing: Javier Dozes Off

April 24, 2018

My friend Javier said he’d let me draw his portrait as long as he could take a nap. Fine with me. Didn’t manage to get to his hair. Let’s just say it’s white, and leave it at that.

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Improving My Watercolor Strainer Frame

April 11, 2018

The thumbtacks I used in my simple frame for the last painting worked okay, but I wanted to go back to the sturdier method of using binder clips as in my larger frame. I decided to just glue some wood strips to the sides of the frame.

This shows the back of the assembled strainer. I cut 4 thin strips of scrap chipboard to 1.5 inches wide, and glued them to the sides of the frame with contact cement. Now I can use the binder clips to hold the wet paper tight. Ready for another painting.

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Painting Final: Over Her Shoulder

April 6, 2018

Okay, I’m calling her mostly done. I’ll likely go back over it later with some touch-ups after I let her sit for awhile.