Old portraits and an ink surprise

The old yearbook that I took apart and filled with splendid drawing paper (see earlier post) used to be full of photographs from 1936 – portraits of teachers and students of The Royal Institute of Technology here in Stockholm. At first, I was just going to throw the whole contents of the book away, but then I started really looking at these photos, and they grew on me. I quite like them. All these men (of course only men were studying to become engineers in 1936) have quite a character to their faces, and even the young students look like gentlemen quite experienced in the ways of the world to my eyes of 2008.

I drew these with a Micron pen, and two waterbrushes filled with diluted Noodler´s ink. A funny thing I discovered (that I probably should have known, since I once cleaned a dried up ink pen by simply soaking it in ink for a few days) is that when I was laying down the washes of ink, the wash solved the pen lines! And Microns are waterproof, and the lines were dry. It took me a while to realize that ink solves ink if they are of a similar kind.

You see how the first guy above has very dark shadows? I drew him first and was incredibly frustrated with the lines getting all mushed up. So I started experimenting with other ways of filling my waterbrushes with shades of gray. Ended up with two different mixes of Neutral Tint watercolour and water. That did the trick. Now I can get pretty much the grays that are in the photos.

I´m not sure why I´m drawing these, but they are quite addictive. Now I´d just like to find a book full of women from the same era.

5,5 x 8 cm, Micron pens and diluted ink/watercolour on Arches Satinée watercolour paper.

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