The sketchy and inconsistent blog of Bethie Engstrom...

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Don't complete it

I've recently been experimenting with dip pens (and wwhhhaaat, they make glass dip pens??), and have been slowly collecting a few different nibs and just a few weeks ago, I finally ordered from Amazon a, somewhat, starter kit. I'm very happy with it and can't wait to further this old fashioned technique and to eventually better understand it.

I'm not so keen on naming and giving titles to things, so this currently is titled in my folders as "Unfinished Blue". :)

This is in my Pentalic sketchbook - the feel of the paper is very smooth but has a very subtle, pleasant texture to it, and it is reasonable thick, so the inks didn't leak through too badly. I used a black Chinese ink, and a Waterman blue ink. This is the first time using the blue ink, and I'm so in love. I primarily used the dip pen, but also used a old round brush and had fun using the ink watered down to get more out of just the two materials.

This is the first go, that made me want to do the above. I like to break into my copy of Wreck this Journal, by Keri Smith randomly, it's honestly so refreshing to me, like having a book of warm ups and encouragement from a friend! I obviously didn't follow the 'instructions' to this page very well, but you don't have to, you just have start something! I need that reminder a lot, and I'm not even a perfectionist. ;)

The ink didn't have the best relationship with this paper, but the effect it gave was quite perfect for the outcome of it.

Here are some other views of the sketchbook version.

It's so hard to not finish something, especially when it's so obvious as the bottom half of a face. It can kind of feel like limiting the thoughts of the sketch in a negative way, but I want to try and limit myself more, like working out your body, give yourself a task that is challenging and hard (like core work outs, uck), and let what happens, happen. And while this is not "complete", I have the power to say, it's finished, and that is an amazing feeling.


Alexandra said...

SO WONDERFUL to have you back with us! It's been quite some time. Loving your work using the dip pens. Do you find it terribly challenging or more freeing in your work? Hope you have a lovely week! :)

Lisa Isabella Russo said...

I'm loving the blue hair and the unfinished yet finished face!

Bethie Engstrom said...

Thank you so much Alexandra! I did at first find it challenging, with just simply trying to figure out to hold and load and make lines, but now, I would say it's more freeing. :)

Antonia said...

This is impressive! I love it so much. And I like the idea of "unfinished" work, it makes you wonder whether it was intended or not. It's always a bit mysterious.