Redbird

Since 8/1, I’ve been thinking about the August reprise of Draw A Bird Day. I picked up a superfine-nibbed PITT artist pen, because it was the closest to hand, and it seems I’m drawn more and more to pen and ink!   Something I thought would never happen.    These pens by Faber-Castell may unseat my old favorites, the Microns.   I think what I prefer is the smoothness of these.   No hesitation at all, and I can adjust the line quite a bit just by varying the pressure.   Both of these were done entirely with the same pen, and in my Strathmore mixed media artist journal (which may be the best thing on earth, next to Dick Blick).   This must be how people feel when they zentangle. Soooo many feathers, so many tiny lines….and it just goes on forever. Definitely zen. Very zen!   I did this one over the weekend, while watching TV…

0806 1

This next one, I felt a little more serious about.   I don’t like fussing with a pencil underdrawing, which I think is what scared me away from ink for so long.   Hard to erase ink!    But when you’re adding teeny, tiny lines…..I think it’s a bit easier to see where you’re going wrong, so you can redirect.   Does this make sense to any ink artists out there?   I thought about adding color, but I didn’t want to cover up all of those lovely pen lines. I guess I could do a very pale red watercolor wash…I’d love to hear your thoughts on this aspect.   But I digress! I hope you’ll join us for the August version of Draw A Bird Day this Saturday, the eighth!

0806 2

Friday is so close, I can smell it! The cardinals could teach us all a thing or two about shaking our tail feathers! Enjoy the day. Peace.

59 thoughts on “Redbird

  1. These are beautiful.
    A wash might be nice; are the pens waterproof?
    I’ve been using Staedtler pigment liners, a set with 4 different widths, but I haven’t decided which I like best. I saw them when I was shopping in Staples and decided to try them. Also my daughter recommended a pen we got in the Japanese store, which is wide, and I’ve been trying that too. The one you’re using looks much finer…is it 0.1? I certainly get different effects depending on the width I use. Pens are very easy for sketching, in a way it seems like cheating sometimes.

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    1. Thanks! I was really happy with the second one, and I’m hardly ever happy with whatever I post here. They are waterproof, yes, very similar to the Microns. The S (superfine) nib is .3, I think. They make an XS that I don’t have, but thinking about getting, that is .1. I think the finest one micron makes is .05. I love the way this pen is extremely pressure-sensitive, so it feels like I used much finer and yet wider pens all in the same drawing. Just a very slight pressure difference. It (pen) does make it easy, which still shocks me. Non-erasing….whaaaaa? I still don’t get it. And I’m 100% sure that the first bird I drew in pen felt completely different. But it was the micron. Maybe I should try that micron again and see if the brand name makes that much difference? It seems like it shouldn’t.

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    1. Jodi, I can’t even tell you how many mornings you’ve brightened up over here. Man, your job should be to encourage people (or maybe that is what you do for a living, I know you’re in communications lol). Love it. Thank you! I do like the second one quite a lot and I’m amazed by what can happen when you pick up a pen you’ve not used in awhile (just because I was too lazy to go get the other one)…..It really amazed me, this one. Also I found a photo that actually showed the feathers in the head! Which really helped. How good must a camera be to get a shot like that?! Feathers actually crosshatch. Very cool. Anyway, thanks once again for making me feel like a rock star! 💛💛💛

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      1. Awh! You are so cute! These are really, really, really outstanding, Laura! Drawing faces and animals is SO your sweet spot! The raccoon, I believe, some time ago, was what drew me in. And I have been a fan of yours and hopefully have become a friend 🙂 ever since!!! You ARE a ROCK STAR! And I always look forward to your daily comments too. You make my day also! Thank YOU for that! Happy Day!

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        1. Are you kidding, you’re one of my best friends here! You always encourage me, it’s meant a ton, and continues to also and I get a kick out of your journey and all of your adventures too. Hub even knows you – you used to be “the Steelers fan” but he may even know your first name at this point lol! ((((((Jodi)))))) 💛💛💛 I was looking at that raccoon drawing the other day. I’d like to revisit that one in ink and see what happens. I so enjoyed drawing that one! Thank you, Jodi. 💜

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    1. Thanks, Rebecca! I always go right in with ink, I guess I wasn’t clear. It seems each time I try to start with pencil I get so fussy that it squashes everything and then I can’t even get the pencil right let alone the pen. But I use such small strokes that I feel more secure just using the pen, that if I go awry at least I can fix it. I think too much if I don’t go right in with pen, it seems. And then I lose it all. I have to go fast and really not think.

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  2. Beautiful line work on the second cardinal :-). I love the texture created by the differently directed lines. I’m impressed by how easily you go straight to pen. I picked up some PITT pens a month ago but I haven’t touched them. I’m, um, clinging to the erasibility of pencil.

