Brush pens and people

Had a great afternoon this week with the art group in Cafe de la Gare in Gourville, organised by Lulu Hancock. I go when I can to get a couple of hours of focused drawing time. Our model was Julie the bar owner, who was taking the pose of a Richard Diebenkorn painting. We were all working in different media and I chose to try and develop my use of brush pens, with a bit of colour pencil.

©jen grove
©jen grove

Decided to work in my sketchbook as that’s where I feel happiest at the moment – and these were just experiments. It’s a large (250 x 250) chunky Seawhite of Brighton book which is so forgiving for most media. The paper is heavy cartridge and takes wet media well and these Pentel Brush pens.

I managed to get a few drawings done – all quite quick, probably no longer than 15-20 minutes. No pencil set up, just Lamy Safari EF, and Lamy Joy F. The background is grey brush pen smudged with my finger whilst wet, as is the orange bag. Julie’s purple sweater is colour pencil. I’ve also used a black pentel brush pen for the darkest darks.

©jen grove
©jen grove
©jen grove
©jen grove

Drawing Julie above, I added more colour pencil to the brush pen which I think works really well – adds some texture. The brush pens are great for getting some strong tone down and for making the subject ping by filling the negative space around them. The colour pencil is good for adding detail and texture.

Then I decided to draw the drawers, which was quite easy as they were so focused on their own work that they weren’t moving around much either!

©jen grove
©jen grove
©jen grove
©jen grove

No page is wasted – just a few more to go and this sketchbook will be finished…

This is the equipment that I used…

Lamy, Pentel, Tombow, pencils
Lamy, Pentel, Tombow, pencils

The three brush pens on the right are Pentel, and are my favourites. By squeezing the body of the pen you can get more ink into the brush so can saturate the paper, and the brushes are very flexible. You can also buy refills for them. The next two (blue and ochre) are Tombow and are ok, but the brush is more rigid and you can’t control the flow. Next is the black Pentel brush pen which I love (again, refillable). The two fountain pens in the front are both Lamy – Safari with EF nib and Joy with F nib. The colour pencils in the plastic bag are a mixture of several makes. The Pentel brush pens come in a limited range of colours and they are all pretty punchy, the Tombow range of colours is much larger and more subtle.

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3 thoughts on “Brush pens and people

    1. I love these sketchbooks Michael. Have used them for 20 years or so and looking at the old ones the paper is still pristine and the drawings haven’t faded. Definitely recommend them

      Liked by 1 person

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