Thursday, May 19, 2011

Pen Cup

This was an experimental sketch using water soluble fountain pen ink. I drew the sketch as I would with permanent ink, using hatching to show curvature and shadow. So far so good.

Then came the moment of truth with a waterbrush to blend the ink into a wash.


The heavily hatched places became solid color. Definition between the objects disappeared. Everything turned into a big blue blob. In spots with lighter hatching the ink lines disappeared altogether.

Crap! Wasn't expecting that!

I let those first swipes dry, reconsidered my options, then went back to the margin and swiped water again. That resulted in shading closer to my original expectations. The ink blended more smoothly into white. There was simply too much ink on the page in the beginning.

On the lettering I barely touched the ink line with the waterbrush. The ink flowed out creating interesting blobby patterns. Some I smoothed out to a uniform color, some I left blobby.

It took a while to adjust to this ink and wash technique. It was scary and unfamiliar. I began with a heart attack about the ink's reaction to the water. But when I began to play with it to see what it would do, I started having fun. Art is all about having fun after all.

I don't think this technique is something I would use on a regular basis. The results don't resonate with my soul. But I wouldn't have known that unless I tried.

Pen: Lamy Safari, extra-fine nib
Ink: Diamine Majestic Blue
Paints: Watercolors: W&N New Gamboge and MaimeriBlu Raw Sienna
Brush: Niji waterbrush with water
Paper: Reflexions 6" x 6" spiral sketchbook with multi-media paper


Julie (O-kami) said...

This turned out great. I love it, will have to try some experiments with my fountain pen inks.

freebird said...

I use the pen and wash only when doing an outline drawing or very simple piece. I enjoy the technique in that case. The first time I did this, I did like you and drew my whole picture thinking the ink would only lightly fade out leaving my lines. Nope. I ended up with a black and white painting I was not expecting. I think your mug looks very nice myself.

Speck said...

Julie - Fountain pen inks can lay down some awesome, vibrant color as I've just discovered. I've considered using mine like paints but can't quite figure out how to work out the logistics. It seems like I would need lots and lots of little pots of ink out all at the same time. Then there would be a lot of contaminated ink left in those pots when I'm finished. There must be a better way...

Speck said...

Freebird - I see now that a simpler drawing is better with this technique. Why didn't you read my mind to know I would be doing this today and send me a few pointers???

I'll probably have a go at it again and adjust my drawing method. I'll also use a different color ink, maybe a brown/black mixture. I rillyrilly didn't like the bright blue. That's just what happened to be in the pen I wanted to use.

Julie (O-kami) said...

I know, I'm not sure of the logistics of using fountain pen ink either and with 80 bottles of the stuff that would be lots and lots of little pots, LOL

Rowantree Design said...

Looks great!