Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Colored Inks, and beginning Colored Pencil

The above Hibiscus flower was done entirely with various colored acrylic inks and a dip pen. I used a half sheet of Strathmore toned paper for the background. The size is about 5 x 6 inches. I did rough in a pencil outline of the flower and main leaves first but as I inked the background first I was able to erase out most of the pencil prior to starting the the flower. I didn't use any black ink on this, just various colors, red, green, antelope brown, and yellow, and oh yes a little Indigo blue in the background and on some of the leaves.

The reference is from the January Monthly challenge in the WetCanvas Pen and Ink forum.

I am relatively pleased with how this came out and may try to do more flowers this way. The only drawback is that color placement does have to be thought out a bit prior to inking, and I can only ink one color at a time so it isn't quick and there is a fair amount of pen cleaning involved. I keep a small jar of my pen cleaning solution close at hand, and always rinse that off in clean water after cleaning the pen.

I have started the colored pencil work on this inked flower, so far I have just been working on the background abstract leaves. Selecting the colors has been fun, but I think what you see is what I will be using for the rest of the background, I am using under layers of Derwent colored pencils with a top layer of Polychromos. The Derwents are wax based pencils and the Polychromos are oil based and a bit more translucent than the wax pencils.

The other day I was out for a walk in my local park and saw a tree trunk/stump in a clearing that I thought might make an interesting drawing. I made a reference photo at the time and used it as the basis for the above sketch. I used Sepia Acrylic ink and dip pen in one of my smaller sketchbooks for this drawing.

The drawing didn't actually take very long to do, but I am quite pleased with how it came out. Guess my occasional plein air landscape drawings are starting to pay off when it comes to figuring out how to suggest distance and textures with pen and ink.

The above is pretty much a doodle done in one of my sketchbooks with my Copic Multiliner pens (various tip sizes). Just playing around to see what values/textures I can come up with using just ink. No reference and not really trying to create a finished drawing, but depicting tone/texture with ink is a constant challenge so these doodles do have a purpose. 

We had more snow over the weekend, not a lot, just about 3 inches, not even enough for them to haul out the plows, but with the snow has come cold air and wind. Yesterday I went for a walk up in the Blue Hills Reservation, I was going to check out the animals at Trailside Museum, but I had forgotten about the ski slope on Great Blue Hill, so parking for Trailside was pretty impossible. Causing me to pass on the Museum and drive directly over the Houghton's Pond. The photo above was made at the pond, and shows an area that is just east of the beach. The sky was very blue yesterday though the wind was cold, so I can't say that I entirely enjoyed my walk, got a bit chilled.

Speaking of blue, I just finished reading a book about blue. It is mostly about blue dye, originally done in the Mediterranean using the gland of a sea snail, until plant indigo was introduced from the East, even then it was the preferred dye of the upper classes. The author includes all sorts of linked information, Mediterranean History, how we see blue, the chemistry of Indigo and how the historic dyeing process was rediscovered. So if you are curious about the color blue prior to our chemical dyes this is a very interesting read:  The Rarest Blue

That is it for today, per usual comments are always welcome.