A further exploration into ink this time using a different type of surface. This is an 8 x 8" Ampersand Artist Panel - the 'value series', Primed Smooth.These are pre-primed gesso ground boards. I purchased a few of these panels several years back and forgot I had them - digging around in my paper drawer for some offcuts of hot press paper I found them again and thought I would try them out. The boards weren't cheap at $6AUS for an 8 x 8" one though!
I found the surface texture smooth as silk to draw on with ink. No absorbtion so you must wait until the ink has dried. Difficult to get a very fine line even with my finest nib. I used Art spectrum Acrylic ink/black, nib pens as well as a Derwent Graphik line painter 05 #16 (light grey) pen (from the #4 palette of pens). Honestly, those Graphik pens are not my favourite - nice idea but I have yet to get a handle on them, they constantly 'blob' out on me. Luckily the Artist Panel is so smooth and non-absorbant I could wipe clean the blob before the grey ink dried! I have a couple of boards left and will try again. It is always fun to explore new mediums, surfaces and techniques.
Image used from my own photography of the resident thornbill dancing about in my winter crepe myrtle tree.
The assignment for my students this week was to draw an insect using dip (nib) pen and ink. These are the two demo drawings I did for them - 10 x 10 cm, Art Spectrum black ink on Arches Watercolour Hot Press A5 pad. I used photos that I had taken in the US as well as some I found online open commons images.
Even though Inktober is now officially 'finished', I am still having fun playing with inks and experimenting with the different types. Yesterday I was in one of my local artshops, The Artshed, and saw this fabulous new product from Derwent - an Inktense Paint Pan Travel Set.
This is a great little product, containing 12 half pans of Inktense blocks, a water barrel travel water brush, a little spongey thing, and a reference chart all packaged in a neat little travel box. Price was reasonable for the item at $42.95 AUS (less artists' Art Shed discount) - not super cheap but worth the price IMO.
So the first thing I did was trials and test strips of the colours. This was done on some offcuts of 250gsm Bockingford Not Press watercolour paper.
12 hues of the 72 colour range are in this set, but if you already own a 24 set of the pencils these would be an excellent back up to that set. Five of the colours match in number/hue to the 24 set of pencils: 0400 Poppy Red, 0200 Sun Yellow, 1000 Bright Blue, 1300 Teal Green, 2200 Ink Black. All the other colours are new numbering/hues to me - they are probably found in the set of 36 or 48 or 72 pencils, so if you own one of the expanded sets you will have a match.
The hues have the brilliance and intensity we have come to know with the pencils and blocks of the Inktense range. The colours wash very well, creating even gradations. I found doing tonal gradations easier with these pans than I have with the pencils. Some colours are more opaque than others (0400 Poppy Red for example).
A picky thing about the set - the brush does not come with a cap for the brush section - it does have a little black sealing cap for the water barrel. So, after use you must screw off the brush section and cap the remaining water with the cap. Not a big deal, but I know I am going to lose that little black cap very quickly. Obviously they couldn't fit a full capping brush into the brush section... but maybe they could have reduced the size of the sponge area and lengthened the brush area to accomodate this? Not a big issue, just saying.
Then I played around with the pans more, creating a little painting of California poppies on a 300gm Daler-Rowney watercolour postcard.
I really enjoyed working with these and found mixing and creating the brilliant hues of the poppies alot of fun. Building up the tonal range and hues over dried layers worked well, there was no movement of hue from layer to layer. A little sepia from an Adel .04 pen was added when dry for emphasis. As a first attempt with this product am reasonably happy with the result.
This travel set will now be part of my reqular 'kit' I take for nature drawing and studies. Great product!
This is a 'miniature' work, dimensions of 9 x 9 cm image area. It was created using Speedball dip pens, 513CF Standard nib and 99 Standard nib, Art Spectrum black acrylic ink on Lana 250 gsm Bristol Board. This is the 5th drawing I attempted of this subject and is (possibly) the best result. I am not putting this in the Inktober book, I will put one of the earlier attempts - this one I have a frame for and will put into the annual Miniature Art Society show in NSW, Sydney.
The view is from memory of my recent trip back to the Bay Area in July.
The last contour from my drawing sessions with students. I have decided that I actually LIKE doing contour drawings! It's been a bit of a journey, but I am happily pleased with the results.
Also: Final week at Tacit Galleries!
If you haven't had the opportunity to visit my solo exhibition 'The Mechanical Pencil' at Tacit Galleries, 123a Gipps St., Collingwood, this week is your last chance. The exhibition finishes on Sunday, Nov. 3.
This one was REALLY tricky to draw, and keep to a continuous line and try and get proportions and angles correct - it got a bit wayward around the buttons. It wasn't really one continuous, for the 'spokes' and fan bits etc I did lift the pen. But due to the complexity of the subject I am going to forgive myself. 😁