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View Full Version : How to add seemless patches of color to ink drawing?


Hop-frog
10-16-2018, 10:06 PM
I am using some Tombow calligraphy pens (which I like) and the range of Faber-Castell PITT pens (which I don't like, but use, because I spent too much money on them) on Bee sketchpads to make some detailed black and white drawings. My drawings use very bold, confident lines, lots of heavy black areas, with white in-between, with no sketchy quality or cross-hatching.


I want to go back and add some simple color to the drawing, such as a simple blue sky. I haven't used color since grade-school, so I want to keep it simple to avoid destroying my work:



1) The color needs a seemless appearance, without dark patches when the tool is lifted. I looked at PITT color brushes, but sample artwork on-line showed lines from brush strokes.



2) The pen should appear to just fill in the white space, and not appear to cover up the black ink at all. A highlighter-like quality, where the ink isn't so heavy, might be okay. I don't need really vibrant color.

3. High lightfastness score is important.

I looked at watercolor pencils, and the color and smoothness is okay, but this seems to messy and involves skills using a brush which I find difficult to control. The watery edge doesn't suit want I want, as I need cleaner edges matched up to the black lines. I also need more portability, and brushes and water are too inconvenient on the go.

pedlars pen
10-17-2018, 10:20 AM
hmm.... Sounds to me like you are describing Derwent "Inktense pencils" perfectly.
They can be applied very precisely , add some water to them & you get a gorgeous flat & intense + waterproof & permanent wash that looks exactly like an ink wash.
They take very little skill to use & the flat featureless wash
They tick all of your requirements admirably except that a couple of the many colours aren't lightfast.
I know you say that you don't need a vibrant colour but this depends on how much of the pencil you put on.
Mike

tiago.dagostini
10-17-2018, 12:15 PM
Watercolor and Copic Markers would be my first choice.

katwalk
10-19-2018, 03:36 PM
Copic Markers are alcohol based and are not considered color fast, they were designed for use by advertisers who need something that can be used quickly and photographed, they don't care if the art work lasts. Are your inks waterproof? If not then you might think about using colored pencil, but you will also need to watch which colors and manufacturers you use. Inktense pencils can also be used dry, but the color is more vibrant if activated by water.

I suggest you purchase small sets to experiment with and go with what you prefer.

Hop-frog
10-19-2018, 10:01 PM
Are the Inktense pencils from Derwent lightfast?

pedlars pen
10-20-2018, 01:38 PM
Yes, all but a few are .
At the bottom of this page- https://accoblobstorageus.blob.core.windows.net/literature/da3776db-d499-4a8d-b599-14f0895194ba.pdf
download the colour chart. the LF. column means light fastness.
They are rated from 3 to 8.
You should view a 4 rating as just about good enough for most picture hanging situations & gauge the light fastness ratings from there.
Mike

tiago.dagostini
10-24-2018, 05:33 AM
Copic Markers are alcohol based and are not considered color fast, they were designed for use by advertisers who need something that can be used quickly and photographed, they don't care if the art work lasts. Are your inks waterproof? If not then you might think about using colored pencil, but you will also need to watch which colors and manufacturers you use. Inktense pencils can also be used dry, but the color is more vibrant if activated by water.

I suggest you purchase small sets to experiment with and go with what you prefer.

neither are watercolors.

If one is affected of acute lightfast phobia it must stick him/herself to Digital media. It is the ONLY one that really is forever.

On my way to see things it is a HUGE, absurd waste of potential to forego ANY media because something as that.

pedlars pen
10-24-2018, 03:26 PM
neither are watercolors.

If one is affected of acute lightfast phobia it must stick him/herself to Digital media. It is the ONLY one that really is forever.

On my way to see things it is a HUGE, absurd waste of potential to forego ANY media because something as that.

If one is making pictures to keep or hang on your wall, is it not only sensible to have an eye on lightfastness ?
Lightfastness is not just a theoretical ivory tower issue , it is of concern to any artist.
I know this from experience because I have tested many different inks & other media for lightfastness & can tell you that a seemingly black as a dark night line in many inks can fade to a barely visible grey in a sunny place within a month ! :eek: - & that is no exaggeration.
So I do think it is a totally legitimate concern.

You say

You say - "If one is affected of acute lightfast phobia it must stick him/herself to Digital media. It is the ONLY one that really is forever."

Well you have more faith in the longevity of digital storage of any kind than me ! :lol:
Mike

BTW. Inktense pencils ARE a water colour pencil.

katwalk
10-24-2018, 04:14 PM
The color fastness of watercolor depends on the pigment used, but that is also true of any color, oil, ink, whatever. Dyes also vary when it comes to how color fast they are, and color photographs are not very long lasting when exposed to light, which is why I think people who spend a fortune on colored wedding photos are out of their minds :). Only certain inks are fade proof (old fashioned India ink made from Carbon Black is one) but anything with color is prone to fading over time. And I agree with Mike, I am not sure how well I trust digital media.

blackandwhite
10-25-2018, 12:13 PM
Professional color photo printers usually (almost always) use pigment inks that are very lightfast. It is mostly the low-cost home inkjet printers that use dye inks and suffer from poor lightfastness.

