Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Joy of First Time : Pen Portraiture

I have always imagined drawing with pen quite hard. Due to multiple reasons, which I would list below, I didn't try to render much in pen.

1. Fear - pen won't erase, so if you make mistake, it can't be corrected and you'll have to work all over again.
I cannot tell you how deep-rooted this fear was! We all learn to write in pencil and gradually move onto the ink. Assuming as we grow, we learn how to write without making mistakes or learning to correct the correct way.
But for the art, most of us don't take the risk of making mistakes. I heard from many experienced artists how they do the first draft in pencil and then switch to pen. Serves some of us well.

2. Myths - pen art is not art. Can you believe that! Some still contest the real art is what painted upon and not just drawn. Well, to me, anything created with sincerity is okay to share with others. Let the debate go on, you focus on wherever your creativity takes you.

3. Lack of value range - this was something that kept me off for so long. What a myth! You and only you can keep yourself from giving the depth to the artwork. There are different techniques but sure a full range of shades.

But it just happened. Because its a milestone for me, I will share my story. Before hitting the bed, I had to choose the best reference picture of the model. One looked more promising than the other but second one has a striking unavoidable appeal. So, I decided to do underdrawing of both. Sleep can wait. This idea cannot! whichever looks better will turn into a final painting.

I had my supplies lying around and I decided to draw the rough sketches before going to bed. Shortly, first drawing was ready and I started the second one. By the time I finished, I realized, I was using pen, inadvertently. Oh woah, I don't use pen, I told myself. But I did and it was a big deal for me because the result was astonishing!  The output was darker, clearer, and bore striking likeness in much fewer marks as opposed to the charcoal, the usual medium for this purpose. Oh my, I had pleasantly surprised myself.

What can I say. This has made me a very happy person. In the days that followed, I am not able to put the pen down. One more, just one more!

My hands are tired, my wrists hurt, but the sketching is very enjoyable. You should try it! Here are some detailed pics of what I made as a full portrait out of this new love.

 Look, Ma!
9 x 12
Pen on paper

Details of above

I am not sure what's making me more happy - breaking the myth, seeing the light or is it pure joy of learning something new.

Either way, I am happy to share it with others. Tired muscles behold! You have a lot to do. :-)

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