Tokyo Underground Drawings: Drawing Tool Considerations

I take drawing tool considerations highly in the same way painters consider their brushes or in a different context, a golfer choosing a particular club.  At art school (College/University) I’d always favour graphite pencils graded between HB (hard black) -7B. I’d never consider H (hard) or F (fine) graphite pencils. I was always encouraged to use softer graphite by Art teachers. However, I was very interested in the work of Cy Twombly, largely because he could use 9H or 8H pencils and create dynamic and dramatic scribbles. So why didn’t I? One reason could be the fact that the graphite doesn’t dominate the white paper. The image is less intense and as I constantly strive for expression, I would be unable to convey this element effectively. Also, I like to smudge the graphite with my fingers or the side of my hand and for me these actions are an essential component of my drawing process.  So I stick to HB +, end of.

I didn’t consider using biro pen for drawings until I came to Japan. Being addicted to stationary from a young age (and still now), fortunately for me, stationary is popular culture in Japan especially for elementary, junior and high school students. It’s not surprising, in department stores you can find such a range of stationary and clusters of students around testing the pens. Each pen catering for your writing/drawing needs. I’m in heaven! Having not done much pen drawing, I was curious to find out the versatility of drawing at speed on trains using pen. So between 1999-2003, I was mostly drawing in blue or black biro (ballpoint pen).  Below are a few pen/pencil drawings from 1999-2014. Later this week, time permitting, I hope to  work on revamping selected passenger drawings.

Passenger Pen drawings (1999)

Image 30 Image 29 Image 27


Urban & Entomology Studies

Koenji Bar (2014)
Koenji Bar (2014)
Otsuka Neighbourhood (2012)
Cicada (2012)







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