Giving Thanks, Brush Pens and Joseph Low


The sun is shining over Victoria, BC on this wonderful Canadian Thanksgiving Day and the lawn just may dry out enough to get its last haircut of the season.

Happy Thanksgiving

Pentel Brush Pen

A few weeks ago I was given a present of a delightful pot of orange, ornamental peppers that demanded to be sketched. Since I was starting a new sketchbook and had unearthed my Pentel Pocket Brush pen at the same time, I decided to fill the whole book with the bold lines and solid blacks of the brush pen.

Completing the first page of a new sketchbook can be daunting, especially as the mind weasels of perfection jabber on. Gutsy playing around with a different brush or pen can break through the wall of “getting it wrong” and open the way to  inventiveness.

I resolved to have fun, to bash about with the pen, and to enjoy the daredevil consequences of filling pages without worrying about wasting “expensive” paper.

Bright colors show up vividly when contrasted with the diversity of thick and thin lines that the pen is capable of producing.


I experimented with mixtures of transparent Aureolin Yellow and Rose Madder Genuine to build the oranges of the peppers. Even with layers, the results were not brilliant enough, so I resorted to using Cadmium orange and yellow, wonderful colors but opaque.

Ornamental peppers are waxy and shiny so a hint of gouache white gave them a slight glimmer.


Ornamental Peppers

I’m aiming to create more movement and leave more whites and broken lines on the pages of my latest sketchbook and have developed a distinct dislike for static looking drawings.

This week, I am drawn to the work of Joseph Low, an artist born in  Pennsylvania in 1911 and died in 2007. He created covers for the New Yorker magazine and was also a children’s book illustrator. See a couple of his images below.

Joseph Low





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Patricia Bentham
Phone: 250.474.7162

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