Netsuke #Inktober

netsuke comp 2s

Over the years I’ve acquired lots of different inking implements for different purposes, and I’ve also bought a few recently just to draw with.  I decided to make a comparison by drawing a netsuke with each one to see what I really liked the best for drawing.

pigment liner pens s

These four were done with Staedtler pigment liners; I bought a set I saw at Staples when I was shopping for printer toner (a reason I stay out of art stores…) and I really like them for drawing.

gama sennin s

They range in size from .1 to .7, and the difference is most noticeable when you compare the finest to the thickest.  Gama-Sennin, above was drawn with .1.  You can get really delicate lines, but no darks.  I’ve drawn Gama-Sennin before; he’s the immortal mountain god that can change himself into a toad.

skoki s

With the thickest pen I drew Skoki, the Demon Queller.  A physician who was rejected because he was so ugly (in one legend, anyway), he committed suicide but was honored in death by a remorseful emperor.  His spirit then vowed to protect the ruler and his heirs.  Depicted in netsuke as a large ugly man who wears a hat with a broad brim, his image is thought to protect against evil and illness and expel demons.  This pen provides great darks, but not fine lines.

kasane s

My favorite, and the one I’ve evidently used the most since it’s starting to run out of ink, is the .5 width.  I drew the “Ghost of the Murdered Kasane”, who is a character in a kabuki play.  She is one of many vengeful female spirits, caught between life and death.

kappa s

The .3 pen also gives a good range of line and depth.  I drew Kappa, a water deity, who is a trickster but also quite frightening, as he kidnaps and eats children.  But he also likes cucumbers, and they are thrown into water in an attempt to appease him.  He has webbed hands and feet, a beak, and a turtle shell, and reminds me in some netsukes of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  If you meet one, bow:  he will bow back, and the magic water that gives him his power on the top of his head will spill out, allowing time to escape.

I guess a future project should be one drawing using all 4 pens.  Put it on the list.  And more samples from my collection of inking implements to come.

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About memadtwo

For more madness, follow me on Instagram @h_zimel methodtwomadness is a blog of two friends, Nina and Kerfe kblog is Kerfe's solo branch on the tree

18 responses to “Netsuke #Inktober”

  1. Laura (Createarteveryday) says :

    Hmm. If you meet one, bow. I think I’d be running instead! These are all quite frightening drawings! Thanks for sharing. Isn’t it interesting what the different nibs produce. I’ve noticed there are certain ones that dry out sooner, too. One in particular. Happy Wednesday, Kerfe and Nina!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. kirkistan says :

    Very cool drawings, Kerfe. It’s important to find a pen you like working with.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. tequihby says :

    These are all really great. I always love your netsuke drawings.

    It’s interesting to see the pen comparisons too. I’ve been using a .5 myself and I also find it works quite well.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Sharon Mann says :

    A very nice comparison of pen nibs. I’m always looking for the perfect pen!
    Your Netsuke drawings are so expressive, and intimidating.

    Liked by 1 person

    • memadtwo says :

      When I cleaned out my closet, it’s amazing what I found. And the only way to figure out what each could do I thought was compare and contrast.
      I hope they are not intimidating! Start with a good subject, I think, and the rest follows. Plus, doing the same thing over and over certainly doesn’t hurt.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Sand Salt Moon says :

    Awesome way to find subject matter by depicting characters from plays or stories or poems and imagining what they look like. I love the tribal feeling of all of your art, Kerfe, and in ink you do have a flare for rendering these enchanting and interesting and strange looking too sometimes characters. LOL about why you stay out of art stores – I do that too at the supermarket!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. memadtwo says :

    Nice work and I agree with the .5 nib. I’m always buying different pens and stuff, art stores are dangerous!


  7. Teresa Robeson says :

    I love how you wove the stories of the characters into your talking about the different pens! Cool and creepy drawings. I bought a set of Faber-Castells recently so I’m not tempted by your set (for a change). 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Sunshine Jansen says :

    I just love these. Japanese mythology is just a gift that keeps giving!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. artandmoondreams says :

    Great progression with the drawings and the different pens. Love your renderings and background of the different Netsuke. Thanks for featuring one of your pen choices, I will have to keep an eye out for those.

    Liked by 1 person

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