A few years ago I was out hiking and came across some branches of a Manzanita tree laying on the ground. The red bark of these trees is extremely smooth and without any roughness. It doesn’t even look like they have bark because it’s so smooth. I took some sticks from it home thinking that I might try carving a wooden pen from them. It worked well but I don’t draw with ink very often so I just put away the pen and the rest of the sticks, until today.
I carved a new pen with an X-ACTO knife, using the same sticks I founded several years ago. I didn’t follow any instructions for this and I don’t have a lot of experience, but I just carved it in a way that I thought would make sense.
Only the tip is carved. The rest of the pen still has its bark and you can see how smooth it is.
Here’s a few test lines that I drew on Strathmore drawing paper, 400 series. All of these lines were drawn with the pen dipped into the ink just once. The lines were extremely thin and I put a coin next to them for comparison. Some of the lines are thinner than a hair. That ink I dipped the pen into is Noodler’s Black. I just recently got it. I don’t have much experience with different inks, but I read a lot of good things about this one on different websites so I ordered this from Amazon. I really like it so far.
This is the pen I carved a few years ago with old ink stained on it. It seems like it’d be easy to make the tip be different sizes to get thicker or thinner lines.
As is drew with the new pen the lines got thicker because the tip was becoming duller as I used it. Drawing with these is a lot of fun, and for some reason I don’t feel like the drawing has to be perfect. Maybe it’s because the pen I’m holding isn’t straight, and the lines are a little rough when you look closely, so I feel like it’s also okay if the drawing also isn’t straight and a little rough.