Saturday, March 19, 2011

Home, Home on the Page - and Alex

The sun is high (pronounced "hah") in the sky (pronounced "skah"). I tilt my John B (that's a cowboy hat). I lean over, pluck a golden-yellow (pronounced "yellah") weed, and I chew. I stride with confidence. I spit on the grass. I dig my heels in the fertile earth just because I can. I strike my spurs together and the sparks, they fly (pronounced "flah").

And it is all because of one thing (pronounced "thang"): I own an SKB SB-1000 0.5 millimeter. Got it straight from Texas, and I puff my chest with pride (pronounced "prahd").

It was sent to me by Raena.

What is this thang? I'll tell you what it isn't (pronounced "ain't"). It ain't a gun - I don't shoot it. It ain't a motorbike - I don't ride it. And it ain't no B--M--W (pronounced "dubya").

Here's a hint: These days I have just enough muscle to push it. That's right. It's a pen.

When I first got it, I didn't know what to think. It looks like any old ballpoint. And with apologies to Andrea Joseph, I have never sketched seriously with a ballpoint. But it's not just any old pen. It's a beauty. I've found it to be so smooth to write with, and the point is so thin. It makes a beautiful razor-thin line if you'll let it be (though I tend to drag it back and forth when I use it.) And it is obviously waterproof because it works wonderfully with watercolors. The detail possible with this pen is unbelievable.

It's funny how when you pick up something different to draw with it's still you, but all together different things seem possible. This is why it is great to have many types of drawing tools to suit your many moods.

So I've started using this pen in my moleskine, and you can see my first such sketch from life above. I also played with the watercolors a bit in this one. What d'ya'll think? Like it?

Turns out that the SKB SB-1000 0.5 mm is as valuable to me as my horse (pronounced "hahs"). My apologies to those of you who actually speak like this. ..

No I don't own a horse.

Raena is a fine online friend I've met. Alex is another. He recently drew Raena and I at his blog here. Great fun.

So one day I felt like furiously scrubbing with my Pierre Noire Conte A Paris pencil. It's name sounds snooty, doesn't it? But it's not. More like sooty. It's like a charcoal pencil only less smudgy. I drew a quick sketch of of a short-haired woman from a magazine (at the right), and that really got me in the mood to use it.

But who to draw? (With me it is always a who).

Well there was only one person I wanted to draw. Sweet revenge. And that was Alex. But where was I going to find a picture? Not that screwy one at his blog. And his wife's blog was no help either - no pictures of the hubby. So I began searching the internet, and voila! there he was. The magic of the web.

And here he is. That symbol at the bottom left is his signature symbol.

Okay, Alex my boy, tell me like it is. I can take it. Yeehaw!


  1. well, my comment flew off to some alley in the backstreets of Paris--I begin again I will..I don't have a "hoss" (Maine speak) either and sure enjoyed reading your post---chuckling a lot. the Lahm Green background behind that fella is most explosive and would catch the attention a
    feasting buzzard--I now think I can not live many more moments without trying to get one of those pens....your subjects must grin a mile wide when they see your excellent work..

  2. Great sketch, and love the wall behind, can't comment on the likeness of Alex as we've only ever had the strange little picture on his blog to look at, it will be interesting to know what he thinks!

  3. Dan,

    You are so fun, thanks for this hilarious post. I don't really know what Alex looks like either, but if you don't mind, I may use your sketch to make my own.

    Can't wait to see what Alex thinks, eh? (That's Yooper talk - they say eh after just about every sentence.


  4. Well Alex is just going to have to post a picture of himself so we can compare isn't he? Or not, as I am sure you got a good likeness of him anyhow. Fun story again - I am from California and we don't have accents like Texans, New Yahkers, or Pennsylvanians. Uh huh, till those people tell me we do.

    I am going to have to look up that pen. I like the idea of one so fine and smooth.

  5. I just googled the pen according to what you have here and came up with nothing. Nothing! How can that be here on the internet? I don't know but evidently the internet know-it-all needs more info. Could you tell us a brand or something more please?

  6. Well done Dan !!! I sure had a laugh at your story!
    The sketch with your new pen is great and Alex's portrait is so good !!! Congratulations ! He's bound to like it !
    Wonder what your new pen looks like !!??

