2.2.1 Still life using line

Exercise 1 Still life using line

I have picked up some very interesting pieces from the beach, both natural objects like drift wood, and man made objects like pieces of plastic and strings that the ocean has washed back up on the shore. All the objects are in a range of blues and greens and would be beautiful for a monochrome drawing, but inspired by the example in the course book I decide to explore some of them for this exercise in drawing with line.

I want to use a beautiful turquoise ink I just got for my birthday, but start with some rough sketches in liner pen to decide on a composition.


IMG_4604I really like the shape of an old vacuum cleaner plastic pipe full of holes, and combine it with a string in a beautiful swirly shape. I prefer the last small composition- getting a little closer, but decide to remove the bottle cap and try it out in ink.


It is quite messy and confusing. I decide to remove the wooden plank I used as a background and just place three objects on a white background, to really make the shapes stand out instead. Fine liner pen in A5.


I like how quiet this drawing is compared to the last one, so decide to draw this in A3 with turquoise ink.


So this didn’t work out well at all. I was really struggling with the ink, trying both with a calligraphy pen and a feather with interchangeable tips. I just would’t flow, I had to scratch repeatedly just to get something out of the pen, and then a big blub. It seems the surface of the paper is too smooth or glossy, it works better on the A5 block. And besides struggling technically, the composition that seemed neat and harmonius in fine liner pen on A5 just looks boring here with lots of empty paper.

When I sketch freely it is mostly with line only, so I didn’t think this would be such a challenging exercise for me, but right now I am terribly disappointed at having spent a whole day!!!!! with such poor result, now that I finally had some time to dedicate to drawing, sigh.

Second trial for still life using line.

I am in a retreat setting this week, so not so much time and very few personal items around. But I have a stylish glass water bottle, some flowers and writing cards, add a pen and some matches and I am quite content with the composition that has a romantical, old fashioned touch to it and perfectly fits into the surroundings and mood here.

First checking the composition in black fine liner pen on A5.


It is a little too obvious, flowers at the centre and everything else around, so I decide to try with a larger angle to include a little hint of the room, and why black? Lets go pink. I have just bought a few Uniball liner pens in different colours as I read about them in Susan Askews blog in the OCA newsletter and had never heard of Uniball pens before. Also I place the whole composition lower to see it slightly from above.


I like this, it is more going on and the objects look like they just belong there. It is more a snapshot of a situation that a still life. Maybe pink is a bit much, I will try the blue Uniball pen on A3. I really like using them as there is no erasing, which is a new challenge for me.


So the A3 version did not really work out as well, the whole composition collapsed to the bottom a little. The water bottle got very crooked too. Also adding more detail took away the “line” character of the drawing too.

I want to try again in pink on A3. I like the pink, it fits the style and is really very new and different for me to use. But now I can’t for my life find the pink pen. I decide to have a go in orange, it is also really different, and has a similar luminosity to the pink one.



I scooped just a tiny bit closer so the view is slightly more from above. The water bottle worked better this time and I like warmth of the orange colour. I made a mistake with the cards and the table, seeing the table through the card, but looking at Yann Kebbis art work , he does that all the time! And so much about spontaneity and humour to learn from him too!

Still life using line 3

I really like the white ink drawing on black paper illustrating this exercise in the course book- so this is something I want to try out. I feel like I could love to draw in ink, I just haven’t figured it out yet.

I still have a lot of driftwood/strings/ stones and so on from my beach excursion , so I decide to try with that again. Checking how to draw some objects in blue Uniball pen on A5.


Now I switch to the A3 black paper and white ink.


Line only. I took a picture before I add the shadows as I am worried I might spoil it 🙂

The white ink on black paper is much smoother and more pleasant to draw with than my turquoise/white paper struggle. I have to figure out why.

Here with shadows:


No points for creativity here- it is really copying the example in the course book and not as well 🙂 But I really wanted to try out this technique and like it. I will definitely experiment more in this direction.

Here I try out a small wooden block and strings from the same beach excursion, and copper ink on black paper A3. I think the shine of the copper will look good on the black.


The photo doesn’t make justice to the copper, it looks really shiny and smart.

Here I really messed up everything trying to draw the shadows though, so glad I took a snapshot before 🙂 The shapes of the objects completely disappeared. I tried to colour them in purple ink to make them stand out from the background , but that covered most of the detail too.


Overall I feel like I learned a lot through this exercise. I tried new media- the inks , and Uniball pens. My backpack has gotten that much heavier again 🙂




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