Saturday, April 21, 2012

Dick Zunkel Demo Thursday April 19th 2012

Dick Zunkel Demo painting

Thursday's paintsite was a demo by SCVWS member Dick Zunkel. He uses pen and ink, and juicy watercolor to create loose and dynamic paintings.
Dick had to compete with noise from a jack hammer digging up the road and we were a little confined because the grassy areas of the park were all fenced off due to replanting - such are the trials of plein air! However, the weather was perfect, we had a record turnout, and Dick's demo inspired us all.
Dick first sketched quickly in pencil, then refined the drawing in waterproof ink using a #5 or 6 speedball dip nib. He emphasized that good perspective is an important basis for the painting. The dip pens give great variety to the lines. Once the ink is dry Dick wets the paper for the sky and puts on a wash of Raw Sienna. He then brushes on some Cobalt Blue and adds a little Alizarin Crimson on the horizon. He uses a flat 1" brush for most of the painting and loosely suggests all the elements rather than defining them completely. If you missed his handout the information is available at
Thank you Dick, for a great demo.

Janice Faulstich
It was a beautiful day in Los Gatos with a great turnout!  We all enjoyed Dick Zunkel's demo of his unique pen and ink with wash technique. Everyone produced nice work with his easy to follow directions. Thanks, Dick, for taking the time to show us how you work, and thanks to Jenny and Sylvia, who make our Thursday outings so enjoyable. As usual, I have a few perspective issues, but who can complain when it was such a nice day? Janice

Caroline Garborino
Wow! I've become enlightened! I didn't have to anguish over an academic painting and I nearly finished in an outdoor session. I love Dick's pen-and-wash technique! Caroline

Leslie Grimm

Mary Paquet
This is a painting of Valeriano's Restaurant in Los Gatos. Dick Zunkel did a great demo, and I found I did not bring the right tools. Mary from Santa Cruz suggested I use the eye dropper in her acrylic ink bottle, so I did. I quickly made a freehand drawing, no prior pencil marks. I got blobs and inconsistent lines and I like it! So I added some light watercolor washes and voila, the piece was done. Mary

Michael Rogan  Pen and Ink with Watercolor

Brad Santos
Thursday's Paint-Out and Demo by Dick Zunkel in Los Gatos started out on
a loud note but, keen right-brain people that we are, we shut out the
distractions and, applying Dick's principles, came up with many fun,
loose, and interesting paintings.

Jenny Tero
I used hot press paper for the first time - it was much better for the ink drawing, but didn't take the paint so well as cold press Arches.  Achieving Dick's casual style was surprisingly difficult.  I had to rescue this one with a lot more paint and scratchy ink lines at home.
Sylvia Waddell

Dick's demo was very inspirational - but his technique is not as easy as it looks! I was struggling with the buildings, but really enjoyed some quick gesture sketching when the Western Wheelers turned up for lunch. Sylvia

Anne Jacke
"I thoroughly enjoyed Dick Zunkel's demonstration.  Even though I did not have the correct pen, I found that pen & ink is fun. His talent is obvious as is his joy in creating great work.  For me, it's almost like creating a coloring book then finishing with watercolor instead of crayons.  It really brings out my inner child and it loosens up my painting.  Thank you Sylvia, Jenny and Dick!"


  1. It's great to see what everyone did with this technique. Mary - using the dropper was a stroke of genius!

  2. These pieces are so much fun and full of life and energy. Mary from Santa Cruz actually suggested I draw with her dropper. I just didn't give up with the splats appeared and I am so glad I didn't. I always recall Myrna Wacknov and her coffee stirer and the wonderful things she draws and paints.

  3. I wanted to add here that I sold that little piece at my Art Open House. I want to do more of Dick's technique after I assemble the proper tools.