Friday, August 17, 2007

you can go home again

Today I picked up a dip pen for the first time in maybe 6 years and I feel like an amputee who's limb has grown back. The dip pen was probably the first thing I drew with beforetrying out brushes and a variety of more portable and less messy fibre pens and penbrushes,every one of which was so uncomfortable I soon moved on to the next thing to try. Recently I'd been reading a lot about artists work tools and was suprised to see so many people still advocating the dip pen. Now I'm no luddite or technophobe but I've never been able to get to grips with drawing on my wacom tablet and technical pens, with their one width line, still seem a little soulless to me. Alternately I have a great deal of respect for people who can make a brush dance to their tune producing art of such fluid lines it's like watching waves come in on a seashore. But it's not me, it's not my style. Pencils and pens and a piece of paper in front of me, that's the way I need to work. I can manipulate the artwork in photoshop or whatever afterwards but the main work needs to be done with a dip pen and bristol board.

For this revelatiopn I'd like to thank Richard Outcault, Rudolph Dirks, Bud Fisher, Frank King, Billy Debeck and Harold Gray whose varied pen styles reminded me that the brush isn't the only tool.

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