And it is not always the pigment that is the weakest link. Derwent produces some carbon black sketching pens that have very poor lightfastness due to the binder materials used in the pens.

katwalk
10-26-2018, 04:25 PM
blackandwhite I think I am showing my age, and had forgotten that most photographs are now printed not developed, the fading of color photographs had to do with the chemicals used to produce the film and then the ones use to develop that film into prints, not the same thing at all as what happens when a digital photograph is printed. Since I use a Digital Camera and rarely print any photos I should know better but just wasn't thinking. In any case as far as I know there is no color that is totally light fast when exposed to light, but some colors are better than others.

I expect that Derwent may not actually be using Carbon Black in their pens, the particles tend to cause flow problems which is why old fashioned dip pens are best with old fashioned India Ink.

SeaScapePtr
11-27-2018, 03:26 PM
I have a set of 60 Faber Castell Pitt Pens and I don't like them either. They are useable, but not very good. I wish I had bought something else with the money instead. I assumed they would be very good because they're made in Germany. I was wrong. But i still have a high regard for Japanese products. I haven't been let down by any Japanese products as far as I remember. I love high quality products.

RoadLessTaken
11-27-2018, 05:57 PM
When I saw "Tombow" I thought about the bunch I just tossed. They were not lightfast enough for me and I use them very sparingly. I have some work I did last year and the color is gone. I had written the markers I used on the back so I could remember and the Tombows were all faded to oblivion. Yes, PedlersPen suggested Inktense markers to me also and I plan on giving them a try.

Overall, my Copic liners and markers are my "go to"s. I also have some off brand alcohol markers that are quite lightfast. I have no idea what kind they are. Also, check out some of the Manga markers available on Amazon from Japan. These have treated me well and are often inexpensive as they don't yet have a "name".

I know exactly what you mean about the 'overlapping of color" and it annoys me too. I've tried using a light wash of watercolor but again, it's not all that lightfast, not the ones I've tried.

Sheila

blackandwhite
11-28-2018, 12:27 PM
It can be tricky to achieve seamless color on large area with pens. The best way is to use pens with large tips and color the surface so that the strokes overlap each other when the previous strokes arent dried yet. That basically soaks the paper with the ink and the individual stroke edges blend and disappear. Paper type will matter a lot and this works best with watercolor-ish papers that don't absorb the ink too fast. There will be essentially multiple layers of ink on the paper, so the colors may appear darker.

With watercolors (or ink or whatever liquid) and brush that is much easier. Just put blob of the color on the paper, move it gradually across the entire area and make sure that each stroke edge overlaps with already colored area that isn't dried yet. If the pen stroke overlaps with area that has dried, it will leave visible edge in the color.

That same can be done with water brush pens if any 'loose' water causes problems. I've sometimes put pre-mixed watercolor liquid to a refillable water brush pen and used it to make such color washes, but that doesn't work with all pigments and brush pens.

Most of the dye-based colored pens (Copic etc) have poor lightfastness. Ink-based pens tend to be very expensive, so my recommendation would be to use good quality watercolors or inktense blocks, since those are pigment-based and have good lightfastness. Acrylic inks will also work, but check that those are pigment-based, since there are some dye-based inks that will fade fast.

tiago.dagostini
11-29-2018, 07:02 AM
If one is making pictures to keep or hang on your wall, is it not only sensible to have an eye on lightfastness ?
Lightfastness is not just a theoretical ivory tower issue , it is of concern to any artist.
I know this from experience because I have tested many different inks & other media for lightfastness & can tell you that a seemingly black as a dark night line in many inks can fade to a barely visible grey in a sunny place within a month ! :eek: - & that is no exaggeration.
So I do think it is a totally legitimate concern.

You say

You say - "If one is affected of acute lightfast phobia it must stick him/herself to Digital media. It is the ONLY one that really is forever."

Well you have more faith in the longevity of digital storage of any kind than me ! :lol:
Mike

BTW. Inktense pencils ARE a water colour pencil.



Just put an image in the internet and it will surely outlive ANY physical work that is not stored by a professional museum.



My point on lightfastnes is that I see a lot of people hurting their capability of producing something worth hanging in a wall just so that if it would be hanged it would resist a few years more. That makes no sense on a logical point of view. It is worth to worry about that only when you are very sure that what you do is worth surviving decades.... and even then only up to a point! If what you made is worth to keep around than it must be handled like that and not exposed to absurd amount of sunlight.



Where something is hang inside a house makes MUCH more difference than the medium used to paint it. Leave a Car, with modern paint in the sun here at south of south america ( I live UNDER the ozone layer hole) and it will fade its color in a few years.. NOTHING is complete lightfast! Unless you paint with only titanium white over some material that is naturally black you are going to see damage to anything hang into the sun for several years. If I was going to paint only with things that would last a hundred years here.. I would have to stick to graphite only... because absolutely NOTHING colored resist serious UV for that long.