  7. Well freebird, I found their website: (and for the record, I have no connection or affiliation with the company).

  8. ha ha. I'm not sure who is funnier, you are Pamo. I'm looking forward to Alex's reaction :D

    Great top sketch, although the green wall is nasty and I don't think I could have coffee in there.

  9. Who in the world taught you to speak Southern like that? I hope that yellah weed wasn't a chigger weed. These are really great drawings, Dan. I especially like the top one; and I'll check out this pen.

  10. I always wondered what Alex really looks like (like you said, the one in his blog is way too small for my eyes)... So this is Alex eh!!! (eh, is what we say here in Cad eh)... I like the drawings, the texture behind Alex is interesting. And the top drawing is cool, I like the bright green and the rest kind of muted. Very cool!!

  11. I think there is going to be a run on skb pens. An artist can never have too many drawing tools.
    Sorry, y'all don't know how to talk Southern.

  12. That thar pitchrr is as pretty as a spittoon full of fresh green peas, I do declare.
    Obviously the first fellow is sketching YOU, the wacky guy in the cowboy hat, and the second guy is posting the whole thing on his blog. Obviously!

    Thanks for the link to Andrea's blog(WOW). Cool tools too! Hope Alex likes his portrait.

  13. fun post..both to read and take in with the eyes. I LOVE that you draw from life (predominately)...because then with you do draw from a photo it has that "done-from-life" feeling. I am sorry for the artists who slavishly copy from put yourself into each drawing...high five!

  14. Your sketch is great so it must be a good pen ...but really you are a great artist as a pen can't do it alone!

  15. Well, dip me in buttermilk and fry me to perfection! You talk funny... But you draw mighty nice.


  16. great protrait. nice texture - which u dont see much of in portrait drawing.

  17. Ha! Yay, it's Alex! You're too much.

    You have me kind of interested in that pen. I really like drawing with a certain Pilot pen - I embezzled a few from work - but I wonder if this isn't a waterproof improvement.

  18. Another great post! I don't think we can get those pens here - wish we could. And I don't think I can compete on the accent either!
    But where is Alex's opinion of your sketch? I shall have to drop by again to catch his view! I love the background you drew - sets Alex off perfectly!

  19. Oh my gosh, hold on, I can't stop laughing! Let me catch my breath...
    That was some accent ya had there! Most people can't even tell I'm from Texas and sound disappointed when they hear me talk!

    Freebird: I've noticed that a lot of Californian's make statements but put emphasis on the end of the sentence like a question would have. Do you do that? I know not everyone does!

    For those who are asking, I purchased the pens from . I have to warn you though, half my box didn't work at all and the ones I have skip a lot. I read recently that if you refrigerate them or freeze them somewhat that it helps. I'll have to try that. When they do work, I love them. So it's a love/hate thing. I mean, 'thang'.

    On to the important part, the artwork. Excellent, really excellent! I was surprised the first one was from the skb, so I guess you're right! I'd recognize it as yours anywhere. Well done on the portrait of Alex! Looks like I need to do one too!

  20. Great portrait. Please do another post with a real picture of Alex. Encourage him to submit one!

  21. Fantastic, every bit of it, from the Texican talk to the stealth hunting down of what Alex really looks like.
    And the drawings are the icing on the cake!
    I think we need a new EDM challenge: Draw Dan, Raena, and/or Alex.

  22. You crack me up! I love your posts - entertaining and inspiring. Beautiful sketches, and believe me, I have a drawing or painting tool for every mood. Lately I haven't gotten to use them nearly enough. Thank you for inspiring me!

  23. I can't believe I've miss this post by days ^^ my response, I felt the blood gushing from my belly(yeah that's strange) up to my head... no it wasn't anger, it was happiness. I can't explain how it felt like. Earlier I was looking at air ticket prices to fly back to Malaysia to visit my family. My sister just gave birth to another girl, and it's still way too expensive for us to travel, so I was sad. And then I found this post with my name on it. =)
    Dan, you have no idea, it totally made my day. I know where you got the picture, and that's at least 6 years old, but I can tell you it's really good! I wouldn't mind posting a new picture. Go to my website and you'll find a 'new' one ^^
    Thank you Dan... from the bottom of my heart, I really appreciate it.

