Jumping In With My Lamy Safari

In case you haven’t noticed by now, I am a perfectionist. I admit it. If the proportions are not correct in my drawings it drives me nuts. I will work with the pencil or watercolor pencil drawing until I am satisfied before adding ink. At the same time, I have always admired those who can make loose, expressive observational sketches without worrying if everything is not exactly in proportion. I admire those lively and vibrant sketches with the slightly wonky lines.

Well, I finally decided to give it a try and grab my Lamy Safari EF nib fountain pen with Noodler’s Brown 41 ink, and screw up my courage and just dive into a series of ink-only sketches. I chose to use a separate sketchbook for this new venture, so I would feel free to experiment. The rules I made for this sketchbook are: no pencil, or even light watercolor pencil marks of any kind before drawing with ink. I focus on drawings, not color. Once I got over the initial shock of allowing some wobbles and inaccuracies into my drawings, I realized I was excited by this new way of drawing. It is fun! It is unpredictable! It is a challenge that requires my complete concentration. And even though the finished drawings are not exact in their proportions, as I work in my main sketch journal, something about them is satisfying. I think I am becoming addicted to the freedom in making sketches like these.

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Stepping out of my comfort zone and just going for something new has ignited my curiosity all over again. I see potential subjects for sketching everywhere and can’t wait to get out my pen-only sketchbook and give it a try.

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I am not trying to compose subjects in this sketchbook, or design page layouts. I just look for something interesting and draw it as I see it. And it turns out that everything is interesting when you draw it, just like Koosje Koene says. Where was I when Inktober was going on? I’m a little slow – or early. I will be ready to join in next time.

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18 thoughts on “Jumping In With My Lamy Safari

  1. Thanks Sunnyfae. Well, if you look at the subjects I was drawing from, you could see what I mean. But I am happy with how they turned out. Yes, I am loving the new freedom! 🙂

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  2. All the sketches are awesome.. keep sketching. But I wanted to ask you something, you had mentioned about your sketch journal in the post. I just wanted to know what you actually track on that journal?? And is it helpful?? Actually I to draw sketches but don’t haven’t kept any journal for that. So just tell is it helpful or not, if it is then I will too keep one.

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  3. Thank you Ria. The watercolor sketches you can see in my other posts are from my sketch journal. Most are just things I liked or memories I want to keep. The benefit comes from keeping my focus on the positive aspects of life and having something to look through later to enjoy some good times. 🙂

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  4. Your sketches look fab. They look in proportion to me so you must be doing something right. Glad you’re enjoying this new approach, it’s always good to try something different. Maybe you could just have ‘inkmay’ and use the inktober prompts for the rest of this month? 😊

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  5. Inspiring; I may just try to emulate — my sketch lines in pencil are very rough, I tend to go over a ton and don’t use the eraser much; let’s see how it would look in pen directly… Thanks for sharing!

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  6. Like you, I always had to do a perfect drawing, but some time ago, in the words from the jazz song ‘When The Saints Go Marchin In,’ ‘but now I got converted,’ I got converted. Two things happened 1)necessity, 2)help from others.
    Necessity because I began making drawings of my little, autistic friend who hardly ever keeps still. I’d done quick sketches, like 30 seconds, at life drawing and making a drawing without taking the implement off the paper, but this is something different. If you’ll forgive me, ladies, it’s like burning your bra. (But how would I know that?). What I’m trying to say is it’s liberating. It’s seeing in another way.
    One of my helpers was Rodin and his quick fire drawings of Balinese dancers, but my greatest inspiration came from the incredible drawings of Ronald Searl published in his book, From The Kwai and Back, which contains a record of his captivity working on the infamous Burma Railway. He could not afford to be seen by the guards, therefore necessity dictated that he be very quick and, as a result, his drawings are often very imperfect, that by his own admission. That doesn’t matter, in fact, the imperfection adds to the message of the drawing and, in my opinion, makes it more poignant. You can always turn a very quick and imprecise drawing into something perfect, but you cannot do it the other way round.
    Get the best of both worlds…Go to it!
    ps I’d like to add an image to show what I mean, but don’t know how to do it. My youngest son is helping me so perhaps next week I can send something.

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  7. Rodison14, thank you so much for your post. I love the story of Ronald Searl. That is the idea I am going for, but not quite as quick as his. The idea is to get your expression of what is in front of you, infused with your personality and mood – something of yourself and your experience rather than a correct representation of the subject. That is quite a scary thing to attempt, but so freeing when you do! I am loving it. Thanks for visiting.

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