Sixteen Recent Sketches

After my brother died, I developed a block and could not draw or paint. Almost half a year later, I began tentatively doing "subway" sketches - simple, fast, and doesn't matter if it 'looks like' or not -  no pressure - just do it - as a way to break through the block. First, I used a pen with a fude nib, which I liked, and am waiting for a new pen barrel to come into stock. Then, with a gift certificate to a local art store that a lovely friend gave me for my birthday, I bought a set of Bic coloured ballpoint pens. Love them! Only, they are not lightfast*[see note below], and already folks want to buy some of these. So I bought a set of 36 Pilot Juice Gel Ink Ballpoint Pens and have been using them solely (I found very little on these pens researching, but think they are gel ink with a rolling ballpoint tip, and are pigment-based rather than dye-based as ballpoint pens are). The Pilot pens were used in the first three drawings you see here - the colourful lady completed last night.

Most of these drawings are tiny - 3.5"x5.5" - done in a Pocket Portrait sketchbook made by Hand-Book Journal Co. It is heavyweight buff drawing paper, 130gsm/90lbs, that is acid-free and very nice to draw on. The book is hardcover with an elastic closure and easy to slip into your pocket or purse. The pens are .5mm and really too large to work at this size - but, eh, the size means more chance of drawing.

Each drawing has inscription - please go to my Instagram to see:
I have to disconnect Instagram to this blog since it sends the commentary through as a title! And I must do all the resizing and start double posting here. But, so busy - at least I will try do this kind of round up every now and then.


The last three sketches, of H.D. Doolittle, are preparatory sketches for a commissioned painting.

*Good ballpoint pens, like Bic Crystal, only lose colour in light. If you keep drawings in a drawer or closed in a sketchbook, they are fine. What ballpoint pen artists do is scan or photograph a drawing when it is finished and use the image to print them for showing. I think the gel pens are likely similar - I bought them for the range of colours in the set.

See Older Posts...