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Denman Island, British Columbia, Canada
Jean Cockburn retired from her professional career as an academic librarian in 2008 to become a textile artist living on Denman Island, British Columbia. She draws, quilts, embroiders, knits and crochets, makes wearable art, weaves baskets, dyes fabric, and paints watercolours. Her work has been exhibited locally in juried and group shows on Denman Island, in Courtenay, Comox, and Duncan on Vancouver Island, in West Vancouver, and across Canada with the Surface Design Association.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Sketching with Chinese sumi ink and a dip nib pen

Using the dip nib pen is a bit more work, organization, bit of a mess, clean up - whatever - than just picking up a technical pen. However, I do really like the line, the colour, the intense blackness, the special "hand of the maker" look that comes from using a dip nib pen.

The other day I got out my bottle of sumi ink, Chunghwa Ink.


In order to use the ink with a dip pen, I pour some ink into a small yogurt container, and tilt the container to get enough depth of ink to dip the nib. I end up pouring ink away down the sink at the end of my drawing session, but at $6.00 a bottle, and given that I have had the bottle for about 10 years, I think that is affordable.

The ink is very black and has a sweet herbal scent that lingers on the page for several weeks after the drawing is complete. Given that some inks really smell awful, this is a nice aspect of using this ink.

I did this small sketch with the sumi ink, and I like the variation in line, and the intense blackness.

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