Wednesday, 21 May 2014

The joys of soluble ink

One of favourite mediums is Pen and soluble ink. Soluble (non-permanent) ink bleeds and runs when wet. It is useless (in my opinion) when used in conjunction with coloured washes .... but when used with plain water, the inky washes produced have a nice effect. Because I'm looking to find my comfort zone right now, it made sense to resort to a favourite way of sketching, so this is what I'll be doing for a while.

This first sketch is of Eilean Donan Castle in Scotland, one of the few places on my bucket list. I totally messed up quite soon into this sketch by placing one of the towers in the wrong place, but I decided to carry on since it was only for practice anyway. I also decided to try my hand at hatching .... something which I'm not very good at. I struggle to know which direction to hatch, and how heavily to hatch, but I'll get there. And I stupidly messed up the attempt to show some reflection on the water. I should have hatched horizontally, in wave-like short bursts. I'll do this one again properly sometime soon.

The second sketch is of the 17th Century Market Hall that stands in the centre of Chipping Cambden, a small market town in the Cotswolds. Built in 1627, this building is famous for it's particular type of roof structure. Having completed the pen sketch I then used a very wet brush of clean water and let the wash flow with the minimal interference and guidance from me. Great fun!! Oh, when I signed this one I dated it 05/13, which just goes to show where my head is right now. lol.

For my next task I need to do something about my verticals. My handwriting leans to the right and has done for the whole of my life and I wonder if this is why most of my verticals lean to the right. When I make a conscious effort to draw them correctly, they lean to the left. This can be seen very clearly in the Market Hall sketch. Any tips or tricks will be gratefully received. ;-)











10 comments:

  1. So good to see you sketching again. Pen, ink and wash seems to be your forte', as is your graphite drawings. They have always stood out too.
    Yes, we are in 2014 now. lol !



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    1. Thank you for your kind words BJ ... and thank you for spotting my deliberate error with the date. lol.

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  2. Nice use of soluble ink John. I've tried using it myself sometimes, but I've not done enough to really master it.

    The only thing I can think of for the leaning problem is some faint pencil guidelines, which you could erase afterwards. Maybe two in each direction, like a "noughts and crosses" grid.

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    1. Thanks Keith. Your 'grid' suggestion makes me think of my DSLR camera. If I don't use the grid on that then my photo's lean quite badly. Maybe I just need to learn to stand up straight. lol.

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  3. It does not bother me that your verticals are not exact, John. The Parthenon in Athens does not seem to be straight either, so ...:) I love the soluble ink sketches!

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  4. You've got a very good hand for sketching , both are great . Difficult to make vertical lines straight , the only way is probably to use a liner...but in my opinion you loose that painterly and spontaneous quality.

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    1. Oh, I agree with you about using a liner. I think a sketch done that way would look so contrived. I guess crooked/leaning lines at least add some character to a sketch. Thank you very much Jane.

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  5. Oh John, I have missed visiting your blog. I absolutely love your pen and ink work. Water soluble ink is a wonderful way to work, well done John. Your blog is a treat. Thank you for sharing.

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    1. Awwww. Thank you very much Joan, I really appreciate that. ;-)

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