Part way through drawing this I realized that I was using quite a “vice grip” on my pen. Afterwards, I made a conscious effort to hold my pen more gently and I could see how this made a difference in my line quality. I will be thinking more about my posture and grip when making my next drawing.
I really love the Epsilon Series paper in the Stillman & Birn sketchbooks for pen and ink. The pen glides over the paper with no resistance. Unlike other papers, the ink dries quickly and doesn’t sit on top of the paper increasing the potential for smudges. I wish this company sold this paper in tear out pads though. They do carry it in 22″ x 30″ loose sheets, but I don’t have a good way to store paper this size.