Tagged: Stillman & Birn

Jeff Butler

Jeff Butller caught in the act of drawing a commissioned page of The Green Hornet and Kato.

Sheriff & Bubba Trash bag Das Bus StP Saints bp DOC in StP Ken Avidor & DOC Rocket Man image Wolverine fan Comic hound The boysBus #63 Megs Bus Kurtz

Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pens, And F-C Basic black leather fountain pen, Pelikan M205 fp, F-C Alrecht Dure watercolor pencils, Platinum Carbon ink, Stillman & Birn Alpha Series sketchbook

lunch crowd

Woodstock duo hair

Working in a Stillman & Birn Delta series spiral watercolor pad and combining fountain pens ( Graf von Faber-Castell Guilloche Chevron and Pelikan M215, both broad nibs) juiced with Platinum Carbon ink and Faber-Castell Aquarelle graphite pencils and Pitt Artist Pens.

Clybourne Station

I grew up in pretty suburbs and the bucolic residential neighborhoods of places like Phoenix. Arizona, Lakewood, Washington, Ridgewood, N.J., Monterey, California,Camp Springs, Md.,  Austin, Texas. And I do like trees and gardens and sweet bungalows and St. Augustine grass. But man, something about the grit , scale, and muscularity of large urban environments has always held magnetic appeal for me. There’s the dynamic, move over and make room way that cities evolve. Some subs just have a plow-it-under and drop-it- down- from-the-sky development, that plans from the outset to organize and control everything. The excitement of seeing a grand scheme have to yield to new needs while hanging on to previous requirements and cherished attributes, creates a scenario that realizes in concrete, steel, asphalt, glass, and landscapes the dynamic influx on new arrivals and migratory populations that are our life blood as a society.

The scene  above was drawn up on the loading platform at Ashland, Cortland, and Clybourne, while I waited for a Metra commuter train to  Rockford College, and the variety of architectural texture that is offered from the 360 degree view up on that platform is one big reason I live in a rust belt behemoth of a city.

wow bao two tuned in snooze and wait ride home

These were drawn in a Stillman & Birn watercolor spiral sketch pad with fountain pen filled with Platinum Carbon Ink, Pitt Artist Pens, and F-C water soluble graphite pencils.

Portraiture is tuff enuff and admittedly, I struggle with catching a likeness of the subject at hand. Even when I pose someone, who can hold still, and I have loads of time, I just as often run right into the ditch. I find it amusing that given an unaware subject (save the nudes scattered throughout) who may fidget, and leave at any moment, I have just as much a chance of capturing something essential about that person as I might were I to set up ideal conditions for portraying that sitter  as others might recognize them. So here is a wall of attempts to see what’s recognizable from rear and oblique views, when the person gives me little to work with. Clothing and posture may at times hinder or help convey the personality of the subject.

                   who dat 111                        who dat 57                                        

These sketches, done in public, often in transit, where drawn on a variety of papers – Utrecht and Cachet toned papers, Clairefontaine, and a preponderance of various ledger books. Michael Kalman has turned me onto the new series of sketchbooks by Stillman & Birn.  Drawn with a variety of inks from several fountain pen inks – Iroshizuku, Platinum Carbon, Noodler’s, Diamine,  Calli, to ballpoint (especially the Bic Bold 1.6mm, also like the Pilot Ageless), gel (Uniball Impact RT)  and rollerball pens. I make heavy use of  Pitt Artist Pens. The fountain pens I enjoy working with are – Pelikan 115, Pelikano Junior, Pelikan M205 Duo, Namiki Vanishing Point, Lamy Studio, Lamy Safari, Graf vov Faber Guilloche, Graf von Faber Classic, Faber-Castell Coconut Ambition. Occasionally I like using a bristle brush pen such as the Pentel and a couple made by Kuretake and Kaimei. Not to be forgotten is my darling little Ugly Duckling, the grease pencil.

Arrived by air to Florida’s state capital, Tallahassee, and one of the first things to grab my attention was a rather large model of the Titanic as it was found resting on the floor of the Atlantic Ocean. Drawn with Pitt Brush Pens on a beautiful little orange leatherette covered Rhodia notebook with blank ivory paper.

Draw this early morning scene on the left at the Addison Blue Line platform and the middle drawing of our plane on the tarmac on a spiral sketchpad by Stillman & Birn that was heavy enuff stock to take watercolor.


Enjoying a beverage and the view at funky 24 hour vegan coffee shop All Saint’s Cafe, Tallahassee. Pretty much packed a good deal of the time, even Saturday night, largely with students from nearby FAMU and FSU.

I was told that Tallahassee was quite fond of it’s trees and protected them with the weight of the law. Saw some gigantic pecan trees and big beautiful live oaks with long gray veils of moss. Sides were paved to swerve around some of the behemoths. The Thomasville, Ga.  water tower was drawn on a Stillman & Birn pad with Pitt pens and Albrecht Durer watercolor pencils right before I did a workshop at the Thomasville Art Center which had been a Coca Cola bottling plant many years ago.


Drawn with Pitt Brush Pens and white China marker on a toned, recycled ( I think ) paper sketchpad by Utrecht. Love the atmosphere this paper imparts to the work but the paper has wood pulp in it.



Flew out of Tallahassee in a twin prop flying coffin that carried 18 passengers at max load. Felt like I was in a caulk gun.



Almost finished with this Veterinarian’s Daily Journal from 1959. 500 and a few extra pages.






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