This is a portrait of Lois for Lesson 2 of the Sktchy course Ink Naturally with Dylan Sara. Dylan showed us how to draw a portrait with 2 contrasting home-made inks and a hand made calligraphy pen. He used ink made with turmeric and walnuts.

I didn’t have any turmeric or walnuts so I made ink from paprika (I just added hot water and that’s the yellow ink) and tea – that’s the brown ink. I added a drop of India ink to my brown tea ink to darken it because it wasn’t dark enough. I drew the portrait using a pen I made from a whittled stick a year or so ago. It has a fat rounded nib rather than a more blunt calligraphy nib. I’m pretty happy with this given I was just using what I could find in my house. I’ll be buying some turmeric and walnuts this week and making some ink for further experimentation…

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I love drawing things. These days I am rarely found without a pen, pencil or stylus in my hands. In my working life I spend a lot of time in meetings and classrooms, reading papers and strategies, so my home life provides a creative antidote to all that! I also have chronic pain, lots of it. I have scoliosis, fibromyalgia and CRPS, so my life is a balancing act, trying to balance work, which make me feel part of the real world, with pain, which is ever present, and art, which soothes my pain.

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