Be More You – The Fun of Raw and Immediate Pen & Wash


I love real things – not copies.

Raw and immediate pen and ink mushroom sketch directly onto A6 card. As I drew I enjoyed a YouTube video about the Slow Movement and I hope whoever gets this card will feel my energy and love it.

Last Saturday I went into Pontypridd to buy the latest edition of  Flow (“the magazine that takes its time”) from WH Smiths. After doing a few other errands I then retired to Costa Coffee for a read and to passively watch people and immerse myself into teh aromas and sounds of coffees being made.

Raw india ink drawing on brown kraft paper ready to wrap my next sales package from my Etsy animal art gallery. I hope the recipient will enjoy this bit of unique art.

I love to do this as coffeehouses make me feel creative and relaxed and often I spawn new ideas while mulling and reflecting.


The magazine had an article about illustrators and as I read it I realised that it was expressing what I had always felt about real as opposed to copied things.



There is more humanity and soul in them. A particular sentence struck a chord with me – it said – “It’s the love for the line that veers of course slightly because it has a certain charm”. I totally resonated with that. I love little quirks and imperfections in raw, real work and immediately the idea popped into my mind of drawing more directly and freely.


I had a flash idea of how I could start doing that right away in my artistic life by drawing directly onto brown kraft paper and blank white A6 cards.

Why those 2 things you ask?


Well – I always gift a free card to anyone who buys an 8×10 print from my online Etsy shop and I always wrap their parcel in pretty floral Liberty tissue paper followed by brown kraft paper. I could picture (excuse the pun) a wildly scrawled original drawing on the outside of the parcel – and I liked it!


As I finished my coffee and read a bit more of the magazine I felt an excitement welling up about the fun of doing this – I am all about process not product and don’t care that there is “nothing in it financially” for me. Some things you just do because they sing with your heart.

As soon as I got home I cut up 5 sheets of kraft paper and slid one of my pre-cut cardboard stiffeners into the middle and folded the side over thus making a portable drawing board of the paper. I was ready to go! But not before I cued a YouTube video on the Slow Movement by Carl Honore.


Slow Down

He is the advocate of doing everything slower in a bid to live better. I totally agree with him. And so with his wise words accompanying me as I worked I put pen to paper.


I sat in front of the computer and randomly pulled up my file of dog paintings that I had done and immediately started drawing one – then I stopped and drew another slightly overlapping. Then I drew some random leaves and felt compelled to add some blocky words – I was on a roll!

Before I knew it I had done 3 and then I switched to A6 cards.


Once again I pulled up bird images and started drawing them and created a few cards that were a joy to draw. Very hit and miss (due to the organic and unpredictable nature of my bamboo dipping pen and ink technique) and totally me I loved them!

What appeals the most is that they are what they are – no middle man and not manipulation – no prep – just from my gut to the surface.


Now – a few days later I am building up a batch of dog ones to hopefully donate to Hope Rescue in Pontypridd. They have a fab charity shop there and I would like to give these as a way of supporting their work for dogs.

Anyway – upshot of it is that I feel so satisfied at my products but most importantly I am engrossed while the drawing is going on – loving that line that is veering of – because it has charm in it!

2 thoughts on “Be More You – The Fun of Raw and Immediate Pen & Wash

  1. It’s so refreshing to read your views on ‘smalling’ (I simplify whenever possible and have not heard of that term before). I so agree that ‘happiness is in the small things’ (no pun intended), and I concentrate daily on the small things that give me pleasure: a good cup of coffee, a beautiful bloom in my garden, a current book, a delicious treat. Re your drawing with abandon, I so admire you for that! I struggle with drawing but still enjoy the process, as you say. I have many ‘veering off’ lines! 🙂 Anything creative (in my case watercolor, sewing, cooking, gardening) gets my happy dance going. All my best to you.

    1. Ah that is lovely to hear Linda – thanks. I am getting more and more into immediate and real simple activities. This is where our humanity and magic lies I feel – as does contentment. I cannot tell you how chuffed I was after having drawn these 2 days ago.

      Now I am into weaving on a mini loom with some of my own handspun and some bought (from a small individual seller on Etsy in the UK).

      Smalling is a word that came to me 4 days ago as I was walking down the country lane where I live back home with my dog. It popped into my head.
      Please send me some images of any projects you have that are small.

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