Ink Work; new pens


Mammal 3 in ink
Cindy Schnackel


Mammal 4 in ink
Cindy Schnackel


Mammal 5 in ink
Cindy Schnackel


Last Saturday, I went to a free demonstration of Pentel ink pens by C.J. Rider, at the Arizona Art Supply in central Phoenix.  I got a free pen, and bought a few others in the line, including an “Aquash” brush pen that holds water.  These were marvelous fun to play around with.  I do like to draw with ink, and the pens with their contained ink, various brush and point nibs, and the water brush, made it super easy to sit in the living room and draw in ink and wash, without anything to spill, tip over, or drip.  (You COULD make the brush pen drip if you squeezed it hard enough though!)


These were done in a sketchbook of cream colored paper, about 5 x 7 inches.  I only scanned a few of the drawings, and as you can see, I’m still not over my mammal-mammary phase.  Not sure what’s up with that, but it is enormous fun to draw these creatures with their pendulous udders, and hear what people think their babies must be like.

Some of the pens are more water soluble than others, but all have at least a small window of opportunity as C.J. put it, to soften lines, etc, with the Aquash water brush.  Some were still somewhat soluble even the next day, others barely dissolved even after a few minutes.  I won’t attempt to describe the entire product line, but I really enjoyed the wash effects and convenience of these tools.  I still love the quill pen and bottle of ink, and one of my favorite tools of all time, the ballpoint pen.  But these are fun and so handy I may take them with me to sketch on the bus sometimes.  Also, some of the pens, even the brush tip ones, are capable of incredibly fine lines! The brushes have a very fine to bold stroke with the same tip. They really are like a brush.  There were finer still tips, but I got something kind of in the middle.  If you like working with ink, check them out.

Phone Doodle


The Conversation
About 6 x 4 inches on graph paper

Drawn with ballpoint and gel ink pens while on the phone, May 2013.  Bird in wig is making another appearance, I think it’s probably a self portrait, but not sure.  She is looking at a pill-like pig thing with a butt, while a gleeful man leaps across a checkerboard background.  Interpretations invited!

Another Mammal; some new paints

Mammal 2

Mammal 2

Finally got done enough with some necessary editing chores to try out some new paints I’d ordered.  I was anxious to try some genuine mineral pigment paints from Daniel Smith.  They had more of them in the watercolors, than acrylics, and I do acrylics, but I was able to get a small tube of genuine lapis lazuli blue, and also Minnesota pipestone.  I also ordered Indian red, and Rich Green Gold because I just needed those colors.  People had said in art forums that the lapis was “disappointing and wimpy.”  Somehow that made me even more curious.  Maybe it’d be useful in its own way, like the discontinued Prismacolor pencil ‘manganese violet’ that is wimpy but very useful for adding a transparent purple cast to shadows, etc, in colored pencil drawings.  There is a use for everything!

Anyway, the above creature is a result of using all four new colors.

The green gold, and indian red, are pretty strong colors. They absolutely dominated the weaker natural mineral pigments in mixes, so a little of them went a long way.  Not surprisingly, Daniel Smith’s rich green gold is fairly transparent like the green gold from Golden paints.  Indian red was very opaque, a rich reddish brown, similar to red iron oxide.  I use the transparent red iron oxide from Golden a lot.  Lapis was weak,  but I will certainly use it.  It reminds me of the color of broken in blue jeans.  It’s nice by itself, weak in mixes, and semi transparent.

All four are useful and I’m sure I’ll have lots of fun with them.

The creature above has a lot of pipestone in it, and its eyes are mostly lapis.  The ‘sky’ is mostly watery green gold, with a bit of the pipestone. There is a lot of colored and black ballpoint and india ink in it, too.  I painted this watercolor-style, even though with acrylics, as I wanted to see what each color did when thinned out.  Plus it was a way to experiment without using the entire tube.

Besides this piece, I’ve been working on a large (40 x 30 inch) palette knife painting of a clown having a really, really bad day. I hate clowns.  One of the monsters who’s been with me since the 80s came back to kick the clown’s ass.  Not sure why I hate clowns, just always have.  One time during the Apple Fest parade when I was a little kid one came up to me and I was just appalled. They’re really creepy.  It’s fitting that serial killer John Wayne Gacy was a clown.  Confirmation that all we clown haters got it right.


Have a good weekend!


All work copyright © Cindy Schnackel, all rights reserved.