New Technique, Ink and Gouache

Hi.  Here is a post.

I have been trying to find a way to minimize my used of pen and ink in an illustration.  It's always my go to.  The problem is when you work only one way for years, it's hard to know how to do it any differently. How can I possibly separate my main subject from the background if there isn't a thick dark line around her/him/it?  

The trouble with using pen and ink as a crutch is I was missing out on opportunities to have one object fade into another, or use atmospheric perspective to create depth. I know it is possible to accomplish those things while incorporating pen and ink, I'm just saying that I couldn't wrap my silly head around it.

Jaw Cooper is very generous when it comes showing her technique.  Thankfully, because her work is gorgeous, effortless, and enchanting.  Knowing her skill set is far beyond mine, I had no qualms copying her process.  There is no way my finished product could even come close.

I worked with very thin ink washes on a few pieces in college and enjoyed how they came out.  There are a few factors as to why this was so.

          Appropriate preparation (reference, color studies, etc.)
          Strong drawing

          Limited palette

          Interest in piece

I think all of those are essential to creating a fulfilling illustration (aside from limited palette, that's just essential for me).  So my goal is to include each aspect in all future portfolio worthy illustrations.

For now, however, here is an experiment, done hastily and without much preparation.


The sketch.

 And the process.  I used black waterproof India ink in very thin washes over my sketch to build up values.  Then used very thin washed of gouache to build up tones and colors. 

Then went back in with the blue pencil around the eyes to make them not so terrifying, and added white highlights.  

The biggest problem was overworking the illustration board.  There's only so much brushwork it can handle before matting up.  Next time I would do fewer washes, and have a more clear cut idea of where shadows should be.

This was so fun.  I'm already itching to start another.


Lucy Chen said...

this is probably where painters differ from illustrators. when i paint, i don't use any outline at all. it's more about shapes than lines.

Neesha Hudson said...

I think it's about style preference too. I've always tended to focus more on line then shape, but was taught the value of both in school

Lucy Chen said...

I agree. One of my favourite artist, Mucha, used lines in his decorative style paintings.