Monday, June 27, 2011

Red Maple, and testing my new pen

6-27-2011, Red Maple
©2011 Carolyn A. Pappas, 6/27/11 Nature Sketching (Red Maple). Noodler's Bulletproof Black ink in large watercolor moleskine.

Normally I go outside later in the day, but it was so beautiful out and the weather hasn't been the greatest lately so I took the opportunity to get out earlier in the morning. It has either been rainy or oppressively muggy, so a nice sunny, non-windy day is a welcome change. I also wanted to test my new Noodler's Flex Nib pen and see how I liked it on location for nature sketching (the main reason why I bought this pen).

I sketched this large maple tree, trying to get a sense of the texture of the bark. I am pretty sure this is a red maple (acer rubrum), although I can't claim to be an expert on tree identification. I already know a number of maple trees by sight so I figure this is a good place to start though.

The pen was great but the ink was very slow to dry and also not so waterproof in my watercolor moleskine. I waited about fifteen minutes to make sure the ink was really dry and I painted the watercolor wash indoors.


  1. Lovely sketch, Carolyn!

    What kind of ink were you using? I don't use Moleskines, so I don't know if ink normally dries slower, but some papers that are highly sized really slow drying time.

  2. I was using Noodler's Bulletproof black ink. I'm figuring it will be about the same on other watercolor papers though, because of the sizing.

  3. Ah,could be. I don't have good luck with the "bulletproof" inks, except Lexington Grey. I like Platinum's Carbon Black...

  4. Nice combination of ink and watercolor.... I too prefer Platinum's Carbon black over Noodler's bulletproof. The Bulletproof just doesn't dry for me.

  5. When I took an illustration class we were told to wait 24 hours before applying watercolor to pen and ink work, we were using dip pens with India ink, but if you try this again you might want to wait a bit longer. I usually wait at least 12 hours before I add watercolor to the pen and ink work I have been doing. But I haven't tried a Noodler pen yet.


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