Before and After

I recently visited a fellow artist. A few days back she had the opportunity to watch a video, Watercolor Sketchbook by Brian Ryder. Her new sketches were incredible. They were loose and her line work had an expressive quality about it. She raved about the video which features ink and wash techniques and said that within the first 10 minutes she had learned something that dramatically changed the way she sketches. Enthusiastically, she told me about how she finally learned to hold a pen.

She showed me her new found way to make extraordinary marks on the paper and then graciously agreed to pose as my model so that I could share this with you.


The death grip vs. letting the pen do the work

As she explained and demonstrated, she had always held her pen or pencil like she was writing; choking up on the barrel of the implement near its point and resting her fingers on the paper. A death grip to be sure. Brian Ryder suggests in his DVD, to loosely grip the pen much further back on the barrel. The only part of one’s hand that touches the paper is the side of the wrist not the side of the fingers. The drawn lines become loose, a bit squiggly, but add so much more character to the finished sketch. She swears that now the pen does all the work, and she’s along for the ride.

Taxi! I am off to try it out for myself!


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One Response to “Before and After”

  1. Katherine Kean Says:

    Great information Marianne – I’m inspired.

    I love the piece in the post below! It has a beautiful flow.

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