Biodome Redux : Big Ink!
Considering we had just scouted the place the week before, I wanted to switch up my technique. Last time was pencil and watercolor in a sketchbook. This time, large format (14×22″) ink drawings with the dipping pen. This format was probably too big honestly. I think 12×16″ or 11×14″ might have been fine. But it does allow you to crazy with broad pen strokes.
My main goal for today was becoming completely comfortable drawing with a bottle of liquid ink.
This might sound silly, but the fear of spilling ink has been the main thing holding me back from drawing with dip pens on location. I do love fountain pens, and they are a great solution for travel. But I’d rather be drawing with these more flexible nibs.
After some tinkering around, this is my current solution: I carry the ink in (very small!) 5 ml HDPE (Nalgene) bottles, and hold the bottle in the same hand that supports my stack of coroplast drawing boards. The vial of ink is safely clamped in the crook of my thumb. The bottom edge of the panel is tucked against my well cushioned body. It’s very stable while standing, even walking around while drawing. I think it’s pretty much spill-proof. Plus – it’s only 5ml. So if you did spill the whole thing, it’s not the worst mess.
One can easily carry a couple of these vials of ink in a pocket, trusting to the indestructible Nalgene bottle, which makes it easy to switch up colors as you draw.
I know, I know! This is some tedious stuff here – all this bla bla about how to hold a bottle! Yet these are the kind of things that are endlessly fascinating to urban sketchers :)