Pen is Permanent
The big drawback in pen and ink is that there is little room for error. A misplaced line or an inkblot ruins the drawing. I found a way around it with pointillism. I usually sketched my drawing out in pencil first and then began outlining in dots that were spaced out. It was easy to work on different areas of the drawing to get the overall effect. I then would go back in and deepen the shadows. It took some planning, but I had a fighting chance of having it come out as I wanted in the end. I enjoyed this process for many years and drew quite a few barns and buildings that were in various stages of decay.
Days Gone By
This first drawing is from a picture taken in the late ’70s. Cruising the backroads via motorcycle on a sunny day, I came across this place way out in the boonies of Pembine Wisconsin. There it sat with nothing around it. Snapped a roll of pictures with my camera and at some point, those pictures became this drawing. I took a ride out that way back in 2018 or so to see if there was anything left of the place. I was surprised to see most of it still standing. The porch roof had caved in and there were more boards missing in places, a larger sag in the roof, but it was still there.
This barn is from an image taken in the Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin area in the early ’80s. I love these old barns with their advertising, so much character. Unfortunately, there are not too many left. The Miller barn between Stevenson and Escanaba Michigan went down a few years ago. It is sad to see them go.
This was a college assignment to take images from 4-5 different places and put them together for a brochure or poster. I enjoyed putting this one together. It was a fun challenge to pick the topic and then to find the reference pictures. I believe I came up with a good balance on this one.
It has been a long time since I have done any pen and ink drawings. I find it hard to make that repetitive motion these days. When I was younger, I didn’t think twice about creating dots for hours at a time. Those days are in the past. However, I have replaced pointillism with other forms of art that are just as fun.