I drew this with ink on Dura-Lar Wet Media film. It is like working on a monotype plate. You can put ink on and then wipe it off. I brushed ink on and also worked with pen and then I scratched or wiped ink off with a tooth pick or a cotton swab. It’s very fast and direct.
This orchard is just north of Hazelgreen Road on 62nd Avenue. Image is 11×3.5 inches (28×9 cm).
Yesterday I went for a drive in the country. I took some photos from the car and today I did this ink and watercolor sketch from one of the photos. I wanted to try using masking fluid to hold back little bits of white. It worked. The white flecks you see are the white of the paper and not white ink applied later.
I started by drawing the basic big shapes with a very light gray pen. I’ve noticed lately that the pictures I like the best have a simple structure of four or fewer major sections dividing the page. I designed this one to have four horizontal sections – the sky, the field, the dirt road, and the dark weedy foreground. I applied ink using both my finger and a waterbrush working up from light gray to black. I then added a bit of yellow and green watercolor. The brown was done with brown ink. I let everything dry and rubbed off the masking fluid to reveal the whites. The last thing I did was to use a pencil to better define the buildings.
Travelogue Artist Watercolor Journal, Pueen Latex Tape used as a masking fluid, Tombow ABT N95 dual tipped brush pen, Derwent #2 round waterbrush, mix of Pentel Sign Pen black and brown inks, Kuretake ZIG Brushables 010 brush pen, Pentel light gray brush pen, 50/50 mix of Noodler’s Lexington Gray and water in a Derwent #2 round waterbrush, Noodler’s Benenke Black ink, vintage Sheaffer’s Balance Black and Pearl Lifetime pen with 14K gold nib ca. 1929-30 filled with Noodler’s Benenke Black ink, Pentel EnerGel 0.5 black ballpoint pen, Daniel Smith watercolors, and a Pentel 0.9mm mechanical pencil. Image is 16.25×5 inches (41.3×13 cm).
I’ve been thinking about this picture for days, weighing the various ways to do it. I could paint it on paper, film, canvas, or wood panel. I could do it in ink, watercolor, acrylic, charcoal, or gouache. I decided to go with gouache on paper. I worked from a reference photo I had taken in 2009 while I was recording birds in the Ankeny Wildlife Refuge south of Salem.
I donned my rubber gloves and started by rubbing water on the paper with my hand and then I used my fingers to smear paint and mix it on the paper. I used a light blue, pink, and white to block in the sky and water. Next I added the light blue mountains and the central tree line with a flat brush and blocked in the colors of the foreground. I then switched to a round brush to do most of the detail work, and finally I used black and white ballpoint pens to add some very thin lines and detail. All in all, it took me about and hour and a half to complete.
Strathmore 500 Series Heavyweight Mixed Media paper, Turner Acryl Gouache. Image is 7×12 inches (17.5×30.3 cm).
I did this small ink sketch (4×5 inches) to test a few new techniques. First of all I put on a rubber glove, dipped my fingers into some water and spread it on the paper. I then used my finger to apply ink while the paper was wet so that it would blend and bloom. I then quickly scratched lines out from the wet ink to give the impression of trees and branches. I also lifted some areas to lighten them using a paper towel. I went back in using black ink in a fountain pen and also a black gel pen for some detail and finally used white ink from a gel pen and a marker.
I like working this way. It is fast and fun. The technique lends itself to this kind of dark and moody scene. We have a lot of these kinds of days in Oregon.
Fabriano Hot Press watercolor paper, mixes of Pentel Sign Pen black and blue and brown, Noodler’s Benenke Black ink, vintage Sheaffer’s Balance Black and Pearl Lifetime pen with 14K gold nib ca. 1929-30 filled with Noodler’s Benenke Black ink, Pentel EnerGel 0.5 black ballpoint pen, Uni-Ball Signo white gel pen, and Molotow 2mm empty pump marker with Dr. Ph. Martin’s Pen White ink.
