still here

Yes, I am still alive.  And still working on art when I can.  I admit it’s been very slow going, but I guess even a tiny steps can still be considered progress.

One of the reasons things are moving so slowly is because I’m (once again) struggling to get a handle on a new (for me) technique.  While the last several drawings I’ve done have been in black ink only, I’ve been missing color in my work.

Previously, my watercolor-tinted ink drawings utilized a ton of black ink detail with watercolor tinting added afterward.  There’s nothing ‘wrong’ with this style…But, I’ve wanted to try a less heavy-handed approach for awhile now.

So, first I tried using black ink washes for shading, but I wasn’t happy with how the gray(s) of the washes dulled the transparent water colors laid in on top.  So, I decided to try using gray ink pen lines for shading; my thinking was that the watercolor tinting would adhere to the white of the paper between the gray lines, thus allowing brighter colors.  I still used some black ink, but much less of it.  Most of it was added after doing all of the gray ink shading, but before the watercolor tinting (since the surface of the paper changes after being drenched with water, and the pen lines tend of bleed a bit).

This is the (nearly) completed drawing: (Yes, the dreaded carousel horses once again. I swear I will eventually draw them all!):

The corners of the design are deliberately less detailed.  That may change.  I need a few days away from looking at it!

These are some detail scans:   I’ve chosen to rely on a contour line technique rather than cross hatching… I find it to be ‘cleaner’ (fewer lines) and more suited to color tinting.

I’ll definitely continue to explore the technique; I like the dimension the gray lines add, even though they are not really ‘visible’ when viewing the piece from a distance.  I also like the fact that I can color tint on top the gray and still get clear tones.  I’m not sure I’d use this ‘gray ink line’ technique without color tinting.

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8 Responses to still here

  1. Stephanie says:

    This is what happens when we persevere! Absolutely beautiful 🙂

  2. Marilyn Georgeson says:

    One of my art classes was a variation on pen and ink and watercolor. We had to use a matchstick. It was one of my best pictures that year. The carousel horse is beautiful.

  3. Silverlotus says:

    It looks lovely. I will admit, not being an artist, I don’t understand everything you write about, but I still find it really, really interesting. I am definitely learning that there are lots of techniques that go into making such wonderful pictures.

    • Silverlotus, I appreciate your comments! I’m glad you enjoy reading about the process; I’m the first to admit I’m not sure how much I should try to explain. For readers like you, I will persevere, and try to keep things interesting! Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Debbie Nolan says:

    Dear Teresa – these is beautiful. I too work in pen and ink with watercolor. Thank you for sharing your technique. Glad to see you are still here. Crossed over to your needlework blog as well. You have some gorgeous designs. Thanks for sharing.

    • Hi Debbie! Thanks so much for stopping by…and for your kind words. I really enjoy your lovely watercolors, and the inspiring photos of your spring flowers! Your study of the sweet violets made me smile… in certain places here, the ground is literally purple with them. Thanks again!

  5. Very pretty. And thank you for the discussion of technique. As a non-artist, I really enjoy learning about the artistic process.

    • Thanks for commenting, Christine. I always hesitate to write about technique… explaining it clearly is a challenge for me. Perhaps I need to show some intermediary steps instead of totally (or nearly so) finished images. Thanks for stopping by!

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