hard edged

One more post of another drawing from the Monthly Pen and Ink Project on WetCanvas.  This one is a bit different for me.  Normally, I use quite a lot of cross-hatching.  I am very comfortable with the technique.  However, that comfort can cause problems.  Most notably: the art (and the creating of it) gets boring.  And predictable.

In short, I tend to hatch things to death.

So, in order to challenge myself, and to make the art itself more interesting to look at (I hope), I decided to try a different technique.  I chose to use line thickness (width) and frequency (lines in proximity to each other, but not crossing each other) to depict the values in the chosen image.

The subject is a sculpture from Parliament Hill, Ottawa, Canada (by WC member ploverwing).  It’s a decorative carving of a snail (in it’s shell) with leaves, set on top of what appears to be a square opening in a stone wall:

The result is much more hard edged than my usual cross hatching… and I think, more dramatic.  I found it very challenging (and interesting) to see the shadow areas in terms of abstract shapes and then distill those shapes into pen lines… plus a few dots (called stippling).  Because I used a technical pen with a fixed nib instead of a traditional “dip” quill (which has a flexible nib), I wasn’t able to do as much with variations of line width as I would have liked.  It wasn’t a quick study; I’m not sure if it’s just my unfamiliarity with the technique or if it’s simply a more time-consuming one.

Guess I’ll just have to do more of it to find out. 🙂

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6 Responses to hard edged

  1. What kind of pens/nibs were you using for this? some have VERY thin lines and can give almost an etching fineness, allowing for much more in the way of ‘sculpting’ a rendering…

    • twentzler says:

      I used a Pigma Micron (005, the finest they make)… my paper was more the problem: just sketchbook paper, which bled as soon as I applied much pressure at all. Years ago, I used mapping and crowquill nibs and I agree; the fine-ness of line that can be achieved is pretty amazing. I’ll be concentrating more on line width when I’m more comfortable with the technique. I’ll also be using better paper! Thanks for commenting!

  2. I’ve really enjoyed catching up on your last few posts… the wet canvas project is a great idea, and I love all of the pictures you’ve done – but this snail blew me away – it’s so DIFFERENT – really fun! I hope you find the time to try more of this technique

  3. twentzler says:

    It definitely has a metallic look to it… the obvious delineation of the shadow shapes rather than the softer, lighter, more feather-y “indicative” lines of cross hatching impart that more dramatic effect.
    There are several very nice images of sculpture from The Hill in Wet Canvas’ Reference Library… 🙂 Thanks for commenting.

  4. Erica says:

    This is a very different style for you, but I like it! The snail’s shell almost looks like it’s glowing – it has a shine to it that surprises me (pleasantly).

    Now I’m wondering just where that sculpture is on The Hill. I know there have been lots of different art installations there in the last few years. Maybe this summer we’ll go back and we can go hunting for it. 🙂

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