When You Stick With It Things Unfold

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Some projects can be a little difficult to get through. Sometimes you may even abandon a project until a later date due to waning enthusiasm. I started off doing the linework for this drawing feeling pretty excited and had a clear vision of the finished image already planted in my mind. Yet oddly enough, once I started laying in the ink I realized I wasn’t completely feeling’ the direction it was going in. The thing with ink, despite it’s simplicity, is that it’s rather unforgiving. Once you lay it down there’s no picking it back up. So ever dot and stroke has to be sure. But I wasn’t feeling so sure with this one. Sometimes when I feel like this I’ll just start over. Other times I’ll put it off until another time and go start on another project that has my interest.

This time though, I stuck with it. I made it up in my mind that I would see it through even if the drawing didn’t turn out as I had envisioned.  After some time and more ink my feelings begun to change. As the face and form of my subject became more fleshed out with each carefully placed dot, I regained my initial enthusiasm and more. What started out as a drawing where I wanted to merge elements of nature with human form now seem to evoke an untold story, a story that is saying something still yet to unfold. I now find myself eager to finish to see what lies behind the eyes of this creature I call Chrysalis.

The Technical Pen

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When it comes to resources, there’s one book I recommend any pen and ink artist to have in their library and that’s The Technical Pen by Gary Simmons. For anyone who wants to learn more on not just how to get the most out of their technical pen but also on just drawing with pen and ink in general, this book is full of explanations on how to build form, tone and textures in pen and ink renderings. Simmons does a wonderful job of giving step by step demonstrations that illustrate how to develop good, solid image construction from the initial pencil sketch to the final inking. He also points out the common mishaps and pitfalls and how to avoid them when mastering the medium. Although I mainly do stipple work, this is still my go-to reference guide for when I want to get a good idea on how to construct various line techniques and patterns. So if you come across this book at your local library be sure to pick it up and take a look through it. It’s also available on Amazon here, if you want to get your own copy. If it’s currently out of print, you may still be able to purchase a used copy at a descent price from some of the Amazon merchants.