Inktober has been a wonderful way for me to learn more about ink drawing. I am really enjoying it, and I’m almost sad that the month is coming to a close. My thoughts and feelings about ink drawing have changed a lot over the last few weeks, and I’m truly beginning to love it.
Each day, I learn more about inks, about different pens, about different techniques. And one of the most important things I’ve learned through my daily practices is how to relax, let go a bit, and keep my drawings loose.
Today’s Inktober drawing — a stand of white firs — was fun to do. The prompt words — box, squeak, stretch, dark, tree — led me here to this little forest scene:
If I were to draw this in graphite or with a very fine-tipped pen, I would do it much differently. I would show the bark on the trees, the sticks and twigs scattered over the ground, the branches of the trees on the horizon. It might make for a lovely drawing, and one morning I might decide to do it in detail.
But that wasn’t what I wanted to do today. When I looked at the reference photo, I knew I wanted to play with the picture a little bit, to just let go and let the ink create the image. I wanted a loose feeling to the finished drawing, and I had ideas on how I would get the effect I wanted. I’m pleased that it turned out close to the way I’d imagined.
I knew I wanted to use one of my new Elegant Writer pens with water-soluble ink. I first considered just doing it as an ink wash with my black India ink, but I decided against that. I knew I wanted the deep, dark color I would get with the Elegant Writer.
Because I would be using water to paint with the ink, I set my usual sketchbook aside and used a sheet of watercolor paper for this. With graphite, I sketched in a very simple horizon line and made a few marks to indicate the placement of the four trees.
NOTE: I know the rule about using odd numbers of objects in drawings and paintings. I could have drawn three trees or five trees, but… I didn’t. My reference photo shows four trees, and I liked the look of them. I think it’s all right to break rules from time to time, so, yes, I deliberately broke that old rule.
Before I did anything to the trees, I used a paintbrush to very lightly “brush in” a little color for the sky. First, you see, I made a few marks on scrap paper, then applied water over it to get that inky blue.
Next, I inked in the scene using an Elegant Writer with a 3.0 tip. I found I could use the edge for finer lines and the blunt tip for larger marks. I added in a few haphazard lines for the distant trees, and then I had fun going over it with a wet brush, letting the ink run and spread. I liked letting loose and not trying to control what was happening.
Years ago when I first attempted ink drawing, I would never have thought it could actually be fun. To me, that shows that I have grown as I’ve become an artist, and it feels good to create quick little works of art that actually turn out the way I want.
SO, WHAT’S CHEEKY MONKEY MIND GOT IN STORE FOR TOMORROW?
WHAT RIDICULOUS PROMPT WORDS! I HOPE YOU’LL COME BACK TOMORROW TO SEE WHERE THIS SILLY SEARCH LEADS.