Ann Dyer

Michi­gan, USA, Wa­ter Study – Late March, pen and ink, 12 x 18" (30 x 46 cm)

International Artist - - Art Challenge -


My In­spi­ra­tion

I am al­ways look­ing for dif­fer­ent ways to try pen and ink, and this wa­ter scene pre­sented mul­ti­ple chal­lenges to me with the in­tri­cate high­lights, reflections and objects un­der the sur­face of the wa­ter. There is a lot to see in small ar­eas like this if a per­son looks closely.

My De­sign Strat­egy

The in­ten­tion was to try to show the trans­parency and smooth ap­pear­ance in some ar­eas of the wa­ter. I didn’t want it to look scratchy, as can some­times hap­pen with pen work, yet line work is what sets it apart from a paint­ing and can be in­ter­est­ing in its own way. There­fore, line work is quite vis­i­ble in the rocks on the left as well as the plants, yet very sub­tle in the wa­ter where lines were used for shad­ing over a solid back­ground. A few of the things taken into con­sid­er­a­tion when do­ing this art piece were want­ing to show the plant roots and stones un­der the wa­ter with­out mak­ing them too no­tice­able, the cloudi­ness of the wa­ter in some ar­eas and the clear­ness in oth­ers, how the shad­ows of the weeds can block a re­flec­tion to al­low the area un­der wa­ter to show more clearly, and how the ed­dies move around with the cur­rent and around objects.

My Work­ing Process

The first step is to cre­ate a very de­tailed pen­cil draw­ing, keep­ing in mind where the white, very light and dark­est ar­eas will be. I use a crow quill dip pen for the whole im­age. Many ar­eas have sev­eral lay­ers of ink, start­ing with a solid base layer, fol­lowed by lay­ers of line work and stip­pling for shad­ing. I use Hig­gins and Dr. PH Martin’s Bom­bay inks. I have about two dozen bot­tles of dif­fer­ent color inks. All ink is ap­plied with Hunt su­perfine pen nibs. Most col­ors are mixed, some are di­luted and some are used straight from the bot­tle.

Con­tact De­tails

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