Hey there, friends! Lydia back again, bringing you another Monday Matchup from the heart, featuring the new Conklin Herringbone in Navy Fine and some Diamine Denim ink. This week I’ve been reflecting on a milestone in my life and I turned to a favorite country artist for inspiration. Read on to hear how I created this sunny, inspiring quote and what I thought of the pen and ink!
This Monday Matchup comes at a very special time for me. I am turning 26 tomorrow, I’m in the process of moving to a new apartment, and we’re on the cusp of my favorite season of the year. Every year, when my birthday rolls around, I always find myself reflecting on the events of the past year. It feels as though time is going increasingly faster each year, but one thing never changes. I am constantly amused and in awe of the great adventure each passing year turns out to be. As such, I wanted a quote that reflected that upbeat excitement that I greet each birthday with. Summer is my favorite season and nothing better says summer to me like country music. In searching for the perfect quote about another passing year, I stumbled upon Kenny Chesney’s song “Trip Around The Sun” and instantly loved it. It totally captures my outlook on life.
I wanted to draw a piece that reflected all the variety a year can bring, that is where the inspiration for a geometric sun came in. I began by sketching out the sun and its rays and divided it into equal sections. In each section, I drew fun and easy repeating patterns to fill each slice. I love how relaxing and soothing this proved to be. Once I had the rough outlines of how I wanted each section to be, I grabbed a Caran d’Ache Museum Aquarelle water brush pen with a medium brush tip and filled it with water. I began by softening the lines of the rays and using the ink from this to fill in each triangle. I wanted each ray to have a little different shade to give the piece depth and variety. I had a bit of an issue getting enough color from the lines so I opened the bottle of Diamine Denim and used the ink from the cap to fill in the rays as well. Once I finished that, I went in and began filling in some of the slices of the sun. Diamine Denim is a great ink for ink washing and drawing. No matter how light or dark it is, you always end up with a gorgeous shade. I let the whole piece dry a bit then went over a few of the lines to make them crisp again.
I liked the textured look of the Herringbone so I was excited to try it out and Diamine Denim matched nicely and fit the country inspiration of the piece. I was hoping I would enjoy the Herringbone more. However, I think it may have been too slender for me and I ended up gripping it too tightly while doing the intricate drawings, so my hand cramped up a bit. It is also a little backweighted when you write with it posted, which wasn’t super comfortable for me. The ink, as most Diamine inks are, was very wet and flowed beautifully. It was a bit of a challenge for me as a lefty to not smudge it, but as long as I didn’t spend too much time in one area of the drawing, I did pretty well keeping the page clean. I believe this pen and ink would be good for any situation really. The ink is professional and the pen is definitely a conversation starter with a business-looking appeal.
The only thing I would change about this piece was my misquote of the lyrics. The quote from the song is actually “Here’s to another year. Let’s take another CRAZY trip around the sun.” Alas, in my concentration to make sure my handwriting was clean and easy-to-read, I forgot a word. I think the spirit of the quote is still pretty well represented in the quote though and I had a lot of fun doing my first video Monday Matchup!
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