Visual Studies - Week 4

News / 17 October 2018

(Originally written 11/10/18)

Today, we worked with ink. My only real experience with ink in the past has been in the form of ink pens, but today we were first faced with using neat ink applied with a brush. This added an extra challenge to the already obvious ones – not only were we using something that could not be erased, but the brush also had a variable line weight we needed to take into consideration. I was surprised by how transparent it was when dry, I constantly felt like I was trying to rebalance the darkness of my lines as the newsprint paper sapped the ink away, which lead to some of the marks being far too dark and blotchy. I do like the way this looked in the end, but I think parts of it were too bold as I was trying to correct myself.

We then did a left-handed study, again with neat ink and a brush. I actually really enjoyed this, and found that it felt a lot more free to move with my left hand. I think it made me move my arm around more, as opposed to just my hand, which translated well with the medium. It was very bold again, but I think it suited this piece more.

Our last task in the morning was to draw using a stick. This actually made for a more pleasant picture than either of the earlier ones, in my opinion. The stick offered different styles of marks to be made, and the smaller, scratchier ones remind me of loose threads. The stick didn’t hold much ink on it, which made it difficult to get long, sweeping lines, but that did help at keeping the amount of ink I was laying on the paper low. As a result, I didn’t get the problem of large blooms of ink like I did with the earlier pieces.

In the afternoon we did one large piece, and introduced more tone by having watered-down ink as well as neat ink. It really helped to be able to sketch out the sculpture we were drawing first, instead of just having to put the lines on the paper and then facing them possibly being incorrect down the line. I felt like it was going very well, and I was enjoying drawing the folds of fabric I could see, but it definitely hit a “sweet spot” and then started to look worse after that.

I am pretty sure the decline happened when I started adding tone over my bolder lines. I didn’t realise that the neat ink would re-activate when it got wet, so as I tried to layer on tones, my lines became blurry and it just looked, on the whole, too wet. I do genuinely believe that this ruined the aesthetics of my drawing, but I am glad this happened, as now I realise I should build up tone underneath slowly, and add my darker areas later. It’s probably the first drawing in class that I’ve spent over an hour on that I don’t like, but I am happy with what I have learned from it, and hope I can keep it in mind going forward.