I’m still at art camp. Me. Just me. And the art.
Today I devoted myself to ink. India ink.
I received some pen nibs for Christmas but have had no time to try them out. Ditto for some Chinese brushes. I’ve looked them over but haven’t done a thing with them. Today was the day.
I chose one brush and one of the steel brush nibs. I’ve never used either one before and had no idea how to use them. I decided to try several different things to test them out – and that’s the important thing about today, I decided. Experimentation, not results, was that goal.
OK. I set up another puzzle with the claybord pieces, as I did for the previous day’s work. This puzzle, though, was to be an India ink experience – only black and white. I fell back on a familiar subject, a cat. When trying something new, I find it is a nicer experience when some parts of it are known quantities. I used both the brush and the steel nib in this image.
Once I finished the image, I scratched some detail into it with my scratch art tools. Voila!
I then grabbed some more 2″ x 2″ claybord pieces and dashed a few marks on them with the steel nib. I was still trying to get a feel for it. Later on I scratched some details into the marks. Doing these little squares gave me some ideas, and I’ll be following up on them later on, but not during camp time, I decided.
Finally, I took out some paper, 5″ x 7″, and quickly (and I mean just scrawling) I made some sketches. I first did one with the steel nib, this house.
I then tried to do two versions of the same image, once with the brush and once with the nib. I did the brush examples first, then turned to the steel brush nib. I can’t say each drawing is of high quality, but I wanted to see what the differences were between the two tools.
I count India Ink Day as a big success. I will use these tools and ink again and soon. I’d love to try them in combination with paints.
The brush and brush nib seem to lend themselves to larger-scale pictures, and so I’ll try bigger pieces of paper next time. I found them to be an interesting contrast to using a regular pen nib, as that seems suited to small-scale work. And in both cases, I really love the intense black the ink gives me.