Fountain Pen Day!!

2 November 2018: Fountain Pen Day!! Subway sketches done with the Sailor 1911 Standard with a zoom nib except for the right side of the second spread which is the Pelikan m800 EF because the Sailor ran out of ink, I refilled the Sailor after that sketch. Platinum Carbon Black ink, watercolor in Stillman and Birn 5×8” Alpha Series hardcover sketchbook. #fountainpenday #sailor1911s #sailorzoomnib #pelikanm800 #platinumcarbonblackink #stillmanandbirnalpha #schminckehoradam #justaddwatersilly #nycurbansketchers #urbansketchers


30 October 2018

30 October 2018: Updating wasn’t as painful as I had originally envisioned, although there is still quite a bit to catch up with. Vacation sketches, post vacation sketches, equipment sketches, all kinds of sketches. I can’t catch you all up today, but someday perhaps there will be some sketchbook tours.

This morning I took the train to school, and on my way back I managed to pull out a single sketch from the uptown 1 train:

Sailor 1911 Standard with a zoom nib loaded with Platinum Carbon Black ink, watercolor in Stillman and Birn 5×8″ Alpha Series hardcover sketchbook.

I usually write these posts when I am home, but as an experiment, I am trying the Word Press app on my iPad. This makes it easy to draft when I am on the move.

I am not online so I can’t upload anything. When I get home I’ll try to upload so if you are reading this then it was successful.

Thank you so much for visiting!

See you later!

Overwhelmed and I Don’t Know Where to Begin!

28 October 2018:

After a couple of months, so much has happened! A vacation in Curaçao, back to school, starting my volunteer position at New York Presbyterian, most of which has been documented on my Facebook pages and groups, as well as Instagram, but I usually take more time and get more detailed about my experience when I share here on my blog which adds to my self-imposed pressure, not to mention the lack of time due to the demands of school and work.

I am looking forward to sharing those experiences and how I managed to feed my creative habit, but I will have to start with the here and now.

I have gone through a few sketchbooks since last post, but I have slowed down considerably since school and work, but I started a new sketchbook last week after finishing the Moleskine watercolor sketchbook I had been sporadically using throughout the year.

The Stillman and Birn 5×8” Alpha Series hardcover sketchbook is in a larger format than what I have been used to. It doesn’t fit in the sketchers case that I had been carrying around and I am finding myself having to cut down on what I bring with me on a daily basis. My main sketching pen these days is the Sailor 1911 Standard with a zoom nib.


This morning on my way to work I did a quick sketch on the uptown B train:


After work I took the A train to school:


So that’s a quick update.

Thank you so much for visiting!

See you later!

The Week in Sketches:A Successful Interview and Other Stories

Thursday morning I had an interview for a volunteer position at the Allen Hospital, way uptown. I took the 1 train to 215 street and did these quick sketches with the Pelikan m205 loaded with Platinum Carbon Black ink in my trusty Pentalic Traveler sketchbook  5 X 3 inch 74 lb sketch:


The interview was a success! I will be joining the team after I am cleared! On my way back home, from the 215 Street station waiting for the downtown 1 train, I took this sketch with the Platinum 3776 Century with a soft-fine nib, Platinum Carbon Black ink. I added a wash for the sky later.


The next two sketches were also done with the 3776 soft-fine. I decided that the soft-fine nib isn’t great for sketching on a moving train. I like the line variation but it requires a certain amount of finesse and a moving train makes an unpredictable situation. The nib can be somewhat delicate:


Back on solid ground, I was able to use the soft-fine nib to capture this family eating outside of the French Roast Cafe, where I treated myself to a cappuccino:


Just past the cafe were a couple of guys selling books on the sidewalk. They are more or less a permanent fixture in this neck of the woods:


A very exciting weekend is planned, since our niece, Chloe, is coming to visit us from Boston. Here is a sketch at the subway station, waiting for the downtown 1 train, Pelikan m205 fountain pen, extra-fine nib:


The left sketch is from downtown 1 train on my way to meet Julia at Bed, Bath and Beyond to get an air mattress for our guest. The right sketch is from Joe’s in the morning.


