Even The Plants Stay Indoors

In Quebec City, if you want to see growing, green, happy plants at this time of year, you’ve got to look for them inside and that’s exactly what Claudette, Yvan and I did on Tuesday.  Claudette had a connection at one of the largest plant stores in the city and arranged for us to spend a couple hours sketching there.


So I don’t get caught up in the “was he really there?” disease that has hit Brian Williams and Bill O’Reilly recently, here’s a photo, taken by Yvan, of me sketching up a storm.  Well, not really – I was actually sketching cactus but a guy’s got to exaggerate occasionally or he wouldn’t be a guy.  Note that, even indoors, I had my coat on.  And here’s the result of that old man scrubbing an Escoda travel brush over some Stillman & Birn paper.

Stillman & Birn Alpha, Namiki Falcon, De Atramentis Document Black

Stillman & Birn Alpha, Namiki Falcon, De Atramentis Document Black

After a short break I went hunting for something else to sketch.  Lots of targets but eventually I chose this guy… wouldn’t you?  I really wanted to buy him and take him home to our garden but as it’s under a mountain of snow, and I don’t really like gardens much, I decided the sketch would suffice.

Stillman & BIrn Alpha, Namiki Falcon, De Atramentis Document Black

Stillman & BIrn Alpha, Namiki Falcon, De Atramentis Document Black

In spite of the bitter cold outside, we had a great sketching day.  I think the plants enjoyed the attention we gave them too.




5 thoughts on “Even The Plants Stay Indoors

  1. Hey, I really like your cactuses! I am a plant person more than a building person. And also–I want to thank you for your review of the Pilot Falcon SEF. I was getting annoyed with my Noodler’s Creaper and thinking of upgrading. I stumbled upon your review, thought about it for a couple of weeks, and finally decided to go for it. I ordered the red one from Goulet. I LOVE it. I inked it with a new sample of J. Herbin Lie de Thé, a water-soluble sepia brown. My other water-soluble recently is Diamine Grey to try pulling out some shading in my sketches like Tina does. Mostly, however, I like waterproof ink.

    Happy sketching,
    Arlene Abel Lennox

    • While I’m more of a building person than a plant person (it always seems odd to me that we artists say stuff like that) but I do like drawing plants as well. I enjoy the undulating shapes so much. I once had a friend who used to say “The lake would be crowded if we all liked to fish.” I think that applies to sketching as well.

      I LOVE that red Falcon. It wasn’t available when I got mine but I NEED one f those 🙂 Lie de thé is my favorite washable ink. I should use it more. It’s probably great in the Falcon, though I’ve found that my Falcon writes very wet with J.Herbin inks. It sure likes the De Atramentis Document inks, though, and if I do buy that red Falcon it will be filled with their brown ink.

      Cheers — Larry

      • How does the Document Brown compare to Noodler’s Brown #41? I didn’t know if it was worth it to buy another bottle of a waterproof brown. I did a dumb thing today. I made a little sketch of a vase of flowers and did my usual watercolor wash and wondered why the flowers were turning brown. Thought at first I hadn’t cleaned my brush — then remembered it was water-soluble ink. Duh! That tells me that except for Diamine Grey I shall pretty much keep to waterproof ink. It’s a big decision to think what to put in my Falcon next since it is my main sketching pen now. But this is really fun playing with pens and inks!


        • Well, if you find Noodler’s #41 Brown to be “waterproof” (even they don’t claim that) then maybe there’s no need. For myself, I could never get Noodler’s brown inks to flow consistently and certainly never found them to be waterproof. You might want to look here for another opinion about this.


          The DeAtramentis Document inks are true, waterproof, pigmented inks, not dye-based inks with some chemistry added to get them to bind to cellulose…if all the ink molecules can find a cellulose molecule (there in lies the rub). It’s a brown that leans more towards a burnt umber than does #41 Brown, though that’s probably a quibble. More to the point, I haven’t had it dry in the feed like the Noodler’s browns are prone to do.

          I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve suffered from the ‘oops, it’s washable’ situation. Very frustrating for sure.

          Cheers — Larry

          • The only time I had a wee problem with Brown 41 running was the first time I put a wash over it immediately after I finished my sketch, and then only a little bit. If it is completely dry it doesn’t move. This has always been in one of those little Pen & Ink faux Moleskine sketchbooks with the medium weight paper (sort of like card stock). I haven’t had enough experience to know about clogging feeds so I may get some Document Brown next time I get the chance. I have samples of Doc. Green and Turquoise. Thanks for your input.

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