Thursday, May 23, 2013

Drawing Hands Holding Pens and Brushes #13

Using pen and ink I did a series of two of my favourite things... Drawing and Hands.
They were inspired by photographs in a book showing various ways to hold drawing tools.

The quill (above) is held firmly between the thumb and the forefinger... the shape of the quill and the pressure you apply make all the difference in the marks produced.


For strong and sharp lines that require more pressure, support the pen on two fingers


 I did one in gray ink but it seemed a little pale so I continued on using Sepia.
This shows the pen being held between the second and third finger... good for a rich, rough line.


 Most often a Chinese or Japanese calligrapher's brush is held vertically... a very particular technique altogether that creates flowing lines in varying widths.  I have watched an experienced artist work in this method and it seemed to flow from them...but I am sure they practiced for years to make it look that easy.


 You can use the pen nib with the reverse side facing down to make large areas of color.


 Your little finger can be used as a lift to elevate your hand and brush when detailing or working over wet ink.


The brush can be balanced very gently  between thumb and forefinger for fine delicate lines


Grip it close to the ferrule to separate and spread the hairs to create broad chiseled strokes.


 For stability and raising your hand above the drawing surface and being precise, you can brace your hand  on your other hand.  I have found myself doing that quite often.


 11" x 14" page from my sketchbook...

 *Note* I should have taken the recycled paper that I was using to divide the pages, out from behind the drawings before I took the pictures because I  now notice  faint lines showing through...... darn... just got to carry on. Cheers.

Desideratum Art and Jewelry studio, St. Martins, New Brunswick, Canada

12 comments:

Guillaume said...

Sometimes I wish we were still writing with a feather.

Gwen Buchanan said...

Guillaume, That would be so romantic.. and also if we all knew how to make one, would be cool.

Linda H said...

Your sketches are so beautiful!!
I remember writing with a fountain pen when much younger, loved it. Kids today wouldn't even know what they are...

Carol Steel said...

These are quite lovely. I learned so much about the ways of using the quill. I didn't know all this. Thank you for sharing your drawings and explanations.

Gwen Buchanan said...

Thanks Linda, sure hope the power never goes out... haha. but I still haven't figured out how they do all that typing with only their thumbs!!

Carol, funny thing is, when one is working with dip pens and brushes you begin to try out all kinds of methods and then you read the instructions... and find out what you just learned by accident is what they recommended all along.

Terra said...

Beautiful sketches and techniques for using pens and brushes.

laura said...

What a great idea for a series of drawings, and you executed them beautifully. I especially like seeing them all on one page!

pRiyA said...

Gwen, these are beautiful drawings of hands. They are so well done and remind me of the reason I keep coming back to this blog over the years.

Gwen Buchanan said...

Thanks Terra, it was a fun little exercise.

Hi Laura, Thanks I do really enjoy working on a theme. It seems to allow for more exploration.

Hey Priya, Very kind of you. Hands offer a lot of interest to me with all those million or so wrinkles.

pauline said...

love these sketches Gwen... i love how they all look spread out together on the page. You are the queen of hands. Beautiful illustrations. Very Michealangelo-like. xox

Lynne with an e said...

I've got to hand it to you again, another finely executed series of delicate drawings...and educational as well. I recognized the pinky support technique as something I instinctively do when painting on paper with watercolours.

Tracy said...

VERY nice, Gwen! I like writing/drawing with pen and ink. Somehow this reminds me of the fountain pen I used to use all the time. And somehow I write more with a keyboard... Time to get back to pen & paper and snail mail. ;o) Happy Days ((HUGS))