Ink Drawing: Brush Work

I’m excited about the potential behind the half black ink half wash technique I was working with yesterday. This technique allows individual brush strokes to have much more presence on their own, and I like that many of the strokes I was making yesterday seemed new and unfamiliar to me.

Another aspect of this approach is that the individual brush strokes seem to be able to hold more unusual shapes, rather than looking like they came directly from the bristles of a brush. It’s amazing to me that within a single brush stroke, one is able to achieve harsh prickly edges in conjunction with a watery, fluid look. In that sense the simple design of a Chinese Calligraphy brush is really quite incredible; the brushes look so simple and plain, and yet they are capable of infinite possibilities if you are able to discover them.

A detail of some strokes from yesterday’s drawings that I think are headed in the right direction. Next time I’m in the studio I want to to try drawings that have as few brush strokes as humanly possible, just to experiment and see where it leads me. I’m thinking as few as two or three strokes, to see what I can get away with.

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