A good friend, Jared Norby, has been showing me some new techniques. I’m a strict ink user mostly. But every time we meet he gives me more insights and he has gotten me to experiment with pencil a wee bit.
The pencil, I must confess, does offer a bit more subtlety. I still may like the pen, but I do have a hard time getting slight shading and really capturing the mass. My inked stuff generally has a sharp, flatness to it so this is a good exercise for me.
Although still far from a pencil artist, this is definitely a direction I have mistakenly left unexplored. You can tell I am still a little uncomfortable forsaking my hard expressive lines but I must examine technique this further. I will be honest, coloring things digitally (at least, the way I do it) takes forever. Even though the pencil gradient is unfamiliar territory and it does take more time than I like to spend on my drawings, it might prove a welcome ally. Perhaps even charcoal one day.