Tagged: deAtramentis


Got DaYumm!! Two months ago, meybe more, I banged the ever lovin’ Sweet Jeeziss outta the toe next to my big toe on my right foot. I guess that’d make it my right pointer toe. Drove it right into the sofa post. Well that nail turned black as the devil’s pupil and over the weeks started raisin’ up onna count a all that dried blood that’d built up under there. Not only that, it started looking like the rear of the nail was raisin’ up and the left side was like, maybe beginning to de-tach itself. Now I’m no doctor but I’m a curious fellow and I took some science classes back in school. Way back. Cut up some nematoads and a few frogs at that. So I thought, “What the hell, Darwin, let’s investigate.” Got a magnifying glass, pair of tweezers, put the foot up on the bathroom sink and leaned over as far as my back and my gut would allow. Now Giamila, you remember her, the science lady I live with, she cautioned,”Leave it alone, it’ll fall off when it’s ready.” Yeah and Leif Erickson coulda waited for continental drift to bring Newfoundland within a day’s sail.
Down close, well sorta close, that nail was looking like the hood on an old rusted-up beater in a junkyard. I gingerly tugged at the front rim of the nail and it lifted up a tiny bit. When I did that, the top of the tweezers nudged loose some of the grit under there and what appeared to be teeny tiny beads of crystallized blood crumbled free. When that happened, the scientist in me said,”Cool!” The other half of my persona felt his member shrivel. But I couldn’t stop now! So I gently, gently wiggled the nail until it lifted up but remained attached at the inside corner of the side opposite the big toe. When I did that? I got a glimpse of the new little toenail destined to replace my former toe hood. Hallelujah! As an old geezer in his 8th decade who’s lost half a head of hair, mosta my eyebrows, a noticeable degree of my once exquisite eyesight, the ability to dunk a ping pong ball in a basketball net or drop into James Brown splits, this was a restorative moment! I felt interspecial kinship with the lizard community. My body was giving me a second lease on life. Well sir, at that point I figured, just give ‘er a quick twist and begin the next chapter. Buuuut, the sissy in me reminded John Wayne of the times I tried that with a split fingernail fragment and ripped that sucker clean up into tender nail bed. I decided to take Giamila’s sage council and give the remaining flap of skin chance to dry and fall off. So I grabbed a good book and beverage and figured I’d wait it out with a couple hours of literary distraction. A couple hours later and I’d lost track of the whole episode. I went to replenish my beverage and standing in the light of the refrigerator I glimpsed my newborn nail sans the beat up car hood. Arrrgh! The devil’s pupil has fled and awaits like a piece of shrapnel to be trod barefoot upon. Down on hands and knees I retraced my path and did indeed recover the once transparent protector of my toe. Too small to be fashioned into a guitar pick, it was thence flung unsentimentally into the garbage. There’s a new sheriff in town.

Fountain pen with DeAtramentis Document Brown and Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pens on Clairefontaine Goldline Watercolour sketchbook.

Well, this may be helpful. I worked with videographer Hiromi Sogo to give y’all some sense of how I manage, or try, to sketch people who are not posing but rather engaged in some activity. This I do and have done, as those who follow me know, for more than four decades. This practice has helped me in many ways, but greatly in one in particular. When I had the chance to draw in court, I was already up-to-speed with capturing people in motion.

Here are close ups of the drawing used in the video: just a note, when transferring the video to this platform, some of the soundtrack drops out; a glit I look to correct and avoid in future videos. Learning curve stuff, my bad.


As mentioned in the video, I number the drawings in the order they were begun. To my eyes, there was a lot of “meat on the bone”, I.e. an interesting looking dude holding great poses about concentration, wearing a shiny, puffy jacket made more dramatic by the raking light that accentuated surface features with the cast shadows of near and mid distant structures. Drawing  multiple perspectives or postures on the same page makes the transition from one position to the next easier as the subject moves and/or returns to a similar posture allowing you to add or complete the drawing. Afterwards, it also makes for better side by side comparisons since you’re not flipping back and forth to compare and contrast drawings.


You can see the preliminary or searching sketch for which I used a light Flesh tone. That establishes the general silhouette and will be a place holder if the subject suddenly moves just after I’ve begun drawing. I managed to knock in a good deal of his face and hair but he moved before I could get to his hand. When he returned to this pose about 45 minutes later, my “notes” were in place and I was able to pick immediately where I’d left off.


Evident in these drawings ing s is my use of several tools, one very important amount them are my fingers as you can see the marks left by my fingerprints.

Those fingerprints create hatch marks that are quite distinct from the hatching created with a stylus be it pen or pencil. Varied marks have great appeal to me in that they can enrich the drawing and  their combined effect is to increase the descriptive nature of the marks. But another, very crucial reason I draw with an array of different tools is to take advantage of the inherent attributes of a given tool and by doing so save myself time. Most important in drawing a dynamic subject where you’ve no idea when your subject could move or altogether leave, is to draw efficiently. Why overwork a small nib when a big brush affords greater coverage. Fingerprints create multiple hatch marks simultaneously that are also very difficult to emulate with the stroke of a pen. An inky finger will come in handy if you should want a smudged tone. Add to this collective of mark making, a variety of hues and the drawing gains in richness and description. For the combined effect simply examine the close up below of figure #5.


Drawings were done done with a Faber-Castell Basic Black Leather fountain pen filled with DeAtramentis Document Black Ink and F-C Pitt Artist Pens on a Stillman and Birn Gamma Series sketchbook (S&B is now a subsidiary of Clairefontaine) which takes ink and pencil nicely and can handle watercolor, plus has a little pebbly surface that creates nice textures when smudging or scumbling.

  • Categories

  • Archives

  • Tags

  • blog links