The next sketch is on the downtown 1 train, on my way to meet Chloe at the bus stop:


Saturday morning I felt like hell. I did not sleep well and I had a fever. I went to the emergency room to get checked out. It was a virus, so I spent pretty much the rest of the weekend in bed. I missed out on all the fun with Chloe and Julia. This sketch is a hurried one coming home from the emergency room Saturday morning:


Sunday morning I feel a little bit better, yet groggy from Dayquil and Nyquil. Here is a sketch of Chloe looking at her phone first thing in the morning. The air mattress is set up just behind the blue couch and I only saw the back of Chloe’s head, and the phone in her hand:


Chloe and Julia went out to run some errands and meet with Aunt Sonia. I went out for a cup of coffee at Joe’s and made these two quick sketches looking out of the window using the ebonite  Sailor King Of Pen with a medium nib loaded with Platinum Carbon Black. I painted the watercolors at Joe’s after the lines were drawn:


Thank you for visiting!

See you later!!!

To Boston and Back, and Experimenting With The Platinum 3776 Century Soft Fine Nib

We took an early bus to Boston. From the front seat, I sketched the first driver.


After arriving at the Riverside Station in Newton, we took the T to Reservoir. The next morning I got some coffee at the Dunkin’ Donuts at the bottom of the hill, and I managed to squeeze in a quickie:


Rochelle, Julia’s mom, has lots of cool stuff. African baskets, interesting statuettes, a tree that I forgot what the name of it was, but I sketched the menagerie in front of the living room window:


Rochelle’s duck bowl on an empty bookcase:


Back in New York, I got myself together at Starbucks on 86th street, and pulled off this sketch:


After running a ton of errands, here is a sketch from Joe’s:


Our Jade Children, sketched with the Platinum 3776 Century, soft fine nib:


Wednesday morning, I had an appointment with a neurologist. Before I got there, I had a coffee and a sketch at Birch coffee, 96th and Columbus:


A couple of quick sketches from the waiting room before my appointment, Platinum 3776 Century, Soft fine nib, Platinum Carbon Black ink:


After the appointment, I ran some errands, but not before making this sketch at my old haunt, Paris Baguette, Platinum 3776 Century, soft fine nib, Platinum Carbon Black ink:


In between errands, a quickie at Maison Kayser, Broadway and 76? Platinum 3776 Century, soft fine nib, Platinum Carbon Black ink:


I had issues with the soft fine nib in the past, because it doesn’t behave like the stiffer nibs. Upstrokes are going to be very thin, side to side as well. Stiffer, more conventional nibs will give more or less the same weight of line, no matter what direction. Maybe a touch of variation on the down-stroke, but not as much as the soft fine. The magic happens with down-strokes of the soft fine because the line width can be varied depending on the amount of pressure applied. Plus I really like the Century model because the pen’s ink-feeding mechanism is designed to handle Platinum’s pigmented inks such as Carbon Black.  I am getting used to the way the soft fine works when I’m sketching. Writing with the pen is a joy but sketching takes some getting used to.

I have an appointment tomorrow being interviewed  to discuss volunteer IT work at NYP hospital. Hopefully it will get me in the door to get experience, and lead to an internship, and eventually, a paying gig! Wish me luck! I have to get ready now.

Thank you so much for visiting!

See you later!!!


The Nuclear Stress Test (and other stories)

Last week was busy. The move was so difficult, and so many problems have crept up. The best thing I can do is try to keep my cool, try to stay cool, and slowly and methodically do what I have to do to take care of my health.

One of the ways I take care of my health is to feed my creative habit. There was a day last week where I had no time to sketch, but on the way home I was picking up some lunch for Julia at Joe and the Juice. As I was waiting for the order, I took this quick sketch of a couple conversing.


