Recent ink drawings and true confessions

Here’s one I haven’t posted yet from my recent trip to Wisconsin to teach at Madeline Island School of the Arts. We spent one evening at Tom’s Burned Down Café (no coffee in sight but lots of margaritas being mixed, btw) and in the classic urban sketchers tradition, we had a “drink and draw”. It’s an evening activity (usually) where sketchers gather at a local bar for drinking and drawing, of course. We draw each other, or the bar interior, or our drinks, or whatever else we choose. I chose to draw Paul Heaston who was sitting across from me. He humoured me by looking at his phone for a few minutes so I could capture his pose, and I wrote down what he was saying, which happened to be some complaint about body hair.

I love drawing in ink, and I’ve always coveted the Fude bent nib pens that many sketchers use. They make great lines that vary from very thick to very thin, depending on how you angle them. Years ago, I bought one at an art store in Singapore, but the ink never flowed properly. Years later, I tried again with one of those inexpensive Sailor green pens. Again, no ink flow. But after borrowing the pen recently from someone, and loving it, I ordered one from Amazon. It’s a big fat one, heavy in the hand, but it’s magic. The ink flows right out of the pen and onto my sketchbook, making big fat lines and very thin ones too. I love it! I did a little sketch after seeing all the beautiful pottery at 1001 Pots.

And when we stopped for lunch at a pataterie, I drew the garbage cans. If you try to find the pataterie, don’t go by the name on my sketch, which I got wrong. It’s actually called Patate Le 117, and it’s in Val David. This week they are out of veggie burgers but the fries were excellent.

21 Comments on “Recent ink drawings and true confessions”

  1. Frank Bettendorf says:

    Great stuff! Love pen & ink! Frank B


  2. Lori Zajic says:

    This is all so great:) And I ordered the pen you recommended !!!! Let’s hope, some day, to draw somewhat like you:) LOL Best, Lori



  3. Sara Tarr says:

    It’s the same one Pat Southern Pearce is addicted to…I love that pen! I’m trying to do more pen and ink. Love your online class bites. They are stellar!


  4. De says:

    I really admire your ink sketching skills! I love to sketch with my Sailor fude nib pen but don’t have the finesse of sketching as yours. Maybe a consideration for one of your online courses??? I just ordered the Duke 551! Thanks for the recommendation!


  5. Love your ink sketches and admire how each one is so different! Enjoy your new pen!


  6. J L Hovde says:

    I love this!! The ink drawing is great, as are all your sketches!

    JUDY H Minot, ND …><||||(•>



  7. Rosemary Gamblin says:

    Thank you, thank you for the fude pen tip. I immediately ordered one. I have struggled for years with a cheap Chinese fude pen (intermittent ink flow); tried adapting a Lamy nib as per a YouTube video I ran across (ruined 2 nibs) before I concluded perhaps I wasn’t meant to have such a pen. I was thrilled to read about your new pen and look forward to receiving mine.

    Also thanks for posting your inspiring watercolors and ink drawings. I enjoy studying them. Your trash cans reminded me of some I drew in Petersburg, Alaska. This former salmon packing town reproduced some of their colorful vintage salmon can labels on their trash cans. Very eye-catching and fun to draw.

    Thanks again.
    Rosemary Gamblin

    Sent from my iPad


    • HI Rosemary,
      I’m glad this was useful! I hope you enjoy the pen as much as I do.
      As for the trash cans, I saw the same thing in Anacortes, Washington. Another place with a fishing history. Aren’t they great?


  8. Ginny says:

    Everytime you post about new art goodies, sales go up! Ordered mine today.

    How do you keep your hands from getting stained with ink? I love pen and ink but wear the ink stains for days on my fingers and under my fingernails.

    Also, you mentioned carbon ink. Does platinum carbon work well in this pen? Thanks!


    • Haha, Ginny. That is true. Everyone likes to try new art supplies!
      I do have ink on my hands! So does every pen addict I know.
      It’s really hard not to.
      The only pen that I know that doesn’t give me inky hands in my Lamy Safari, but I only use that for writing, never for drawing. The seemed to have figured out how to avoid leaks with that pen.
      As for ink, I did fill mine with Carbon Ink and it’s just perfect.


  9. Susanne says:

    Love your sketches especially the trash cans with your new pen! Although I love my Kaweco Sports I might to get such a pen to draw various lines.
    Thanks for the recommendation!


  10. De says:

    Shari and Ginny, I’ve found that Masters Brush Cleaner or Masters Hand soap takes the ink off my hands. Best solution I’ve found.


  11. Ginny says:

    Thank you!


  12. tim c says:

    shari, I ordered the Ackerman pen you mentioned a few weeks or months ago, but I’ve had trouble with ink flow. It doesn’t go dry but the opposite. Every few strokes it deposits a large blob of ink and I hate to waste the Carbon Platinum ink. Does the Confucius Fude Pen flow well?


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