I Had to Try This

So, where did today’s prompt words take Cheeky Monkey Mind and me? Those words — relax, mysterious, weak, legend, tree — took us on a whirlwind tour of the world, for they led us to the ubiquitous yew tree, which seems to grow everywhere. Now, to be precise, the yew is both a tree and a shrub. There are many, many different types of yews, so Cheeky and I went looking for a yew tree that really was a tree. 

A search at Pixabay led to a gorgeous reference photo of trees, rocks, and a waterfall. While I can’t be certain which tree really is a yew, it didn’t matter. Somewhere in the photo was a yew tree, and I knew I had to try creating an Inktober drawing from the photo.

I knew, too, that I wanted to do it as an ink wash, doing a little more painting than drawing. Ink wash is a technique I’ve rarely used, and when I have used it, it’s been mostly for doodling around.  Trying to use ink in a similar fashion to watercolor is still a fairly new technique for me.

Here is the result.

Inktober 15 - Yew Trees (2).png
Yews Along the River – Ink Wash and Pen by Judith Kraus

I drew the scene first with a B pencil, then worked with ink washes, trying to create different shades of gray. I made mistakes in places, like on the right side of the trunk where I have an ugly black outline. It dried before I could even attempt to correct it.

Once my initial ink wash had dried completely, I took a Sharpie and used it to define certain features — like the bark on the tree — or to add marks to heighten the illusion I wanted — like those marks in the background trees on the left. I used the Sharpie, too, for adding sticks and bits of grass. Those marks weren’t too successful.

This was a technique I enjoyed, one I would like to practice with a bit more. It was challenging, and in some ways it was frustrating. I felt that I had little (if any) control over the shapes and the shades, but I think that’s just part of what an ink wash is. Maybe the fun of creating with ink wash lies in that unknowingness.

I do like the casual feeling about this ink wash, so I might decide to try it again before Inktober is over. We’re just about at the half-way mark now, which means there’s a lot of time left.

Will I ever get around to using those dip pens I bought? Probably not, but who knows! I’m still practicing with them, and maybe I’ll challenge myself to do at least one Inktober drawing with them. We’ll see.

CheekyAnd tomorrow?

We have a wet, fat, angular, wild tree!

Or at least, that’s what we’re off searching for. Join Cheeky Monkey Mind and me tomorrow to see what we’ve found.

7 Comments

  1. Ink washes are my favorite way to use ink. I usually start with really light washes and build up the layers to get the desired darkness. Then I go in with a dip pen for the fine details. You should give the dip pen a chance. The variety in line width can be really beautiful. Good luck on the rest of Inktober! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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