Good Question of the Week: A Trick for Using Liquid Ink in the Wild
I thought I would start a series of posts I’ll be calling: Good Question of the Week. Maybe I won’t be doing it every week :) But I’m still calling it that. Gradually they’ll build up into a nice tips and tricks list.
So, this first one was not even a question. Someone was saying in passing – “oh I wouldn’t take liquid ink into the field – that’s a disaster waiting to happen”. I thought – “Such a shame – why pass up the expressive line you get with brush or dipping pen!”.
So – yes, yes it’s true. The potential exists for a dramatic spill. And of course the main problem is how to actually draw without splattering all over nice new pants. Not every urban sketcher wants to look homeless while street drawing. It’s bad enough we sit on the sidewalk.
I’ve tried a number of clip-on things, magnets, even the sticky rubber stuff used to hang posters. (Here’s the post on magnets). Ultimately, it’s all much simpler than that. Introducing the “Book and Bottle Grip”. Patent Pending.
What I do is just hold the bottle, and the sketchbook in one hand. This way I always have control over the ink, and it’s the shortest distance from dip-to-draw. This works with a brush or dipping pens (as shown). I do this now for watercolor as well – holding the book and my clear water in the same hand. (My new mini-half pan set can be clipped right to the book itself). Sometimes I”ll put a little piece of coroplast behind the book – if it’s one with a floppy spine.
The bottle is a 30 ml Nalgene container – purchased from a camping good store – probably meant for sunscreen or bug repellant. These plastic jars will never break and have a leak-proof seal. You can carry liquid ink in the bottom of your bag without fear.
I don’t have huge hands – so I *think* this should work for anyone. Let me know if you try it out.