I started drawing seriously about fifteen years ago when I simply decided to try and sketch something I saw on a magazine cover. I picked up a pencil and paper, started sketching and the result wasn’t terrible, so I stuck with it. I soon became fascinated with pen and ink techniques and styles. I am partially color- blind so the black and white, pen and ink format has been a good fit for me. I have picked up a few books over the years, but have mostly developed my methods through trial and error. I continue to learn with each drawing, and often spend time just "doodling" with no particular objective other than to learn new tricks and techniques.
I work full time as a plastic engineer and draw purely as a hobby. I have drawn "commission" work for friends and family, but have done them simply for the fun of it, without compensation. I have tried to avoid turning a pleasurable pastime into "work".
I travel in my work, and find that I can take this pastime with me wherever I go. I work on it on planes (not recommended during takes off, landing, or heavy turbulence), in motel rooms, while waiting in airports, waiting for appointments, in my easy chair at home, just about anywhere. I often work in my den at home while "listening" to TV. One of the great things about working in pen and ink is that it is hassle-free and doesn’t require a lot of complicated or expensive equipment. A reasonably good quality drawing pad (I use a good grade of smooth surface bristol board) and a few (or even one) drawing pens is all you need. You can actually carry everything you need in a small brief case (or even a pocket) and will have invested less than $10.00.
Tools and Techniques
Being self-taught, I have learned through trial and error, browsing through books, and through the study of other artist’s work. Because of this continuous learning approach, I have tried various media and pens over the years, but have never found anything that works as well for me as the Micron pen series from Sakura on smooth bristol. I have tried similar pens, as well as the expensive (and very messy) "technical" drawing pens and various ballpoints. I prefer the Micron pens because they give a consistent dense line, are inexpensive, and they provide consistent very fine lines and stipple detail. They are easy to use, require no messy cleaning or filling, they go anywhere with ease, and are readily available. I have drawings that are over fifteen years old that look as good today as they did when I finished them. These pens will write forever, and will usually become lost or worn out before they run out of ink.
I do not specialize in any particular subject matter; I’ll try about anything. I particularly enjoy old buildings, barns, churches, various animals, and in some cases, people. I strive for realism in my drawings, and usually work in great detail. I’ll start from a light pencil sketch, usually done from a photo. I’ll always try to pick out the most critical area, and start there (usually the eyes with people or animals). I will continue to work the various tones and shades up very carefully until finished. As I work, I will set the drawing up where I can look at it from a distance, often placing it somewhere where I will tend to look at it in passing. This way I can get a better perspective of the overall appearance and impressions when viewing "at a glance". When the overall image and tonal quality suit me, I will touch up each area using a magnifying glass to achieve consistent tone and density.
Because of the great detail I work in, I use the 005 Micron pen almost exclusively. I will occasionally use a larger nib size or even the brush tip for larger dark areas and then blend in the borders of the dark area with gradually decreasing tip sizes. In general, however, I find that a consistent line or dot size throughout the work gives a more pleasing and realistic overall image. I will usually use the 005 size, building up darker areas very gradually until the overall shade or tone is right. At times, I will use the brush pen to apply ink to a small artist's brush, and then shade in large areas using a "dry brush" technique. The thought of working in permanent ink seems scary (if you mess up, you can’t erase it), but by working slowly and carefully, there is seldom an error that cannot be corrected.
I will consider all requests for prints, originals, or commission work. I can be reached via email at email@example.com To see Joe Edward’s artwork, go to http://home.att.net/~edwards.j.l/wsb/html/view.cgi-image.html--logo.html