Some fun with ink!

I got a bit fed up with studying the head and face.  So, while working on this portrait and head structure stuff I also took some breaks and played around with ink.



Generally I find looking at people’s eyes difficult which made the head structure stuff quite demanding.  It’s probably because of my autism but what I loose in some areas of art I gain in others so I don’t mind. At least I understand what is difficult and why.

As a result I often try to avoid portraits and faces. I can do them from photographs, they just wear me out really quickly.  Here’s a link to a full on front facing portrait I managed recently where I just screwed up my courage and went for it.  (Mud Man Link).  In paintings generally, when I can, I often hide the eyes and if I can’t do that I often have my subjects with their eyes closed or at least not looking at the viewer. e.g.

“Looking away”


“Eyes Closed”


“Eyes Hidden”


Faces in real life are a different matter all together.  When I sketched some friends last week I found myself avoiding drawing their faces until the end and then putting in simplified features so that I didn’t have to look at their faces for more than a glance.  It was so much harder than looking at a photograph that it really shook me.  I guess a photograph is really just tone and colour in certain patterns whereas people sitting there are real, whole and alive.

So with the inks I just had some fun…




I did some doodling…


And then a bit more doodling while thinking about this really enormous prime number (2^74 201 281 -1) which was discovered on 4th January 2018!


Finally I drew a tiny little woodlouse from reference. It was bliss.


13 thoughts on “Some fun with ink!

  1. Thanks! With the person in the canoe I had used a reference image for the boat and the river and then drew my own picture of a young man paddling it so it would come together as Malcolm from Pullman’s book “La Belle Sauvage”. It just felt weak to me. Maybe it felt weak because I felt unsure when drawing from imagination. It’s nice to know you don’t think it’s too bad! 🙂


  2. That sounds like a great idea. The portrait book I used started with that too but didn’t include the bit about drawing the same facial feature from different angles and using magazines which sounds like excellent advice. Many thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The ink drawings do look like fun! Always a good idea to take a break and do something that makes us happy. As for portraits, I used to hate them too until I took a portrait drawing (not painting) class. We started out by acquiring a couple (or more) of those beauty magazines that we never would have bought otherwise, and drawing the models’ faces (preferably close-ups). But…we didn’t begin by trying to do an entire face. We spent many sessions just drawing lips, or noses, or eyes, from as many angles as we could find in the magazines. Then, the most helpful hint when it came to drawing the entire face was, begin with the eyes. Work outward from there. Put the hair and the outline of the face last. That way, you give yourself a much better chance at getting the right shape and proportions to contain the facial features. This worked even when we left the magazines behind and drew from life. You might find it a bit less stressful this way, so maybe give it a try the next time around!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks. When I began painting and drawing as an adult I became hooked on it almost immediately. For me it’s the act of drawing and of painting that I’m in love with and the peace that I feel when I’m doing it. So in terms of what I draw or paint or what I use to do it I don’t mind. I just see a million things that inspire me each day and then choose one.

    I didn’t know you were an artist. I’d love to see some of your work. What was your cultural journal about? That sounds amazing! It sounds like you might be quite experienced with portraiture. When I was sketching my friends last weekend they kept moving, although it was in a Quaker Meeting for Worship so they didn’t move too much, and they didn’t ask to see until the worship was finished! I’ve never had the guts to go to a life class. Nakedness in public, I find the whole idea a bit worrying.


  5. I like the variety of approaches you take, Jo, in your subject matter as well as using different media. I used to do a lot of line drawing for a cultural journal I used to edit, and enjoyed the disciplines of stippling, shading and outlining especially where ancient objects and architecture was involved; but it’s been many years since I did any painting, whether watercolour or acrylic, so I do envy you your single-mindedness!

    I luckily never had many technical problems making portraits from life—I was taught early about imagining the sphere of the eye in its socket, for example—but my main difficulty was a subject’s impatience and/or fidgeting (which spoilt everything, especially the proportions of course!) plus a common desire to see what I’d done before I’d got very far. But then, I never went to life classes where patience and stillness were expected!

    Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

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

You are commenting using your 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

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.