I got my first piece of taxidermy when I was a teenager, a moldering old fox head. Over the decades my collection grew; Patti and I gave each other stuffed dead animals for birthdays and anniversaries until we had a full-blown Adams Family effect. I have culled our collection a bit but there are still snouts and beaks peaking around most corners.
These guys fill the wall of my study — five calm sentries watching over me while I type this. I have drawn them many times as they are interesting from every angle. This time I tackled them with a Faber Castell PITT pen with an XS point. It was a frustrating reminder of why I love my fountain pens. While the PITT doesn’t stain my fingers and has a decent black line, like the specimens on my walls, it dies all too quickly. Sure enough, midway, the pen began to cough and splutter and finally gave up the ghost as I drew the last antler. I finished things up with my Lamy, a dip pen, and a brush with a bit of sumi.
Let me be honest about something—while I have drawn every day for the past month and some, I can’t say I have done more than one or two pieces I actually like. This one again is not one of them. I need to do some soul searching now that I am back from vacation and figure out what is up. Is it the pace? Is it the hour? Is it the subject matter? The materials? My brain? There’s no question that its a good thing to sustain the habit of drawing each day but I would like to be more pleased with the results.