Poor Woman’s Paris 6: Ink Drawings

Poor Woman’s Paris 6: Ink Drawings

Before my trip to Quebec City, my poor woman’s Paris, I wanted to get a marginal handle on ink drawing.

Many urban sketchers use their ink drawing for much more than a scaffold for watercolor. Ink drawings alone can shine with beautiful varied strokes and accents.  Exquisite drawing as done by some urban sketchers was obviously beyond my ability to learn quickly.  I decided to be satisfied with a fine point permanent ink pen and simple lines.

Childhood- The Future of Asheville, 10 x 14 in. ink/ watercolor

Childhood- The Future of Asheville, 10 x 14 in. ink/ watercolor

Drawing in ink without pencil scribbles would have been frustrating.  In Childhood- The Future of Asheville, I took my time and did two pencil scribbles, so my basic approach to adding ink was not difficult.

To put down ink on my pencil scribbles, I shrug my shoulders, wave my pen, and go wild.  I try to use free, flowing lines in ink, for a style that suits me- jittery and spontaneous, wobbly and loopy.  Then I erase all the pencil marks and I’ve got my ink drawing… or else I do another pencil scribble and try again.

Waterlilies- L'Orangerie was drawn with a broad tip pen throughout

Waterlilies- L’Orangerie was drawn with a broad tip pen throughout

Artist’s permanent ink pen tips come in various sizes. Waterlilies- L’Orangerie was an experiment with a bolder tip ink pen throughout.  I think I prefer an urban sketch with thin lines, such as Childhood- The Future of Asheville.   However, bold lines produce forms which read better from a distance, whereas thinner lines disappear into the watercolor.

French Broad Chocolate- example of mixed broad tip and fine ink

French Broad Chocolate– example of mixed broad tip and fine ink

French Broad Chocolate, awaiting watercolor, shows an experiment in using varying bold and fine ink lines before applying watercolor. I have since begun to reinforce a few thin ink lines with a broader tip pen after applying watercolor, if I feel a need for it. Broader lines can  suggest shadow sides of drawings, strengthen some firm edges, or clarify a shape obscured by my free-flowing, runny watercolor. I have also used spots of ink as dark accents. It is easier for me to see where more ink might be effective after doing the watercolor.

Do any of you ink artists have other thoughts about ink drawing?  Send some examples and I will post. Next up- my approach to learning watercolor.

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