I am in a quandary, as always, about what materials to take on the Via de la Plata. Why does there never seem to be a perfect answer? Last time I took a small set of self-contained,black, pigment based ink pens, 1 pencil and eraser, and a 9 X 12 Aqua Bee Super Deluxe Sketchbook with heavy paper suitable for Mixed Media. Even this weighed over 2 pounds.
Before I left, I field-tested every brand of pen sold as art quality pens. I wrote on various papers, then held them under running water! Some bled, ran or changed color immediately. Then I left them exposed to direct sunlight for 2 weeks with ½ of each sample covered up. Many changed color and faded. Micron Pens by Sakura and Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pens are both rock solid. They do not run, fade, or bleed and I highly recommend these 2 brands.
I thought I had the perfect compact art kit but, needless to say, I had never done pen and ink. I was unaware that it was such a detailed and time-consuming process. It took hours, even days, to complete each drawing once I returned home. However, I love that they are reminiscent of etchings that were the method of portraying imagery long before photographs existed. It creates a bridge between the past and present by creating contemporary imagery with an ancient technique. This time I will definitely still take my pen and ink, but I want to try a fresher and more spontaneous approach. And I really missed my colors! I have looked deep into my artist’s heart, and I have a premonition of a shopping trip in the near future.