For my next sketch and ink adventureI decided to try inking a sketch I did years ago. I think it was around 2003 when I made this sketch. It’s based on two fish swimming in a circle and kind of plays on the rotational symmetry of that. I’m really into fish at the moment. Having started a new job which is making my pain quite bad as I adjust to my working hours, I’ve also taken up a relaxing sport (is it a sport? – not the way I do it I suspect) – fishing! Last weekend I took my son and his friend out fishing on Sunday afternoon. It was really SO relaxing, plus we caught (and gently released) 9 fish between us!!!!
Here’s my old sketch. (I think you can even see some tea stains on it near the bottom on the left hand side!)
I began by redrawing the basic shapes and then inking them:
Then I had to think about how I wanted the final inks to look. A few weeks ago I watched another ‘Drawing Video’ by the brilliant Mark Crilley. When he’s just giving some advice, as he is in this video, he usually does some inking in the background. In this instance he’s inking a mask which looks shiney and metallic. I just love it!
Remembering this video, I wondered if some shiny fish scales could be brought to life with this kind of effect.
So I drew on some scales:
If I were going to put this through my colouring process I would leave the inks right here, but I wanted to try for that lovely effect Mark had on his mask. Now I’ve still only got one grey pen. I’ve got another on order but it’s coming by ship from Japan so I guess it’s going to take a while. I shaded the fish with the grey pen, going over the image several times when I wanted the shade to be darker. Then I used a gouache pen to add highlights.
Here’s how it turned out:
I quite like it but I think, with some practise, I could get better at this. I also think it might help to have the light come from diagnonally above rather than directly above – so from the right and above or the left and above.
Another thing I tried with this image is giving it a grey background. Since I don’t have a different grey pen I did this digitally in PS6. I think this is the image I’m happiest with: