Trying Different Tools

I paused a couple of days ago while drawing my latest piece, which you can see directly above. As I mentioned on my Facebook page,, I decided to step back and think about it for a short while.

Here's the thing: I love using pencil to draw. I've had a pencil of one kind or another near at hand virtually my whole life.

Sure, I've used other tools.

The first money I ever made, other than from the tooth fairy as I shed teeth in my young years, was by drawing with markers on construction paper and selling what I drew to fellow ten-year-olds.

Later, when I began doing illustrations for magazines and books, I did so using ink and either a crow quill pen or a brush. I did so, believing that reproducing art for publications was best done with a very dark medium, ink.

Even at age 30 or so, I was strongly influenced by comic book artwork, which is a distinctive style, irrespective of the specific artists involved. Because my biggest influence was from my teens, when Neal Adams was drawing Batman, I was happy to have work published using similar tools.

Eventually, I discovered that a magazine I did a lot of work for in the 1990s could easily and inexpensively reproduce pencil work. Advances in publishing and scanning software made it a no-brainer for me, and I reverted to drawing what for me was a faster, more native way of creating an image.

Still, the utter black of a line of India Ink has never lost its hold on my creative imagination.

So, as I worked on the above drawing, it occurred to me that I could do it in ink rather than graphite.

One reason for doing so is simply because. Creativity doesn't require reasons. Doing something different is exciting, because you can't really predict what you're going to get all the time. And that's how you grow! You stumble onto something, anything, and it opens doors and windows to whole different directions, if that's what you want.

The other reason for possibly switching to ink is that my subjects are from a specific part of the world in which brush and ink have evolved into beautiful art forms.

So, will I switch? I don't know.

What do you think? I'd love to hear from you while I'm considering my options!