So I was encouraged by a group on Linkedin called the Illustrator’s Guild to stop being so deliberate and to just play around with dip pens. Many people said that part of the fun of drawing is that you get to experiment with different materials. So with that in mind, I decided to do a few drawings of characters from a story called Bisclavret, an old story from Medieval France. Bisclavret is a werewolf and his wife kicks him out of the house when she finds out and runs off with another guy. It’s s typical story where the real monster turns out to be a human and the monster is the noblest creature in the whole story.
Here’s the sketches that I did:
The first thing I discovered was that the paper I used this time made a huge difference. Before I was using Bristol Board, and the ink tended to bead up and the tips caught in the paper. This time I used regular drawing paper and was able to draw much more freely.
Bisclavret (whom I tried to make wolf like) was drawn with my favorite nib, the Hunt Extra Fine 22. It has a nice flexible point that glided over the page and allowed me to get some very brush-like lines. I began with the facial features and moved onto and moved onto the outline of the face. I did the eyebrows that way, too.
Then I moved onto Bisclavret’s wife. If I had to do it again, I would make her a little more villainous, but I was really just trying to get something down on paper. I did the same thing as I did with Bisclavret – I drew the facial features and outline with the 22 and moved on to the hair. At this point, neither the Globe nor the 22 was giving me the think line I needed, so I switched to a brush to do the outline of the hair. Then I went back to do the details with the Globe.
The very last details were done with a super fine quill pen that I got with a set of manga nibs. Most of them were no good, but this one worked fine. It has no flexibility whatsoever but is perfect for adding the very thin lines to add some texture to the hair.
I’m not really pleased with my first attempt to draw Bisclavret as a werewolf, but I was able to play around a bit more with the quill to draw hair on his face. Seemed to work okay, but I need to play around a bit more with that to see what else I can do.
The bottom line in this experiment was that I found a paper that works for this type of drawing – I had limited splatters and smears and was able to work quickly. I am also pleased with the end result – my drawing is starting to look like I wanted the end product to be.