Thursday, February 08, 2007


Mono Tulips #3
8.5" x 11.5" pen and ink
copyright Katherine Tyrrell

These are drawings I've been doing recently of red parrot tulips in pen and black ink. I really enjoy drawing flowers from life in pen and ink. You can see more examples in the flower drawings gallery on my website.

These pen and ink drawings were done to practice my penmanship and generally limber up for my Van Gogh drawing project this month. I'll be trying to develop new ways of making marks with pen and ink. I thought I'd start by drawing in my own style which I'd describe as loose hatching with form. Is there a better way of describing it?

I'm using a Pilot G-TEC-C4 gel ink rollerball pen with a 0.4mm point which gives a very fine line (0.2mm) and very fluid ink which never ever 'globs'. You know that bit where you've got a great drawing going and then your pen decides to burst a blood vessel all over your paper with a great big inky splurge.............

Anyway, I'm pleased to say that as a pen it's very difficult to find and I am in the process of buying up all the stock I can find and I'm not sharing my sources! A girl has got to have her secrets when it comes to the real pleasures in life. However, in trying to find a link for the pen, Google found the Cult Pens website which is saying that they stock all the colours and ship worldwide!

Mono Tulips #1 and # 2 are on the left, #3 is at the top and #4 is at the bottom - and there are more in the pipeline! These tulips have all been drawn from life. Some have been done during daylight and some were done at night under artificial light. The joy of drawing in pen and ink being that changing the light source may have an impact on values but you don't need to worry about what it's doing to the colours!

What I'm enjoying about drawing the tulips in this particular way is that it produces a rather curious mix of a loose version of a botanical drawing with something which is rather more abstract. I'm finding them very absorbing to look at and think I'll be doing more like this as I love drawing in this way. How about you? Do you find them interesting to look at or just plain confusing?

It's made me think I need to get some good paper out so I can do some more on 'proper paper' rather than in my sketchbook as these are.

Mono Tulips #4
8.5" x 11.5" pen and ink
copyright Katherine Tyrrell

Did you know that Tulipmania actually existed? There's an interesting Wikipedia entry all about it.