Saturday, April 25, 2009
Art: Struggling with pen and ink and ink wash
A kind of unspoken requirement in art class for every assignment is "don't make terrible work". This is impossible for me when doing ink washes. This is supposed to be an enlargement from a photo using a grid. Lots and lots of people made nearly photographic works. I would venture to say mine is the worst. I am going to redo it in charcoal for the final portfolio because I find charcoal more manageable.
Today (yes, there is saturday studio) we were supposed to revise one of our landscape drawings (that's mine in charcoal on the right) using a different medium. I chose ink, because ink is very difficult for me and a landscape is sort of forgiving, particularly since I already made all of the decisions about layout and everything in the first version.
I really struggle with ink. Really, really. Partly because it is permanent and unforgiving. Mostly because I find it a little unpredictable, with the blotching and the pooling and the dripping. That is the worst excuse ever: "This liquid is liquid!" but it is true. So I did some mock ups of pine needle branches in lieu of working in an erasable medium.
Here is my finished work, which I am actually reasonably happy with. I spent about 2 hours on it. I think the decision to layer pen and ink and ink washes was good. I started by using my original charcoal sketch to do a rubbing, so I wouldn't have to spend any time on the sketch, then I deliniated some branches with vine charcoal, then I went over the lines with a bamboo pen, then I filled in everything with medium dark ink wash, then I went over the shadows with bamboo pen, then I added texture with the bamboo brush, then I defined some branches and foliage with the bamboo pen. It was a slow process.