Sticks and Ink

Working with sticks dipped in ink has been a recent discovery, and something I was introduced to by illustrators Helen Stephens, Katie Chappell and Tania Willis (aka The Good Ship Illustration) who started hosting an Art Club every Friday Night during the Covid Lockdowns live on their Instagram. These sessions were a lifeline to so many illustrators/artists during this time, and it was pure bliss to spend an hour just drawing, laughing and having fun. These fantastic illustrators became a part of our week, and even after the lockdowns were lifted, the Art Club remained.

We tried a myriad of techniques – drawing with the non-dominant hand, continuous line drawing, even drawing under a box but my absolute favourite was drawing with sticks and homemade implements. I can’t pass a stick without glancing to see whether it would make a fine addition to my collection. Even dried plant stems (foxgloves work really well) form part of my drawing utensils nowadays.

I absolutely love working this way, and find it incredibly freeing and liberating after working on my characters/scenes, as they are so spontaneous (and often against the timer, with some drawn in 10 minutes and others limited to only 1).

if you like the sound of ‘stick drawing’ or fancy experimenting with different techniques, pop over to The Good Ship Illustration’s Youtube Channel (or follow this link which will take you to one of their Stick Drawing episodes).

All texts and images ©Jane Sunbeam 2013-2023