Life in Grays

Yesterday I took a break from watercolors to do a black and gray sketch. I chose to do this because I sketched the Jet Black driveway company doing my driveway, and since their trailer was shades of gray, I brought out some old friends: Faber-Castell Pitt brush pens in a few values of gray.


When creating this sketch, I was sitting on the second story in my bedroom looking out the window to the driveway below. The crew of two men did their job in about 30 minutes or so, so I sketched very quickly and added text after they left.


Years ago, I took a workshop with Chicago-based sketcher, Don Colley. He was in the Twin Cities and taught us many tips and techniques using Pitt artist pens of gray values and black and white sketching. He sketches on trains and other places and his work is amazing! After a thorough class, we went to the Minnesota State Fair for several hours to learn our new techniques. Here is a little promo video where he showcases Pitt pens and his work and it shows some of the markers he uses.

I have used Pitt pens combined with watercolors for the majority of my sketching, and although I don’t usually use the gray brush pens, they were fun to get out and try again. I did a quick sketch of my daughter playing her guitar, and I started with a light value gray for the sketch, and added the darker gray values, and finally a black brush pen to get the darkest values. I have had values drilled into my brain years ago from my art mentor, so it was a fun exercise to pull out the pens again and sketch today!

val in gray


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