Some ink and ink with charcoal drawings

P. Barrie

Well-known member
I made these drawings years ago. I was inspired by reading that Vincent had done some of his drawings with pens he had fashioned from bamboo stalks. So, using some dried Japanese Knotweed stalks that grew on our property, I made some pens of my own. They did not hold a lot of ink and didn’t last very long, but did make a variety of lines and values.

Sepia color ink


Tree house, Diluted ink

Diluted ink, then shaded with charcoal

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Arty, thank you.
I may have to find some more dried out knotweed and fashion some more pens. There’s a lot of it, and it’s now considered an invasive plant that needs control. I read some info about maybe introducing a species that eats it......ok so long as that doesn’t become an invasive problem 😬
Over here, this plant is a reportable plant it’s so destructive and just about impossible to eradicate!

However, to your drawings! Some look very like some V G pen drawings, similar marks, and very nice and expressive. I like these too!
Oh my. What a clever idea to try - and it worked! I hope you can continue to use the knotweed and figure out how to keep it in check.

Your Vincent influences are everywhere....and very fine influences they are. ❤️
These are all super! Great marks with the old knotweed stalks. I really hope you have the plant under control/eradicated and - I'm sure you know this already - but make sure those stems are as dead as dead can be before you throw them out! (I get twitchy when it comes to knotweed).
Maureen, Terri, Joe, Triduana, thank you

I don’t have any Knotweed on my current property. It grows wild here in USA since it’s arival from Asia. It is very hard to kill the roots and probably cannot be eradicated, just needs to be controlled better so it doesn’t invade croplands, wetlands, etc. where it may take over habitat of other plants.
Nice drawings! The sepia ink drawing at top has kind of a van Gogh feel going on.

I am fortunate to have a big cane brake a coupla miles down the way, so bamboo reed pens are there for the taking and making. As you mentioned, they can make a variety of marks, including a kind of dry brush effect. Lots of fun to be had with them, and they can be fashioned with a crude ink feed made of wire through the breathing hole.
I . They did not hold a lot of ink and didn’t last very long, but did make a variety of lines and values.
With a bit of finnicking it's not very difficult to equip a home made bamboo pen with a little ink feed.
You need to make the pen so that the core hole of the bamboo is not too far from the tip. Now you cut, from a beercan a strip of aluminium, two or three mm wide, couple of cm long, depending on pen size. You bend that in a shallow s shape, one bend you stick in the core, the other is the ink holder and ends just above the tip of the pen. I hope the pic makes it clear. It's incredible how much ink it holds. This pen also has a split tip like a "normal" metal dip pen.

And before a forget, lovely work!
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Laika, E.H.J., thanks, and thanks for the tips on ink holding. I’ll try that on a couple. However, I also like that the ink begins to get used up and the tips begin to wear, resulting in different value levels and texture of stroke. Tricky to control and one must be open to surprises.
These are fabulous! Great nod to your inspiration with the lovely variety of marks. I only ever hear about knotweed as property doom - so it's fun to see you using it so creatively.
I can definitely see the Vincent influence with these beautiful drawings. How clever you were to fashion a pen out of knotweed stalks.
With a bit of finnicking it's not very difficult to equip a home made bamboo pen with a little ink feed.
Thanks for including the photo, E.J.H.! I've read a description of that modification, but couldn't picture it. I will definitely try that.

My wire mod didn't work so well; it must not have had enough surface for the ink to cling. I've seen little springs used on dip pens for a feed. I may try that, but your way looks like a winner.
These look very "Vincent" to me! I'm always amazed at how a few dots, dashes and lines can describe foliage so well.
My Gosh, Patrick ! I think these are wonderful, and I am impressed by your process to create them. Very educational, thanks.