I’ve been scouting places to paint on location near me by using Google Maps. This spot caught my eye. The weather has been so bad lately I decided to just sketch at home today using Google Street View as a reference. My intention was to do a quick, loose brush sketch, but it turned into a more finished watercolor painting.
I started by painting the sky using a mix of Pentel Sign Pen black and light blue ink. I then added the light greens and the gray of the road using watercolor. I then did the midtones and finally the darkest darks. I used a single round brush to do everything including all the narrow vertical lines.
Travelogue Artist Watercolor Journal, Princeton #8 round brush, mix of Pentel Sign Pen black and light blue inks for the sky, Daniel Smith watercolors. Image is 16.25×5 inches (41.3×13 cm).
I did another pen and ink drawing in my sketchbook today. I’ve been experimenting with ways to get various shades of ink. This one uses a bluish and a brownish mix. I made another small paper palette. This time I did it with Yupo paper, which is a plastic paper because when I used card stock I discovered that the paper balled up when scrubbed and left little pills of paper in the ink. I figured plastic wouldn’t do that. I made two swatches on the Yupo with Pentel Sign Pens mixing two colors. I mixed black and light blue for one swatch and black and brown and ochre for the other. As before I used a water brush to pick up the ink off the paper palette and apply it to the drawing. It worked very well. I can add more ink and reuse the Yupo palette again and again because the plastic does not deteriorate.
I started by drawing the basic shapes with a very light gray ink pen. I then added additional grays working my way up in value from lightest to darkest. I used the bluish mix for the sky and the brownish mix for the light grays in the bushes and trees.
Travelogue sketchbook, Tombow ABT N95 Dual tipped brush pen, Kuretake ZIG Brushables 010 dual tipped brush pen, Pentel Light Gray brush pen, 2 Derwent #2 round water brushes – one with water and the other with a mix of Noodler’s Lexington Gray and water 1:2, da Vinci series 1573 #6 travel brush, vintage Sheaffer’s Balance Black and Pearl Lifetime pen with 14K gold nib ca. 1929-30 filled with Noodler’s Benenke Black ink, and Pentel EnerGel 0.5 black ballpoint pen. Image is 5×8 inches (13×20.5 cm).
We’ve had rain all day and as I lowered the blinds on the picture window in the family room I noticed the trees silhouetted against the clouds. I got out my sketchbook and worked fast to capture the changing light. I used both brush and pen with a variety of inks.
Travelogue Artist Watercolor Journal, Derwent #2 waterbrush, Noodler’s Benenke Black ink, Noodler’s Lexington Gray ink, Pentel Light Gray ink brush pen, Pentel EnerGel 0.5 ballpoint pen, Kuretake #13 brush pen and Platinum Desk pen with Platinum Carbon Black ink. Image is 5×8 inches (13×20.5 cm).
I’m trying a different combination for sketching today. I started by painting the major shapes with watered down black ink. I then added some detail using a pen with gray ink. Finally I added color with colored pencils.
Canson watercolor paper, Princeton #8 round brush with Noodler’s Benenke Black ink thinned with water, Pilot Parallel pen with Kaweco Smokey Gray ink, two Pentel Multi-8 pencils with various colors of lead, and Molotow 2mm Empty Pump Marker with Dr. Ph. Martin’s Pen White ink . Image is 5.5×8.5 inches (13.9×21.6 cm).
This is a test sketch using a new ink, Noodler’s Benenke Black. It is a water soluble ink that makes a rich gray when diluted with water. I painted directly with a round brush dipped in water. Earlier in the day I spread some of the ink on a 3×5 card and let it dry to use as a palette. I could then pull the ink off the card with a wet brush and apply it to the sketch. I also filled a fountain pen with the ink and used it to draw the darkest trees on the right and blended with the wet brush. I did the same with a few trees on the horizon line. I really like the slightly warm gray produced by this ink.
Canson Mix Media paper, Sheaffer Balance Black and Pearl Lifetime pen with 14K gold nib ca. 1929-30 filled with Noodler’s Benenke Black ink, and Princeton #8 round brush. Image is 7×10 inches (17.8×25.4 cm).