Best practices I don’t believe in thumbnails. They’re too small to see actionable details. I start at 8.5x11 inches, then go to 22x30 inches.
11 Flood the background
Boom! Colour. I use the biggest brushes and pour on colour with fresh, damp paint. (No dry cakes. You can’t pick up enough pigment.) I work fast, so each wet stroke placed next to another will intermingle. Also, see the tobacco-brown stains blooming out of the snakes in the lower half? That’s the payoff from the soluble ink.
10 Time for black ink
Black ink is my favourite. Such a huge step forward, and so quickly, too. I see now I could have drawn the whole thing with a brush and saved a lot of time getting here if I wasn’t doing an ImagineFX workshop! Also, this is a natural point to scan and go to digital colour, but there are still some tricks to come.
8 Why use soluble inks?
Here’s the deal with these coloured inks. I’m switching between waterproof (black, red and green – look for pigment or acrylic ink for sure-fire proofness) and water soluble (blue, gold and brown). Almost all dye-based fountain pen inks are water soluble. Why use soluble? I’m planning ahead for the way these lines will bleed into my washes.
9 Ink painting – blocking in shadows
I’m finally painting. The prep took about half a day and I’m excited to be placing darks with a sable brush. This is when things start to look solid. Note how the side of the brush is dragged over the textured paper. The fine point can be splayed into a wider ‘rake’ for parallel lines.