Monday, June 15, 2015

Some More Sumi Brush Pen Sketches

Hermit Thrush. Sumi Brush Pen Sketches by Ken Januski.

Many years ago I used to do three hours of figure drawing five nights a week in San Francisco, this immediately after leaving my full-time job. I ate supper when I got home at 9-10 pm with a stop in between for an espresso or cappuccino at one of San Francisco's many coffee houses.

It wasn't the healthiest life style but it was exciting, especially as I did almost all of my life drawings using felt tip pens, or reed pens dipped in ink on paper about 18x24 inches. In other words I did many quick, large sketches night after night. There was something both mesmerizing and fulfilling about working so quickly and at such a relatively large scale.

I'm including three new sheets of Kuratake Sumi Brush Pen sketches. They are also very quickly done. That it just inevitable with the drawing tool. If you don't move it quickly you get a blob. I suppose it is possible to contemplate your stroke for awhile before you actually put it down. This in fact might be the best way to use the brush pen. But for now I'm doing these quickly. Each time I put down one stroke I quickly move to the next stroke.

These are done in an 11x14 Cachet sketchbook so they are somewhat large. I think it is the quick fluidity of the brush pen rather than the size of the paper that is the main factor in the effect created. And it thoroughly reminds me of the excitement of those figure drawing classes.

Great Egrets. Sumi Brush Pen Sketches by Ken Januski.

As I've mentioned, ad nauseum I'm sure, I'm not at all interested in detail. I want to scream when I read compliments on 'the detail' in someone's work. For me the telling detail is important, the one that through suggestion indicates both a knowledge and a feel for the bird, or any other object for that matte, but that is quite different than millions of little details that work against one another so that there is no focus in the work.

This brush pen, or just a regular sumi brush, forces you I think to go for overall impression and just one or two details. That's the goal I seek and I think working with the sumi brush pen will be very helpful along those lines. Eventually I'm sure at least some of these sumi sketches will appear in a new woodcut or linocut.

Great-crested Flycatcher. Sumi Brush Pen Sketches by Ken Januski.
Oh yes, these are all done from the many photos I've taken over the years. If the rain, and hot weather, ever stops I plan to try the pen drawing from life.

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