With the lifting of the complete lockdown I went into Liverpool and got myself some acrylic inks this week. I am thinking of putting some of these line and wash style images onto canvas. Up until now I have been using standard inks for the line and watercolours to add washes and I feel I need acrylic inks to apply to canvas. This one above is done in acrylics on paper with acrylic ink, liquid acrylic and heavy body acrylic. I am happier keeping it simple than adding layers of complexity as I did in the one below.
In this one I used black and white inks to create the lines and I feel that has some mileage for developing.
I am still playing around with standard ink and watercolours as they are quick to do and here are a few more below.
The one above is a more complex version of the first painting and I dont think the complexity adds much value.
Putting ink onto a wet surface can give an overpowering effect especially with black ink, so it needs to be done sparingly. I did buy some red, yellow and blue inks and havent yet started using these. They look more potent than the liquid acrylics I use.
Recently I saw a documentary on the artist Maggi Hambling. In one scene she was demonstrating what she does in the studio at the beginning of the day. On a sketchbook page she drew freely in ink, using a dropper.
She was able to create a great variety of marks easily. I have done a lot of work with ink and use an italic nib to create broad and fine lines but this has limitations. Hambling’s approach seemed to offer wider options.
Naturally I gave it a go. Above are some calligraphic doodlings. But having a few watercolours around I was soon adding colour.
On this one above I also sprayed the wet ink with water to create other marks. I used acrylic paint on the one below.
Hambling explained that she might work up these quick drawings into paintings. Unfortunately she didn’t give any examples.
In this one above the brush took over and I finished up with what looks to me like birds in a bush.
I then decided to prepaint the paper and leave to dry before adding the ink. This gave another dimension to the possibilities as you can see above.
Though I must admit I was running out of ideas when I worked on another preprepared sheet.
I have used ink in many life drawing sessions, using a dip pen with an italic nib. It is quite a heady process as once the mark is made it is there for good. I took an old life drawing and copied it to see how the dropper compared to the pen when drawing in a more constrained manner – though I used a brush to add some form to the figure. I must certainly give this a go when life drawing resumes around here.
My painting has been disrupted by moving all my stuff to accommodate Christmas guests. I am in the process of moving back, but taking the opportunity to clear stuff out. So painting is a bit slow and this isnt helped by trying to update my website at the same time.
In the process of sorting and binning, I came across these sketches done at various life sessions during last year, so I thought I might post a few.
As you can see most are people sat in chairs – the favoured pose in these parts. Looking through the work has made me resolving to do more pen and ink. Once the mark is down theres no going back, so you paint by the seat of your pants, whereas charcoal can be corrected.
Another play with ink and watercolour. The ink runs gave a leafy texture on the trees, as if autumn was stripping the dead leaves from the branches. Again the black ink pushes the tonal range and allows a sense of recession with lighter trees in the background.
Since returning from my trip I’ve attended two or three life drawing sessions. The ones I’ve been to prefer the fast and furious so I just took a pen, some writing ink and a brush. Drawing with a pen shows all the hesitations and mistakes, but the ink washes means you can get a great tonal range which, if the lighting is any good, means you can exploit fully.
I have been trying some pen and wash work at the life drawing sessions I attend with mixed results.Here are two. The male was done in pencil, then with an ink wash. I am disappointed with this. The clear lines on the female done with the pen gives some clear demarcation which I prefer. I will be trying some more. Each one was completed in 25 minutes.