Michigan, USA, Water Study – Late March, pen and ink, 12 x 18" (30 x 46 cm)
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.
» Email: firstname.lastname@example.org