Inside outside

A while back I bought one of those bamboo pens. You know the ones — a fat tube of bamboo with a carved nib that you dip in an ink bottle. I tried it out today on some watercolour paper and really like the effects you get with it. The thick line has varied widths and ends up being nicely textured as it goes over the hills and valleys of the paper (in this case Fluid paper). You can’t get very far with the line before it runs dry, so I ended up stopping and starting quite frequently but I think that makes you more observant about changes in direction and edges. Of course there’s no hiding mistakes with this pen, so you have to live with what you get. When it dried I painted over it in watercolour. Worth trying again for sure.


32 Comments on “Inside outside”

  1. Marie says:

    Really like this one!!


  2. Alison says:

    Thank you for sharing this “experimentation”. Always informative and inspiring!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Shoot! i hope it snows all summer. Your still life sketches while being housebound are awesome. I shall have to try some pen and ink too.


    • Holly, it’s funny that you mention the word housebound. After my first son was born I had a show called “Housebound”. It was all large format watercolour landscapes of scenes inside my house — laundry, shoes, towels, gloves, etc. I still like to draw these types of things.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. theospotter says:

    I get stuck on all the starting and stopping so inevitably go back to my Lamy or Platinum Carbon because I want to keep going. I have a variety of dip pens and so far they are brand new after 8 months.


  5. joantav says:

    I like the effect you got with the bamboo pen…the lines have a bit of character to them because they are not so perfect. Love the light coming through the bottles.


  6. divegroupie says:

    Shari, I really love this! I think the pen added something special. Reminds me a bit of stained glass.


  7. wonderful the distortions of objects seen through the glass


  8. Shari…have you tried soaking the bamboo pen in water for quite a while before using? I am told this enables it to retain more ink..


  9. Judy Sopher says:

    Love this, Shari. Love still life paintings. You really captured the transparency of the glass. Another subject you could do a Craftsy class on.

    I once had a pen like that. I remember it wasn’t easy to use. Wonder if I can find it?


  10. Nicely done. Thanks for our daily inspiration.


  11. TonyU says:

    Wonderful – those glass bottles look so real! Spooky too as your ‘dry’ brush pen sketch the other day set me thinking about Indian ink, bamboo pens and sharpened matchsticks.


    • And I think when you said that my brush pen drawing looked like charcoal, it got me thinking. I was trying to find a similar ink that I could use with watercolour, because my brush pen is water soluble. So thank you for the inspiration.


  12. Bernadette says:

    Such a nice study in pen and subject. Your work is always so clean and fresh. You always inspire me to try new things, new ways to be creative. Thanks for sharing.


  13. I used to make reed pens from the bamboo stakes you buy in the gardening dept. Van Gogh was a fan of reed pens,


  14. Dee Ludwg says:

    Gotta try this sometime!


  15. Jeff Gold says:

    There’s a wonderful unity of color in this. Did you use a limited palette? The painting glows with light. The overall high tone of the values is beautifully controlled. It all hangs together with that bold pen line. This is very direct and quite special.


    • Wow, thanks Jeff. I didn’t really use a limited palette because I dipped into lots of colours but I did use a lot of Cerulean Blue which does tie everything together. I can’t paint without that colour.


  16. ba317 says:

    I love this. I have taken both of your Craftsy’s classes. I would love for you to do one of ‘objects’ in pen & wash. I love seeing your daily drawings/paintings! Thanks again for sharing! ~Billie


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