Interview with artist Pen on Paper Co.  Jennifer Delaney

The RAW Artists Canada STELLAR showcase is coming up in Calgary on October 24th. You can purchase tickets here: For this showcase I interviewed the talented self taught artist Pen on Paper Co. read the interview to find out more.

Which medium do you prefer to work with? Why?
I have two favourite mediums, ink and oil, and I use them in two 
very different ways. I use ink for the pieces that I create under my 
brand name, Pen On Paper Co, and oil paint for those under my artist 
name, Jennifer Delaney. I love the raw, minimalistic, and sexy look 
that I can achieve with black and grey inks. The ink sketches also 
only take a fraction of the time that my oil paintings take, which 
nicely breaks up the time spent consumed in my art and provides a very 
motivating sense of accomplishment. With my oil paintings I use colour 
and cover the entire canvas so they act as more of a statement piece. 
I love that I can create much larger pieces with oil and have them be 
even more life-like. Yes, I keep my realism style in my paintings as 

Your layering techniques are very interesting. How did you come about
this style?
I have always loved the look of sketches, but I wanted to create 
something that had a little more depth. The true black quality of ink 
gives me more freedom to play around with this and it’s why I choose 
ink over pencil, even though this means I give up my ability to erase 
and smudge. It’s quite a different technique to sketch with ink. To 
achieve the shading effect I switch between different hues of grey and 
layer them to create the ‘shading’ effect. I use a very fine-point 
pen, 0.2mm to be exact, for all the fine details and then layer with 
different greys to achieve the shading. I had done a few pencil 
sketches before starting with ink and these had taught me the concept 
of shading, so when I decided to use ink it just came naturally to me 
to layer solid hues. The elephant was my first ink sketch, and you can 
notice the detail and shading differences from her vs my more recent 
pieces like the turtle.

What made you decide to eliminate backgrounds for your ink work?
Most importantly, I wanted these pieces to keep the qualities of a 
sketch; rough and obvious. I call these ink “sketches” instead of 
“drawings” as they are not supposed to look like a complete picture. 
As an artist I have the power to guide my audience’s eye to certain 
aspects of a piece that I want them to focus on. By eliminating the 
background it makes the viewer focus on the texture and personality of 
each animal, and the depth and detail of the mountains. These are the 
challenges I am faced with when I choose these subjects, and why I 
love to create them so much. Each animal I attempt to conquer has a 
new texture and character, which is exactly what keeps me intrigued! I 
also wanted to keep my ink pieces simple so they compliment and 
contrast your coloured and bigger statement pieces, allowing you to 
have even more artwork in your house without causing clutter, chaos, 
or clashing.

What does Pen on Paper Co have planned for the RAW Artists Calgary
showcase on Thursday October 24th?
I will be showcasing my original ink sketches (for the first time 
ever) and will have prints, posters, and greeting cards also available 
for purchase. As well, I will be bringing in a few of my original oil 
paintings, one of them being a work-in-progress painting I have put 
around 400 hours into so far. A masterpiece that I have been working 
on for about five years that has been a major teacher for me when it 
comes to brush techniques, colour matching, and shading. Not to 
mention patience. I am a self-taught artist so my paintings are very 
important teachers of mine. I will also be bringing in my very first 
oil painting ever that I created 5 years ago. If you can make it, come 
say hi!

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