Ink Drawing Approaches: Indecision

I keep going back and forth about using grey tones in these ink drawings. It’s amazing to me that that one day I’ll feel so certain about a part of my process, and then the next day I will have a complete reversal of the idea. I guess I’m questioning whether the black strokes alone are really enough to carry the drawings as far as I want. To a certain degree, they are quite limited in terms of their ability of conveying depth. On the other hand, I could certainly argue that it is my own application and use of the brush which is not versatile enough to show that range of space and depth.

At the same time, I’ve been going back and looking at the toned India Ink drawings I was doing a few weeks ago. I was initially disenchanted by their results, but the more I look at them, the more they’re starting to grow on me. The next time I’m in the studio I want to try working with the Chinese ink on watercolor paper, allowing it to dry thoroughly, and then layering grey tones with India ink on top. It’s quite possible the contrast between the two inks will not mesh together well. However, in terms of conveying a sense of depth in the water, the very light washes of grey with the India Ink really can’t be beat. In terms of the grey tones I’ve almost entirely ruled out achieving the grey tones with the Chinese ink. I did a sketch a few days ago and really wasn’t thrilled with the results.

Grey tones achieved with the Chinese ink; not the results I’m looking for.

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