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!!!


A Quick Escape Amidst the Tumultuous Mess

The move into an apartment surrounded by chain smokers is proving to be an  impossible situation. We were blessed with the opportunity to spend a day or two in Fire Island. The invite came Saturday morning, and we were on the train in the afternoon.

We took the Long Island Railroad from Penn Station to Bay Shore. Here is a fellow passenger, Sailor 1911 S with a zoom nib loaded with Platinum Carbon Black ink:


At Bay Shore, we took to the ferry going to Ocean Beach on Fire Island. Sailor 1911 S zoom nib, Platinum Carbon Black ink, watercolor:


Ocean Beach was very busy in town, but the house where we stayed is close to the ocean. We enjoyed the sunset from the bay, and the after effects at the ocean, a seven minute walk away.

The main form of transportation on Fire Island is bicycle. In the morning, I relaxed in the hammock and sketched the bicycles and a stack of firewood in the backyard until I felt a tick land on my hand. Sailor 1911 S zoom nib, Platinum Carbon Black ink:


The beach was hot but we had a great time relaxing. Here’s a quick sketch but it is hard to sketch in direct sun pounding down, hence the unfinished look. Sailor 1911 S zoom nib, Platinum Carbon Black ink, watercolor:


Later we had a few rounds of frisbee on the beach when it cooled down a bit.

We left early Monday morning. No sketches yesterday but this morning I made my punch list at Joe’s Coffee while simultaneously sketching these two unsuspecting models. Sailor 1911 S zoom nib, Platinum Carbon Black ink:


A light lunch at Birch Coffee and a quick sketch, Parker Duofold Centennial, needlepoint nib, Platinum Carbon Black ink:


All sketches done in the Stillman and Birn 8 1/2″  X  5 1/2″ Alpha Series softcover sketchbook.

Thank you so much for visiting!

See you later!!




Relocation: Disoriented

There has been no time to update because of the preparation and execution of the relocation. Our sanctuary has been dismantled, and most of our stuff is still in boxes, and probably will stay in boxes because we may be relocating again very soon.

Here’s what happened in my sketchbook: a sketch on the subway on the way to a doctor’s appointment. Downtown 1 train. This would be the last sketch that would be taken starting from the 96th Street station.


There was a couple sitting patiently in the waiting room of the doctor’s office. The woman’s hair was whiter than snow, and the man, holding his cane, had grayish faded red hair.


Then there would be no sketching for the next couple of days. Still recovering from whatever it was that landed me in the hospital, it took a great deal of effort to pack and prepare for relocation. When the movers came on Saturday morning, it took twelve hours to complete. It was a very hot day, and I was surprised at how much I was able to push myself to do. It was a very unpleasant experience.

On Sunday, both Julia and I are barely able to walk, but we managed to make our way to the West Village and had an awesome brunch.  No sketches from brunch, but a trip to the nail salon (Nail Spa 49 @ West 4 Street and Horatio) gave me an opportunity to sketch this man fiddling with his phone.


Julia is getting a manicure by Judy :


In order to prepare for the day’s tasks, Joe’s Coffee on Columbus @ West 85th is the new hangout where I make my punch-list and first sketch of the day:


Train sketches:




Aroma on West 72 Street:


Joe’s Coffee:


Morning train sketch of a little girl in her stroller:


A light lunch at the Olympic Flame Greek Diner, 60th Street and 10th Ave:


Train sketch on the way home, stroller-bound:


Trying to pull my head together at Joe’s Coffee:


Train sketch this morning on the way to cardiologist appointment:


The relocation has left me disoriented, the days are jumbled together and it’s hard to remember what I did the day before yesterday from time to time. Sketching is helping me feel grounded and helps me to remember.

Stillman and Birn Alpha series softcover sketchbook, various fountain pens with Platinum Carbon Black ink and some watercolor.

Thank you for visiting!

See you later!!





Getting Back Into The Swing Of Things

The first day home from the hospital was busy, we are moving this Saturday and there’s a lot of packing to do in a short period of time. I had breakfast at Paris Baguette and found my first unsuspecting models.


I went to Staples to look into some boxes, which they had, but I wanted a dish packing kit like the one U-Haul has. I called ahead and was assured that they had plenty in stock. I took the subway and tried to do a quick sketch or two, keeping the pen on the page as long as possible to try to keep a continuous line.



It took a while to get to U-Haul, and when I got there, I asked for the dish packing kit. I was informed that they were out of stock. I explained that I had just called, and the woman just waved me off with “well, we’re sold out now”. I am pretty sure it was her that I spoke to on the phone.

So I decided to not make a scene, so I took the subway back home with a couple more line sketches.


I would normally color many of these sketches in with watercolor later, but there is just too much to do.

That evening I took the subway again downtown but this time I went to Home Depot, and they were much more helpful. Here is a sketch going downtown:



This morning, I had breakfast again at Paris Baguette and found a couple of models.




Various fountain pens, Platinum Carbon Black ink in my Stillman &  Birn Alpha Series softcover sketchbook 8 1/2 inch X 5 1/2 inch.

It’s time to get some serious packing done.

Thank you so much for all of your kind comments! I am seeing the doctor today to take some tests. I am sure that all will be well!

See you later!!