Pen Work – Wunmi Fadipe

My favorite medium is pen. When I sketch with pencil I tend to erase and nit-picked and tweak constantly. A professor of mine noticed and mentioned how much it slowed me down and made my lines too stiff and unnatural, and he gave me an assignment: sketch 3-4 times a day, everyday for one week, and only use pen. I immediately noticed a difference in not only the speed of my sketches, but also the style and quality. I enjoyed the assignment so much that even now almost all of my sketches are in pen. I also went a step further and created a penned portrait series of 4 as my final work from that class. Here’s one of them

The original is about 3ft x 4ft and is based on photography by Andres Serrano. (Careful browsing through his work, he can be graphic/disturbing. Definitely NSFW) The entire piece, sketch to finish, was done with .005 micron pens. The texture and gradient was created with light squiggly patterns layered and layered… and layered and layered. The whole thing took me about 32 hours beginning to end.



  1. joelrden · September 26, 2012

    Meghan, your work is stunning. You made me say the dreaded OMG! right out loud. First I smiled because you spoke so well about the learning process. I tried writing in pencil once. I could not get past the first paragraph which became just a big smudge on the paper. Then I scrolled down. That’s when I said it, the way you do when the breath gets taken. How can you be that good? I feel privileged to be a fan of your work.

  2. kalabalu · September 30, 2012

    Perfect :)

  3. Pingback: Pen Work – Mangal Singh | Bix707 – Illustrations by Meg Kirkpatrick

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