Sunday, March 7, 2010

playing with sharp objects

I find that ink brushes just don't work for some subjects. If I want to draw something with fine lines or details, a quill pen carved from bamboo or dried reed segment often does the trick. These are commercially available. But I can also make do with items lying around the house. I drew the attached etegami of white clover with a toothpick. All I did was rough up the pointy end of a toothpick a bit and dip it in a shallow dish of sumi. It doesn't hold on to much ink, so I had to dip it frequently between making brief strokes on the card. But for this particular subject, it seemed to work well. You can also use a branch or other stiff, somewhat porous object as your drawing utensil. What do you see in your home or outdoors that might work? Test it and decide if you like the effect. Let me know how your experiments turn out.


  1. I love clover, and you almost never see it drawn or painted. The toothpick captured the blossoms perfectly.

  2. Thanks, Linda. I've also used disposable chopsticks and wooden barbecue skewers. I've seen calligraphers draw on large sheets of paper using branches (sometimes with the leaves still on!) instead of a brush pen. The effect can be very cool.

  3. Raluca, thank you for visiting my blog!