Illustrating with Ink

Illustrating with Ink - student project

Illustrating with Ink - image 1 - student project


First experiments using the Pentel brush pen and mixing it up with some oil pencil.


Illustrating with Ink - image 2 - student project


Further experiments with synthetic watercolour brushes (sizes 6, 3, and 3/0) and India ink.


Illustrating with Ink - image 3 - student project


Taking the experimentation further... comparing the various effects of different brush sizes, speed and pressure. I found that when I relaxed my grip and moved the brushes quicker, the results were more dynamic and expressive than those where I had moved the brush very slowly and tried to control every movement.


Illustrating with Ink - image 4 - student project


I am really inspired by this small illustration I found on a flyer, and I would love to find out more about this technique, but I don't know the name of it or if it comes from linocut printmaking, or brushwork, or digital illustration... could somebody help me out? I would love to find more references to this style and technique!


Illustrating with Ink - image 5 - student project


For now, I tried to copy the technique using a brush pen. I found that the effect is best when each line or path is separated at an equal distance, and it's easier to draw the lines horizontally (with the page turned 90 degrees) than to draw the straight paths vertically. Then each line is made thicker where the area of shadow should come. The weight of each line can be varied to achieve dark shadows or mid-tones, and be left very thin for showing highlights.


Illustrating with Ink - image 6 - student project


A first attempt at rendering a drawing from a photo of my dad and me (it's his birthday). I found that the scale really matters since smaller drawings will have fewer lines, which means a lot of detail is lost in the spaces between.


Illustrating with Ink - image 7 - student project


I tried it out on an A4 piece of paper and although it's far from perfect, I'm quite happy with how it turned out. At this scale, just about enough detail of the faces came through, although I can imagine it would be even better on a larger sheet of paper - however that would take a lot of time and patience! It took me altogether about 5-6 hours to make this piece.

  Illustrating with Ink - image 8 - student project


My final illustration inspired by a phone call with a close friend.

It took quite a few attempts with the nib and ink to get a good level of smudging, and even then it was unpredictable. In the end I came to like the random dark shapes, where there was a lot of ink on the page... they seem to add a layer of shadows which I feel would otherwise be lacking.

I really enjoyed the effects of using the 'subtle hatching' technique, that Roman demonstrates in the class, although I think I need practice with it!

Mila Mai
one step at a time