Originally Posted by JenieJo
I'm a real beginner in this area, and sketching from like is a real challenge. However, I really enjoy sketching with inks.
Current dilemma: with inks, I'm having trouble showing the difference between texture and shadows, and showing points of bright light. The image/s will hopefully help show what I mean.
I've added the messy one first as it shows my dilemma most clearly. It's a pencil sketch then pen/nib over the top.
Many thanks in advance for any thoughts.
Hi Jenie, the first thing I notice is that your paper is not white - this is a difficult place to start from ! although it is a very minor branch of P&I drawing to use a middle toned tinted paper & add a opaque white paint highlight - the technique is best left alone until you feel comfortable with the standard black ink white paper approach.
So starting there -
look at where the light is coming from (or where you want it to come from) draw a large arrow at the top of the page in light pencil ,This is the direction from where the light is coming from.
2. Now draw your outline lightly in pencil first for the sake of this demonstration.
3. Next Ink the outline - don't
just slavishly trace over the pencil outlines , instead re-look at the subject & try to capture the feel of the subject ,light & delicate or bold & heavy etc. Are you all ready to start inking now ?
Look at your direction of light arrow ,say it is coming in from the top right this means (roughly speaking) that all the lines facing the left are hit directly by the light - use a thin line to depict these lines,work fast & use a very light touch, or the back of the fountain pen nib even have a few breaks in the line , Light side = Light line.
On the other right hand, shadow side
use a solid, bolder & heavier line.
OK, the above is simplistic but shows the principle of outlining your subject, with practice the subtleties that can be put across with the outline alone
can be more than enough to give real life to a pen drawing.However it is the most challenging technique to perfect !
OK. you've got an outline & you're using a fountain pen & you want to put some shade in - perhaps the quickest easiest &
most pleasing to the eye is to take a wash from the inked lines.
So a dry tissue in one hand to dry off stop colour creep etc. & a only just wet fine round brush in the other hand, go down the dark line & half way across towards the light side. You may have to agitate the wet line to get things flowing a little.
Of course using hatching
lines is another approach, you'll notice I said hatching & not cross
hatching. You can get all the tones you need with hatching lines (done in the same direction of your subjects shape ) with this single layer of uni-directional lines & they can emphasise & clarify the subjects shape whereas crosshatching in anything but the hands of a master looks crude & flat ,dead even.
Yes , is that texture ? or is that tone ? or is it local colour ! It can be all three at once !
Such things are learned by experience alone I'm afraid but I can tell you to focus only on light
for now & all will come in P&I. through practice.
After all what have you got ? white paper & black ink ,light & dark - that's it ! yet within that confining limitation is a world of opportunity !