December 16th, 2014

Wilberforce the Rabbit

When we get inquiries about which of our papers are suitable for pen and ink, we reply “all of them”. “But even the cold press surfaces, like Beta and Delta?” Yes, they are all mixed media papers and support inking techniques (plus of course varying amounts of wet media). Alaskan artist Michelle Hotchkiss illustrates the suitability of our cold press papers for line art with this intricate pen and ink drawing in a Beta Series sketchbook.

“The inspiration behind the drawing of ‘Wilberforce the Rabbit’ is an actual rabbit named Wilberforce. He is the pet of a friend and lives in a cabin in Alaska and spends the winters lounging in the heat from the wood stove, eating oatmeal and bananas and sipping on apple cider. When springtime finally comes after a long Alaskan winter, I imagine Wilberforce revels in the fresh air and warm sunshine, while hopping around under the flowers, enjoying being alive.

This drawing is in my Stillman & Birn Beta Series Sketchbook, using a very fine point 0.05 mm Copic Multiliner SP pen. I draw the texture of the fur by overlapping several light, short strokes of the pen. The surface of the Beta paper is perfect for making very fine lines, where the ink skips over the paper and creates an etched appearance. Mixing these very fine lines with heavier weight lines, where the pen marks are a bit more solid and darker, makes a very life-like fur texture on the Beta paper. I use the same short, light pen strokes for creating the shading in the flowers, grass and plants.

This type of drawing is not quick and it took thousands and thousands of small pen strokes to create this drawing; but I find it very enjoyable and relaxing. The heavy weight of the Beta paper stands up extremely well to the many layers of ink as well as heavier pen lines, without bleeding, feathering or fraying. Thank you for making high quality sketchbooks and paper that is a perfect foundation for my art.” Thank you, Michelle!

MEDIA: Pen and ink
SURFACE: Beta Series – Extra Heavyweight – 270 gsm – White – Cold Press Finish



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