  24. Well, how much FUN!! I love your drawl . . . makes me feel right at home, though, like Raena, my Texas accent is disappointingly minimal :-) Lovely sketching, too . . . awesome of Alex!!!

  25. I posted. I waited. I did everything this sucker asked me to do. It still didn't post my comment. It SAID that the top guy reminded me of Kevin James. It said that Alex looks FABULOUS and youshould do more of that type of drawing. It said that I need to try one of them pay-uns. This had better post!!!!! (Great job, Dan!

  26. Whut kahnd a namyme iz Penwassur, aneewhy? Ew must be wunnaddem Yankee fellers, haint yew?
    Love the South. Don't have as much of the white nonsense as the North does. But, Miami can be a tad moist in August. Like living in a bundt cake.
    I'll take that to shoveling anyday, though.

  27. Oh, what a delightful gift! I am currently considering getting a fountain pen, so this is lovely. The drawing is crisp and bright... can't wait to see what else it brings to life!

  28. Well, I'm a might grateful to y'all for comin', y'hear?

    Glad you all liked the art and the Texas drawl - thank you so much for visiting, and for commenting. It made my week.

    First, Alex - wow, I am happy for the timing and relieved that you didn't mind me lifting your image from the web! As for your new avatar, all I can say is, man, what is your secret to retaining that youthful look!?

    And Raena - Thank you so much for the pen. I've been meaning to tell you how much I've enjoyed it for a long time. Thanks for the info on refrigeration, since I know I will be buying more.

    Tough to respond to all of you, other than saying thanks, but to address a few of your remarks (these are not in order, I got confused - easily done):

    Winna - they never see the work - I keep a low profile, veritably try to blend into the wallpaper.

    Cathy and Mari - Thanks for liking the wall. I tried something new with it (or at least more of an old thing) because my big beautiful flawless wash looked boring to me.

    Vicki - That's right! Sketch him like you did us - he deserves it. ;)

    Joyful - so sorry..truly. :)

    Pamo - You are so insightful!

    Celeste - Wow I feel so complimented. Thank you. I try.

    Marilyn - Thanks - and I though it was the pen!

    Don - That was a kneeslapper! :)

    Jenna - I love the Pilot V5. But it ain't waterproof, so I can't use it with watercolors if I want a line that doesn't bleed. It is my pen of choice when I am just doing a drawing.

    marancat - Online!

    Raena - Yes you do need to draw Alex (he says conspiratorially) - I'll have to e-mail you his photo! Thanks for the tips on the pen. As for my accent, I've been told I have none - that I have a tv accent. But I have some southern touches here and there, like I really do say y'all, and my days all end in "dee" instead of "day" (my wife kids me no end about that).

    freebird and Martine - scroll up a bit, and in another comment I made, I give the website of the pen where they have great photos and you can order - they are cheap. Also see Raena's comments about the pen.

    Sue - Thank you for comparing my writing to Pamo's - I am greatly complimented. (The wall really was that color..)

    Thanks Ellen - I don't know who that is and will have to look him up.

    Melissa - Ouch!

    Deborah - I think all we artists are moody.

    Al - What's a bundt?! What do you mean you don't eat no meat?! (hmmm, hope you saw that movie).

    taio - Thanks, and thanks for visiting.

    Betty - Thanks!

    Katie - Well, it isn't a fountain pen. It is - believe it or not - a ballpoint. As for an inexpensive great fountain pen for drawing, check out my other favorite, the Lamy Safari!

    Meegan - Cool observation, thanks!

  29. A bundt cake is one of the best desserts on the whole planet! It's a cake with a hole in the middle and usually a glaze dripping down the sides (after I wrote that, it sounded kinda dirty). As far as the movie, I initially drew a blank, but "My Big Fat Greek Wedding."
    OK, I'll make lamb.

  30. Your portraits are awesome - and judging by Alex's reply, also very true to the subjects! The drawing with the incredible pen is great, too.
    And thank you for the Texas speak lesson, I'll try to remember it if I ever go to your great country ^^!