Built in the 1750s, this frame house sits on steel girders and awaits a new site. To capture the dry emptiness of the old structure, I used ink with pen rather than brush and wash, building the drawing up with scratches.
Transparency is achieved here through planning the space between marks rather than establishing planes of wash.
How to capture both the transparent depth and opacity of water.
Easy. Use transparent ink, like my own Handmade Realism brand real walnut ink first; then layer China white watercolor on top.
Here’s how: First, think like an oil painter. Eschew white for mid-toned paper. Add ink wash, then full-strength ink. As with raw umber paint, you can go as dark as you like and retain the depth you see in shadows–and shallows, too. Be sure to reserve space for your lights.
Next, add thinned-out China white watercolor. Gradually thicken your white to capture reflective surfaces and froth. If your treatment needs it, dot with pastel.
Many thanks to Darlene Tighe and Keli Hindenach, the gallery manager and excutive director who put on the event during the approach of the tropical storm and sometime-hurricane Hilene. Likwise to Munroe Bell who beat the storm in time to judge the work.
I am proud of this drawing for many reasons, not the least of which is the ink, which I made myself. Handmade ink behaves differently from mass-produced factory-made ink, and it costs about the same. Order a bottle and impress yourself today.
These are cypress trees in a blackwater river in Northeastern North Carolina. You are looking down a tributary creek past its mouth at the river beyond.
I wanted to show fog and humid atmosphere using nothing but line. Here, crow quills (both real and steel) did the trick. Hatching with wash and full strength ink is both suggestive and visually soothing.
When Van Gogh made his bistre drawings of enclosed orchards using reed pens, he delayed his background marks until his pen was running out of ink. I’m not sure he was entirely successful at gaining atmospheric perspective this way or even whether such was his aim; nonetheless, he showed what a pen could do without accompanying brushwork. His hoops and squiggles are both accurate and full of life–that’s most of draftsmanship right there.