Sketching with a Toothpick

What do you do when you want to switch up your tools and get creative, but have already spent your yearly stationary budget on expensive fountain pens? You take a toothpick from the kitchen and dip it in drawing ink to sketch, that’s what! And then bleed the lines with water for a broke person’s watercolour sketch.

This is what it looked like before I took the Pentel water brush to it:

I think I managed to get away with it because as a slight female, I have smaller hands and thin fingers. I imagine it would be harder for someone with bigger hands. What surprised me about the experience was that the wood actually felt quite nice and smooth on the paper. I have used bamboo (reed) pens before, but they are very disposable tools because the ink soaks into the wood fibres and holds a little less each time you draw. So the more you use it, the more frequently you have to dip into the bottle. This made me loose interest in the bamboo pen because replacing it every time it became too dry is far too inconvenient, but with toothpicks, they are so affordable and abundant that I came up with a pretty neat solution, if I may say so myself:

The diameter of the toothpick is a touch too wide for a standard 2mm clutch pencil- it’s not an ideal fit, but it does fit. So I snapped a bit of the toothpick off and put it in an old, cheap clutch pencil, so that I can enjoy the ergonomics of a standard pencil and use the tip as a dip pen, and replace the wooden tip as needed. I’m feeling weirdly proud of this workaround. It’s always fun to arrive at whacky solutions for insignificant problems.

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