I started some twenty years ago by doing sketches of Rajasthani men and women in Pen & Ink. I loved their immediacy and that little element of surprise. I never knew what I would end up with no matter how strong the image in my head was up to that point!
The trouble began when I realized that while people love what I paint, the ink tends not to be colourfast. It fades a little over time. Especially if placed in direct sunlight. The time is relative of course. There are clients who have my work in Pen & Ink and it looks fresh as the day it was painted and there are those that faded a little in about 5 years or so.
I stopped doing them because of this reason and because I lost time when the kids were young and needed me more. And then I just got to do ‘real’ stuff with acrylics and canvas. But I miss that spontaneity. It was time to go back. But as you all know. Nothing stays the same. Everything changes.
My last two sketches in Pen & Ink don’t look like I wanted them to. I blamed the paper – it was old and too absorbent. I blamed the inks – they changed the consistency and its blots. But I think the truth is somewhere in between. Yes to the problems with paint and paper but the larger issue is that I have got used to painting in a different way. Each piece is to be finished. There is no sketch-like quality in the lines…
It is time to put in more work and practice some more 🙂