Drawing with Fountain Pen

It’s been 2 months since I’ve written in here. I haven’t been writing much, but I started a new daily comic strip.

I’ve been wanting to use oil paint again, however I couldn’t figure out a way back into it. I tried doing a painting of a cityscape using water-based oils, and it was very frustrating. It’s strange to remember back long ago when I mostly only used oil paint on a daily basis. At some point after painting flowers and “Inner Landscapes”, I dropped oil and got focused on mixed media, collage, pens and drawing and oil painting seemed very far away and an impossible thing.

I also had in mind that one day I would figure out some different way to use oil paint that would make sense with other media and would be more interesting than just painting with it. I did use some oil in some abstract paintings I made with a lot of texture in them a few years ago, but they’ve been sitting in boxes gathering dust until I moved them to be on the shelves near my other paint.

Only a few weeks ago, I discovered fountain pen. I have a few fountain pens that are all gifts from a pen person who got me obsessed with Retro 51 pens. I went to the Fountain Pen Hospital “Pen Expo” down the street at this great store called The Fountain Pen Hospital. There were representatives from every pen company at the Expo. Pilot and Namiki pens turn out to be the same brand. I have an old Namiki that I hadn’t used in years, so I cleaned it out and cleaned out another fountain pen I have. The other one is really cool as it is clear so you can see through to the ink and it doesn’t take ink cartridges, only fountain pen ink, so you stick it in the well and twist it to pull the ink in. I had to clean it because it was stuck with old ink from not using it for years. I’m describing it in detail because the drawing/paintings in this post are made with that fountain pen.

I had never considered drawing with fountain pens before, so it was hugely exciting to start drawing with them. First I was using paper. Then I got a bunch of 10 x 10 wood boards and started drawing on them with this fountain pen in brown Waterman ink. I now have a total of four fountain pens and actually realized how there are fine, medium and thicker nibs. The old Namiki has a fine nib. I had to send it in to Pilot for a missing part, so I am eagerly waiting getting it back in the mail. The one I used for these paintings is he one that used the ink well. Then I have a Retro 51 fountain pen with dog paws on it that was a gift a few years ago. The nib is thicker so I started drawing with it as well. I discovered Muji makes a fountain pen for only 15 dollars, and I’m obsessed with Muji office and art supplies so I bought that one and started drawing with it as well.

The drawings were on wood in brown ink and then I decided I wanted to add oil somehow and had just been looking at paintings by Joan Snyder. My favorite ones are the stroke ones where she does a lot of line strokes with oil paint. I’ve copied that idea before. So I took oil paint and painted strokes on the wood boards and slashed through them with the back end of the brush. So far, that seems to be the formula. I am hoping to use other colors maybe and do more drawings with fountain pen on wood board. There is something hard to describe but very satisfying about drawing on wood with fountain pen. I’m hoping this is a breakthrough that is lasting and just the beginning of new discovery of both fountain pens and oil paint…