Here is a couple of sketches done at Joe’s Coffee. This first one features a selfie in front of the mouth of the woman in the foreground:



I have to check my INR levels in my blood because of the blood thinners I am taking to dissolve the clot in my heart. Here are a couple of sketches from the waiting room of the doctor’s office:


After my blood was taken, I had a coffee at Aroma on West 72nd Street. Here are a couple of unsuspecting models:


On Friday the thirteenth, I took a nuclear stress test. I got to the office at 8:00 in the morning. It was a three and a half hour test. I took a few sketches from the waiting room. The first one was the last page of my Stillman and Birn Alpha Series 8 1/2 inches X 5 1/2 inches:


Starting the Pentalic Traveler Sketch 4 X 6 inch with a woman and her walker:



When the test was over, just around noon, I met Julia at the bus station and we went to Boston for the weekend. On Sunday before we came back, we went to Crystal Lake and had a magnificent time in the water. I couldn’t swim when we went to Fire Island because I was too afraid of the waves and getting submerged. The water at Crystal lake was calm, and I was able to float on the surface. I cannot submerge my body, particularly my head, for health reasons. Here are a couple of sketches from the lake:


After a relaxing weekend in Boston, celebrating Julia’s dad’s birthday, hiking, and going to the lake, we were all too soon back on the bus heading back to New York City. Here are a couple of sketches from the bus:


No sketches were done on Monday, but Tuesday I started the day making my punch-list of stuff to do at Starbucks on the corner of Columbus and West 86th Street:


There was a person next to the lady on the left, but he moved, hence the phantom arm in front of her!

I took my bike out for a spin in Central Park. It has been over a year since I’ve taken it out. It felt great. It was incredible until all the way on the east side of the park my rear tire blew out. Fortunately, I only had to walk straight across the south side of the reservoir and exited at West 86th Street, and walked to Eddies Bike Shop on Amsterdam. As my tire was being fixed, I went to the cafe on the corner and took these two sketches while having a coffee:


After taking my bike home, I went to Home Depot on 23rd Street for some weatherstripping supplies to help to combat the cigarette smoke that comes in through the cracks (windows, doors, vents, etc.). Here are some sketches done while taking the subway down:




Here are some sketches done on the subway on the way back home from Home Depot:


Yesterday morning, starting my day at Starbucks:


Taking a break from weatherstripping at Joe’s:


All sketches done with various fountain pens loaded with Platinum Carbon Black ink. Watercolor has been added to some of the sketches. A few have been painted on location. Probably the bus ones.

It was a busy week, and all test results were on the good side of things.

Thank you so much for visiting!

See you later!!!




A New Day In My Sketchbook

I had some errands to do today that required some subway rides. First, I got onto the downtown 1 train to get a haircut. The following sketch is of a couple of passengers, Sailor 1911S zoom nib, Platinum Carbon Black ink, watercolor:


I was early, so I had a coffee at The City Bakery and sketched for a few minutes with the Sailor 1911S zoom nib, Platinum Carbon Black ink:


Here’s a “before” selfie taken at the mirror that took about five minutes, Sailor 1911S zoom nib, Platinum Carbon Black ink:


There was no time for an “after” selfie. Maybe another time. Remind me.

I was on my way to school to meet with my advisor after my haircut. This should have been a twenty minute ride, but there was a broken rail on the Brooklyn bound 2/3 line. Two hours later I got to school. I had to get out downtown, walk to another station, and continued my trek. No sketches, I was too stressed.

After the successful meeting with my advisor, I took the train home, Sailor 1911S zoom nib, Platinum Carbon Black ink in the foreground, which ran out of ink. The background was sketched with the Pelikan 205 clear transparent demonstrator wit an extra fine nib, Platinum Carbon Black ink:


I would normally add watercolor, but it’s a busy day. Maybe later.

Thanks for visiting!

See you later!!!