This is one of those drawings that appear in stages and change with the circumstances of each stage. The pencils were of an ordinary sketchbook world drawing of a figure leaning on a horrible creature. Since I was out of town when I drew it, I had to ink it with the brush pen in my traveling kit, which seems to have developed a leak in the final seal and which dropped a huge drip immediately above the man in the striped shirt’s left shoulder. Instead of filling the background as a solid black, or blotting the drip and then whiting it out later, both legitimate and standard solutions to a rare but not unknown issue, I decided to go with it.
I worked the drip into kind of a garden form and filled the rest of the background with similar forms in varying sizes. Later, after the whole mess was dry, I filled in the plant form in the “background” with a small Sharpie pen. (The scribble leaves were actually just drawn on top of the brushwork forms.) I don’t know why, but the black shapes remind me of a kind of negative cherry blossoms in a weird Japanese garden somewhere in sketchbook world.
(And yes, I retired the brush pen in question. It now resides in the studio, carefully labeled “fill only”, and will live out its life spotting small to medium sized black areas on finished pages.)