No watercolors at the MET

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC, like most museums is fine with you sketching in most anything as long as no paints is involved. Today I skirted that problem by drawing with water soluble ink in a fountain pen. Below, I have captured the area just inside the entrance to the Robert Lehman Collection, many people call it, ” the new wing”.

It is a fascinating juxtaposition of new and old. The left side is the original brick arched exterior wall of the MET, on the right modern facing of beige granite cover the bare walls and, the two flank a narrow three story glass window.

I used an ink I love called Pecan by Papier Plume . This ink has the special property of changing color when you add water. Moss green appears from the brown ink as water touches the ink but as you add more water the green turns pink. It’s a beautiful and subtle way to get a hint of color without calling attention to it.

It’s my secret weapon to allow me to get color on a piece in the museum. Stealthily I slip out my waterbrush and apply light washes on the piece. If it’s too crowded, I head down to the cafeteria and go to town down there. By the way, The MET’s cafeteria is a great place to be able to have a cup of coffee or a full meal without a table wait and cool your heels for as long as you wish. Below, you can see the photo I took of the location just after I finished sketching it.

By the way the fountain pen I was using was a very cheap pen ( under $5usd) that I ordered off the internet from China. I ordered 3 for about $16usd including shipping and 2 of them are as good as ones I have spend over $40usd on. Clearly an inexpensive low risk adventure.