Saturday, October 17, 2009

And Now for Something Completely New..........

or at least new for the first time in about 15 years.

It's been at least that long since I did any work in pen and ink. But today I felt like something new and I just didn't want to face the problem of how to deal with the foreground reeds in my usual media of watercolor, pastel or charcoal. If I'd thought about it I would have realized that pen and ink would probably be even worse but all I thought about was the excitement of trying something new. I also worked a bit larger than a lot of my recent work, 14x17 inches.

I ran into a few problems, largely caused by the fact that once you put down ink it is down for good. There's no going back. So there are a few decisions I made along the way to accommodate for those mistakes. I'll let viewers figure out what they might be. Below are a couple of earlier versions of the drawing.

In some ways pen and ink ought to scare most artists to death. You're stuck with whatever you put down. All mistakes stay. But I've always found it a somewhat bold and exhilarating medium. The new drawing was done with two Pitt artist pens. The drawing below from 14-15 years ago was done with a Rapidograph pen. This was done while viewing the insects under a dissecting microscope.


Pam Johnson Brickell said...

Wow!! Love this piece and all it's textures, lights and darks. You have patience galore! Really, really nice feel to this, Ken!

Ken Januski said...

Hi Pam,

Surprisingly enough this piece didn't take patience! You would think so because of all the individual strokes involved but they actually go pretty fast. It really took boldness more than anything else, particularly for the foreground which was an impenetrable mess of standing and fallen and broken reeds. I just had to gather up my courage and say: OK, here I'm going to make some that are very tall, and here some lines that look like fallen reeds, and here some lines that maybe will look like broken reeds. I think it all worked out so that it does create that illusion. But I sure didn't know if it would work when I started out.

Working in pen I think forced me to be bold about it and not try to fudge things(because I couldn't!!).

Glad you like it.