Nibby Sunday – Pencils and markers

Nibby Sunday – Pencils and markers

I’ve decided to start drawing again, and I thought I’d kickstart this with a month-long project. I have a Moleskine sketchbook, and will try to fill it with sketches and drawings throughout the month of March.

The book is in A5 format and has 192 pages, which gives an average of 6-7 pages per day. It should be manageable, I think, but we’ll see how much else I will also have to do in the coming month.

I have a lot of fountain pens, and it can be fun to sketch with them, but I actually prefer to use pencils and markers for this. The pencil is the perfect tool for sketching. You can put down a bunch of really faint markings before committing to a specific line, and you can have basically infinite shades of gray between white and black. And if everything plain sucks, you can just erase your drawing and start again. There are no other tools that are better suited to this use than the pencil, at least in my mind, and this is perhaps part of the reason why the pencil has basically remained unchanged since the mid-1800s. It is perfect as it is!

There should be enough to pick from in my pencil drawer!

Before I became interested in fountain pens, I had a penchant for pencils, and for a period I bought a lot of pencils, which still fill up boxes and drawers today. In other words, I have a good selection to choose from. They have many different qualities, but I like them all, so I tend to just randomly pick whatever pencil, and go from there.

A book full of only pencil drawings gets a bit boring for me. I want colors too, and an opportunity to highlight the drawings I’m happy with. I think it’s fun to combine the pencil lines with markers, and for this I prefer brush markers. You can use a black marker to make the final lines in your drawing, or you can use colored markers to liven up the pages of the book.

These brush pens from Tombow are really nice.

I want to use this month to practice sketching from reality. In the past when I have drawn, it has often been from image references I have found online (or taken myself), but it is a different beast to draw from reality. Then you have to use your head and pencil to translate from 3D to 2D, whereas if you draw from a picture, this is already done for you. I am interested in drawing as a form of documentation, and to do that, I must be able to draw from real life. I’m not saying I’ll only do that, but I’d like to have that as my main focus. Then I can draw from pictures now and then, for variation’s sake.

I started off by drawing some ink bottles. It’s quite fun, because they are generally pretty simple, but at the same time some of the bottles have geometric shapes that provides a few challenges. I’m not too concerned with everything looking exactly right. It is more important to capture the essence of the subject, and to have fun with it. After I finished the pencil sketches, I framed them with some color. I think it turned out quite nice.

There will probably be a little more focus on drawing in my posts here on the blog now in the weeks leading up to Easter. The pencil will be the foundation of what I’m doing in this book, but I’m going to test some other drawing tools as well. I haven’t really planned it very much. It’ll be a fun month!

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