April 7, 2005

My wife and I had the opportunity to spend an afternoon working in an artist's studio on Bainbridge Island over Spring Break. I devoted my time there to experimenting with my new favorite pen: the Farber-Castell PITT artist pen with a brush tip. This little baby puts out a lovely variable line in waterproof india ink and might just be the answer to all my fears about inking a comic book. With enough control, and a bit of forethought, I bet I could eek out one page per pen and rarely (if ever) have to resort to brushes or other technical pens. This works out to about $2.50 per page to buy the PITT pen, but could save upwards of ten hours in work time: a fair trade even by the impoverished comic book artist's standard.

The first thing I did with the PITT is quickly ink over the very loose sketch I did from memory of a short-tailed weasel eating a squirrel. Do you remember that day? I do. I still think about the way that squirrel's eye looked at me without really seeing me. The drawing doesn't really capture much from that moment— it really only indicates that my memory transforms weasel heads into the shape of tiny bear craniums. Oh, and that I have no sense of proportion for weasel limbs.

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