3 Experiments in Ink Drawing

This afternoon I tried out three different approaches that I’ve been thinking about over the past week. The first experiment was to try and create a Chinese ink image where the black ink took over the majority of the composition. The last time I was working, I was experimenting with sparse compositions that relied on the white of the page to create a sense of space. It only made sense from this point of view to attempt the complete opposite, both as a means of comparison and as a way to balance out all of my different approaches. I was surprised at how difficult it was to have so much black in the image. I think this was largely due to the fact that all of the black made it challenging to maintain a sense of movement and gesture through the brush work. I certainly had to think on a much larger scale, treating the areas of black like fields. I’ll spend more time pursuing this approach, as I think it still has further to go. I can tell from looking at the sketches today that I didn’t quite take this idea as far as I could have.
Study 9
The second experiment involved keeping exclusively with the black ink, but trying to focus more of the composition on the extremely thin and delicate brush strokes to create a structure for the ripples in the water. I only did one study, so this approach definitely warrants a lot of focus and attention. This was also the beginning of what I discussed in the previous entry regarding creating visual connections between the multiple figures. It may be that this approach requires many more lines than I put in this study today. I’ll have to try it again sometime.
Study 8
The third experiment I think was by far the most successful of the various approaches I started today. I tried using the Chinese ink on the watercolor paper to begin with. I allowed this first layer of black to dry, and then layered grey tones with diluted India Ink over the black lines. This seemed to represent the halfway point that I was searching for between the rice paper drawings and the ink wash drawings. I was still able to retain the gesture and fluidity of the black strokes, and was able to fill in with some very light, subtle wash tones. I stayed pretty small today in the sketches, so next time I’ll try a larger size like 18″ x 24″. If it works out, I might have a use for those large watercolor papers I stretched on the large scale canvas stretchers afterall. The only minor disadvantage is the stiffness of the watercolor paper doesn’t allow for the kinds of bleeds and brushstrokes that I find so engaging on the rice paper. It could end up that I’ll do 2 bodies of work, 1 with the straight black ink on rice paper and another with this combined technique of Chinese Ink and India Ink on watercolor paper.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s