Life drawing in ink

2-10 min poses (cut short by fiddling with the material and blotting)

I wanted to try something new for my life drawing class (they are not tutored so they are what I make of them) and decided to test ink and my new bamboo pen. I chose a roll of wall paper to draw on as it is thick enough to take the ink and the roll would give the ink a chance to dry before it reaches the floor. Changing page in a sketch pad would be difficult. The shading is done with a waterbrush. It was very fiddly, I would have needed at least four hands – or somewhere to put my things. Some of the ink was very wet and runny so I had to blot it with a cloth smudging and staining in the process.

Apart from that I am quite happy with the result. The marks are loose and quick and the uneven application of the ink gives them life and character. The pen is thick and does not allow for detail which forces me to concentrate on large shapes.

I suspect the figures gain a lot from the medium so that they look better than they are. Or maybe the eye is more forgiving with regard to accuracy when the lines are sketchy and obviously not precise? So I think this is a great way to make interesting drawings, but for learning purposes a less forgiving medium makes mistakes more prominent and is therefore better.

I need to draw more faces! They seem to be the hardest part of figure drawing… I need to learn what to draw, what marks to make to suggest the features.

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5 thoughts on “Life drawing in ink

  1. That’s really interesting – I love charcoal and pen-and-ink and as you say it’s a beautifully fluid and easy on the eye, but like you I challenge myself to use fineliner or pencil so as to highlight areas where I’m less confident as they really show up! I love your drawings here though 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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