European Chub Pen and Ink Drawing

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.

European Chub Pen and Ink - A rough pencil drawing where the composition is being worked on.
A rough pencil drawing where the composition is being worked on.

European Chub Pen and Ink - The pencil drawing of the fish has been completed.
The pencil drawing of the fish has been completed.

European Chub Pen and Ink - Scales not drawn
Before the pen and ink drawing of the scales on the European Chub have been completed.

European Chub Pen and Ink - Scales finished
The pen and ink drawing of the scales on the European Chub have been completed.

Koh-i-Noor No. 127 Made in Germany Nib Holder - Black Run Preserve - Evesham NJ
The legendary Koh-i-Noor No. 127 Made in Germany Nib Holder. I’ve been using these since I was 10 or 12 years old.

Hunt 22B Nib - Black Run Preserve - Evesham NJ
The Hunt 22B nib, I only use one nib, the Hunt 22B. A very good all around nib. Fresh out of the box, very good for fine lines. Once they get old, I save it and use it for thick lines.

New Cormorant Painting – Painting Water

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

Water has been added in front of the mountains and in the foreground. Painting Water
Water has been added in front of the mountains and in the foreground.

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.

Painting Water

You can see the pencil drawing of the original black vipers in the foreground. Painting Water
You can see the pencil drawing of the original black vipers in the foreground.

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.

Painting the reflection of the mountain in the water using a Regency Gold #1 540 Series liner brush. Painting Water Cormorant
Painting the reflection of the mountain in the water using a Regency Gold #1 540 Series liner brush.
About to mix water with the Windsor & Newton Jet Black gouache paint on a glass palette. Painting Water Cormorant
About to mix water with the Windsor & Newton Jet Black gouache paint on a glass palette.
Mixing water with the Windsor & Newton Jet Black gouache paint on a glass palette. Painting Water Cormorant
Mixing water with the Windsor & Newton Jet Black gouache paint on a glass palette.
Using a 1/4 Robert Simmons oval wash in this photo. Painting Water Cormorant
Using a 1/4 Robert Simmons oval wash in this photo.
Using the Robert Simmons 3/4 oval wash and Jet Black gouache paint. Painting Water
Using the Robert Simmons 3/4 oval wash and Jet Black gouache paint.
From this angle you can see the paint is still wet. Painting water Cormorant
From this angle you can see the paint is still wet.