Monday, 30 November 2015

Ink & Coloured Pencils


As I sat watching television a few evenings ago I drew this Robin in my sketchbook using Pen & Ink. I wanted to see if I could demonstrate it was a Robin just by tonal values alone. There is hardly any difference between the tonal values of his red breast and his brown feathers when viewed in greyscale so I tried to exaggerate the tones in my drawing but it didn't work too well.

Dissatisfied with the result and thinking he didn't really look like a Robin I decided to add some colour using coloured pencils. I liked this effect very much and I think that is probably because the ink drawing was a finished piece in it's own right, rather than just the preliminary stage of something more. This became more apparent when I drew the Chaffinch and Blue Tit. They don't work as well, in my opinion, because they have much less ink detail which is probably because I was well aware at the ink stage that colour was too follow.


I liked the effect of the Ink with Coloured Pencil so much that I went back to a couple of previous pen drawings and added colour to them in the same way. Though I always like them in their original ink form (yes, I actually said "I liked them" lol) I have to say that I like them even more with the added colour. Oh, I didn't risk ruining the original pen drawings as I printed them out and worked on the copies. This is definitely a mixed media that I will work with again.




16 comments:

  1. Hi John.
    Fantastic mate. It certainly works beautifully with Colour. Good paintings. All the best.
    Vic.

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  2. I know what you mean about trying to make a robin look like a robin in grey-scale. I recently painted a trio of birds, but before I did them in paint, I did some pencil sketches first. You can see them here if you're interested... http://www.sketch-mad.com/2015/10/the-dawn-chorus-part-1.html ... It worked okay but I think it is far easier in pencil than in pen! I love all of your birds, but also those beautiful houses - one of which was in 'The Haywain', right? Beautiful! :0)

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    1. It was interesting looking at your Robin Sandra and I see where I could have improved mine. Thank you very much. And yes, the last picture is of Willy Lotts Cottage made famous for being included in 'The Haywain'.

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  3. With or without color your work is stunning John ! The buildings below were fabulous already in black/white , but with a bit of color they came even more to life . And the robin is spot on , my favorite little visitor in my garden !

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    1. Thank you very much Jane, I really appreciate your comment. ;-)

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  4. This looks like the perfect solution for you John. The drawings make the most of your skill with a pen, and allow you to add colour without the difficulties of using wet watercolour.

    You might be interested to know that I used to work in this way, although I used watercolour instead of pencils.

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    1. I hadn't realised you had once worked like this Keith ... I can't imagine you doing anything other than your outstanding watercolour landscapes. I think it's time I dabbled with watercolours again ... I can't stay with one medium for too long. LOL.

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  5. The last house is OUTSTANDING, John. I love the reflections in the water of the house..Fantastic drawing. and the birds are beautiful..!!

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  6. love the last one john it sings .... beautiful robin ...wonderful results with the mix media

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    1. Thank you very much Jane. Merry Christmas.

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  7. I like to use CP with pen and ink too. You did it very effectively here, especially on the buildings! Nice work!

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  8. I'm really impressed by the different textures that you get with the pen, that's so expertly done!

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    1. That means a lot coming from you Katherine and is very much appreciated.

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