I´m reading Sarah Simblet´s “The Drawing Book” right now (if you have not seen this book – go check it out! Now!) and found this really inspiring little exercise. In a drawing of a dog, she starts out with a dip pen and very diluted ink, and draws a few sketchy lines to capture the shape of the dog. Then she uses more and more concentrated ink to define the drawing as she goes along.
I decided to try this today. I used an old bottle of a reddish brown fountain pen ink (water soluble) and diluted it with a lot of water and started sketching with a dip pen. Once I got the shape of it, I added more and more ink to the ink solution, and kept drawing.
I kind of like the result, and above all, I like the process. You can start out really cautiously, and because your first lines are so light, they won´t disturb the drawing later on. A fun way to build up a drawing.
Dip pens are fantastic. No other pens (not even the Lamy Safari Extra Fine, even though I love drawing with it) give such varied lines. You just put a little more pressure on the pen, and the line width grows immediately, leaving traces of your own temperament in the drawing. Lovely.
The drawing is 8 x 12 cm, dip pen and some brownish ink (don´t know the brand) on a small Moleskine Watercolor page. The drawing is photographed three times during the process, with the camera´s white balance in the completely wrong mode, hence the blue edges…