View Full Version : soft pastels and India ink

07-31-2010, 02:37 AM
I want to paint a busy river scene with bridges, paddle-steamer, &c.
I want to use India ink for details in ships, bridges, &c and soft pastels for the sky and the water.
Has anybody had experience with this mixed media? Any special advice or warnings welcome

07-31-2010, 10:02 AM
Try it on a scrap paper. Who knows? Seems like your fine details would get pretty blobby.

07-31-2010, 04:03 PM
My suggestion would be to work lightly and do the India ink details first. Get the pen work in, then start swiping pastel over them. If strokes go right over your details, get on it later with a tiny scrubber brush to lift it off the details.

I think it could be very striking, but I'm picturing it as a loose pastel treatment with plenty of the paper color showing through.

That or use dip pen nibs for your pen work. Any fountain pen or other pen is likely to clog with going through pastels, even a light layer of them. But a dip pen is easy to clean off if it clogs, just grab a bit of toilet paper and wipe it clean, then dip again.

I've seen something nearly like this in Arnold Lowry's early stages for his pastel paintings. He sketches with a Sharpie sort of pen, bold line work, then pastels over it. When he's gone over the areas lightly and the pen work still shows, the effect is beautiful. He works on Canson Mi-Tientes.

Paula Ford
07-31-2010, 06:14 PM
I've used ink for the underpainting and don't see any reason you couldn't do what you want with the two mediums.

07-31-2010, 06:20 PM
I also have used india ink as an underpainting and as a toner for white Wallis and UArt, it works fine. If I needed to re-expose the ink I just used a stiff or old hogs hair paintbrush to lift pastel off the paper, then a synthetic brush to re-tone in ink again.

07-31-2010, 08:45 PM
Thank you to all of you. You have been very helpful and encouraging.
That is very exciting. I will start today.
I enclose the old photo of a paddle-steamer on the Manchester Ship Canal after the swinging of the Barton aqueduct.

07-31-2010, 08:47 PM
Dear All,
I will send you my paste+India ink when finished

08-11-2010, 06:32 AM
I finished the Barton Swinging Aqueduct painting today. Here it is for you to see.
In the end, I decided not to use India ink. Just the soft Unison pastels.