Octopus Dreams #3 – The second half of a larger line and wash painting

I have been experimenting for some time in my artwork, trying to find a way to tone ink drawings traditionally. This week I have toned an ink drawing of a Larger Pacific Striped Octopus with black watercolour. Initially I was thinking of either using charcoal or watercolour over my ink. It was really hard to make up my mind without trying it out, so on some scrap paper I had a quick go of both methods. Here are the results of my experiments…


I decided to go with the watercolour in the end. It took more time and was not removable like the charcoal, but I liked the level of control had with watercolour and the depth of colour I could generate.

I began with a few basic washes…

Then I added some mild shadows to the light coloured sand. To do this I put on a wash of clear water and then dropped in black watercolour at the top of each wet section and allowed it to “stretch out” naturally.

Once this was done I began the painstaking work of putting in the details. Because the original ink drawing was A3, this took quite some time, but it was very enjoyable.

Here is the final line and wash drawing…

6 thoughts on “Octopus Dreams #3 – The second half of a larger line and wash painting

  1. This is a beautiful piece any way you look at it but I’m particularly drawn to it as I’ve had “Octopus’s Garden” in my head for days. So I am absolutely singing along in my head (well, ok, out loud XD) as I’m reading your post and enjoying your piece.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What particularly gives this a sense of solidity is the shading on the left of the body grading down in a convincing way, and the contrast in the tentacles which have caught the light.

    Liked by 1 person

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