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Pen & Ink Landscapes

June 5, 2016

While I do love painting, Nell and I tend to agree that drawing is where my true passion lies, and pen & ink is my first love. In all my years of drawing, I don’t remember ever doing many landscapes, especially in ink. It just seemed too complicated. When I started painting, I focused on landscapes, and have come to love observing the lay of the countryside, the shapes of trees, and compositions with boulders and rocks and water. The work I’ve done over the past year…  the whimsical trees and houses, the storybook forests, and even the urban sketching… have all brought me back to the pen. Just recently, I decided to try my hand at some serious landscape work, strictly in pen and ink.

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Snaggle Tooth Cave, 8×10, pen & ink

Hocking Hills State Park in Ohio was a good source of subjects to start with. The canyons, caves and boulders in this fascinating natural wonder provide a wide range of textures and forms. I’ve found myself going through my reference images looking for the seriously complicated subject matter that I have tended to avoid in the past.

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Ledge, 8×10, pen & ink

Hocking Hills gives the impression of the kind of landscape the Hudson River School of painters recorded so masterfully. The patina of old rock, trees growing right from the edges of stone overhangs, along with the carpet  of leaves, bark and twigs all present a new challenge when restricted to black and white.

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The Cave, 10×8, pen & ink

When I started painting several years ago, an artist mentor asked if I wanted to be an impressionist or a realist. At the time, I thought it was pretty thoughtful of me to say I wanted to be a little bit of both, painting in a realistic manner, using impressionist techniques. I’m not sure I ever really mastered what I saw in my mind’s eye.

My pen and ink landscapes are tending more toward the realistic, which, to be honest, is the way my brain actually works. However, I can see the possibilities of playing with compositions and lights and darks even while taking a realistic approach.

I think it’s going to be one of the most serious drawing challenges I’ve ever taken on.

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11 Comments leave one →
  1. June 5, 2016 9:40 pm

    these are impressive, my favorite is the last one which seems impressionistic to me. Nicely done 🙂

  2. Rosita permalink
    June 5, 2016 10:16 pm

    Whatever you call your style it has something of the whimsical and magical about it. Wonderful drawings.

  3. pc50 permalink
    June 5, 2016 10:23 pm

    Nice work!

  4. Susan Furrie permalink
    June 6, 2016 7:17 am

    I, also, have enjoyed working with pen & ink in the past, but due to the time it takes to do things like stippling etc. I usually use pen to draw accompanied by watercolor washes. I appreciate what you have done here and think all your pen & ink work is stunning.

  5. June 7, 2016 10:50 pm

    Oh, my goodness!! How long does it take you to finish one of those?? So many details! Really impressive! I am a big fan, love all that you do! I always liked drawing with pencils and ink, now I started venturing with watercolor too. I absolutely love your watercolor work!

  6. July 1, 2016 9:23 am

    These are simply delightful, what beautiful pen and ink drawings, never the mind the “genre” this is so good to see, well made art.

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