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    1. I understand. And then people said oh just draw it in pencil and go over it in pen, erase the pencil. I can’t do that either so I stayed away altogether. I encourage you to try it. Remember, no one has to see it. You are crazy talented in my opinion. Seriously. 💛

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      1. Er, um, maybe I have a wee aptitude. Now I just need to work on my ink courage. I’ve been looking more closely at ink drawings I come across and noticing what artists do with all those little lines. How did you figure out how to criss-cross your lines? Were you just playing? I think I will play with textures a bit. Zoom into a patch of hair or feathers or grass and see where the lights and darks fall. When I am trying to draw a whole subject, the texture seems overwhelming. But if just draw a square of texture…

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      1. Ah, well I’m glad you did! I still haven’t got these Draw a Bird days entered into my mental Calendar.

        I’ll have to try to remember to draw one tomorrow then. I’m sure it won’t be half as lovely as these ones though 🙂

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        1. I hope you join us! I’d like to see wp fly every month! 😀 I’m lucky that birds are probably the first thing I started drawing after my cat. And we have feeders close to the house too, in a rural area, so it’s like anything else, I think. The more you love something and see it, and practice drawing, you get better. I’ve loved birds since I was a little kid. My parents were also and so it’s been bred into me lol. They also had feeders and lived in the country so I think all of that helps.

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          1. Well, all your exposure and practice certainly shows then because your bird drawings are gorgeous :). I’ll just have to keep practicing by trying to remember these Draw a Bird days from now on.

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            1. Thank you so much! It means a lot! I am actually just as amazed anytime I come out of a drawing trance and look at the page….and see something I like. The cardinal head and the goldfinch are a couple of the few things I’ve ever done that I actually like. Thanks.

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  3. You are a ROCK STAR, Laura! I agree with Jodi! 😊😊😊 These are AWESOME! The second one is my fav probably because of all those tiny lines that add so much! I don’t think I’d add color to them. I like them just as they are – stunning! 💜 I will have to try the Pitt pens again. I did at one time but I think I liked the Micon ones better. Just wish they’d last longer. 🐦

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    1. Jill you’re another wonderful beam of light out here. You always make me feel so great, thank you. I totally agree about the Micron pens, particularly the very fine one. I think I have three of them and I don’t do all that much with ink until lately (and that wasn’t using micron lol). I could probably work for Dick Blick or Faber-Castell and be totally happy. I seem to love everything about both companies. I will try the Micron again. Another friend said the Micron makes a blacker line. And I hadn’t noticed that at all, so I wanted to see. Thanks again, Jill! 💛💛💛

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  4. These are awesome! I especially love the 2nd one. Definitely looking forward to seeing what you do on Saturday! I may have to try out those Pitt pens – I’ve been using Microns, but I’ve seen quite a few people who use Pitts & love them.

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  5. Wow, I love these, Laura!!! Very nice, especially the second one. I would leave them as they are, or do a light watercolor wash around them. Not the birds itself, I would color the background. But these drawings are nice as they are! I´m also working on my bird for Saturday already. 😊 Have a wonderful Friday tomorrow! 💛

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  6. I LOVE this! So beautifully done. You must be so pleased. Hmm, I am always so hesitant to add color to my originals… always worried I will “mess” them up. What about testing it out on a copy of it, to see what it looks and if it “feels” right?

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    1. Thanks BB! That’s a great idea. I’m also considering Ann’s idea, which was to watercolor the background only. So first I thought red and now I’m thinking a deep green might be cool. The viewer will already put the red on the bird. I’m glad you like this. Can you believe I’m enjoying pen work? I start to see its addictiveness. Do you feel this way about it too? The zen quality? I start to understand the draw now!

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      1. Oh Yes! I totally am addictive to the pen! It has been so hard to go to other mediums. There is something so refreshing about shading with lines. I started a watercolor painting today… just to keep up the other skills.
        What a great idea about coloring the background! Oh yes, a forest green would be beautiful.

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  7. Laura, love the cardinals. Especially number 2 – such detail + so realistic! I’d love to see a wash on him. I’m looking for a new pen, so I’m going to try this one. I’ve been using a gel pen in my sketchbook which I love because it glides (compared to the microns) but when I added watercolor to it, things got muddy. I realized it’s not waterproof. 😦
    Great work! One of these days I have to revisit birds. – Eileen

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    1. Thanks, Eileen! You can’t go wrong with Faber-Castell, from my experience. They have yet to make a product I don’t love. I wish you the best with it. Birds are so much fun! I find it interesting that with every subject…..I almost feel like I’m learning to draw all over again.

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    1. Thanks, C! I definitely have more miles on pen/pencils than I do on my brushes. I think practice is key. I started drawing every night, just something random but I make sure I try to actually draw something, and that’s been about two or so months now. And I focus on not erasing. It definitely pays off. 💛 Anything you consistently do! It’s cool to think about that – sky’s the limit really. I’m determined to become a competent watercolorist. I think practice is key, just like with everything else. It turns me on! :))) I do appreciate your boost, though….we can all use more of those.

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