European Chub Pen and Ink Drawing – When I was a student at the Art Institute of Philadelphia, I used pen and ink because it was faster than painting with acrylic or gouache. Also, I also used dyes instead of watercolor because the colors were brighter. I still have some of those paintings. Now when I look at them, I’m amazed at how good student artwork was in 1987. I thought that I would try to recreate some of that magic by making a pen and ink drawing colored with dyes.
My first video demonstrates how I draw the scales on the fish. The second video demonstrates how I draw the blades of underwater grass. I am using a Hunt 22B nib with a Koh-I-Noor No. 127 nib holder. The ink is Higgins sepia ink. I’m using 400 Series Strathmore Watercolor paper. The fish in the artwork are European Chub. They are very popular with Russian fisherman. Additionally, European Chub resemble carp because of their large scales. The images show the progression from rough pencil sketch to finished pen and ink drawing.
Painting Water on the Gouache Cormorant Painting – In an effort to make my paintings more friendly to doctor’s offices, nursing homes and hospitals, I decided to replace the poisonous vipers with a pair of cormorants. Black vipers were a great subject with all their shiny scales. However, a poisonous snake is never a good choice of subject matter for an up and coming wildlife artist. Like the viper, the cormorant is dark colored and the symmetry of their feathers will not be a lot different from snake scales.
The Great Cormorant
The Great Cormorant is a large duck species that dives underwater for very long periods of time to catch fish. If you’ve ever watched a cormorant, you have seen that they swim great distances when underwater. You’ll watch them go beneath the surface of the water. But they will resurface somewhere else very far away from where you saw them go below the surface of the water.
In the photos and videos linked here, you’ll see how I painted the water that appears in front of the mountains. For the water immediately in front of the mountains, I use a darkened color of the mountains. Next I use Jet Black to paint everywhere else on the board where water appears.