Direct Ink – Quick Sketches

Over the last couple of months I have done less art since I’ve been struggling with my health. This week I have a small group of quick sketches drawn fast, in ink, with no pencils. I was doing all of this while watching Netflix and YouTube in bed one evening.

For my midtone I used a brush pen loaded with water darkened by a tiny drop of ink. It was good except that I couldn’t easily paint a gradient. I played around with it until I found a way to do it by smudging off some of the ink with a combination of my fingers and some kitchen towel.

At first I was quite nervous using ink without any basic pencil shapes to indicate structure. It felt like I was trying to put up a building with no structural support – I thought the whole thing might collapse in on itself. I began by drawing a young Obi-Wan Kenobi (since I was very familiar with Ewan McGregor’s face from watching the ABSOLUTELY AWESOME Kenobi series on Disney + three times over!) This is him as a Padawan though, looking all eager and ready to take on some battle droids…

Next I drew a woman in bed from a Netflix series I was watching…

She looked all cosy and comfy and I really wanted to capture that feeling. This was easier that drawing Kenobi despite the more difficult subject. I think a lot of my difficulty with drawing young Obi-Wan was just my nervousness of drawing directly in ink. The second time was definitely better.

My last drawing was of a seal – by this time I was a bit more confident and it was a dead easy subject. So here he is looking all happy on his rock…

I think he’s thinking “This is such a cool rock. All the lady seals are going to love me now!”

Results of this exercise

I think this was a really good exercise. It stretched me a little without being stressful and was really great for confidence building. I found it better to draw in a rough way so that it felt like I was sketching in pencil even though I was using ink. It was good to see what I could come up with like this because normally my sketches get erased once I have my ink outline done.

I was reading about an artist on the internet who draws daily directly in ink making portraits on public transport. I think this would be a great exercise, but I’m not sure I’d have the courage. Drawing outside gives me a much greater sense of inspiration from what I see but people are always very curious about what I’m doing which is tricky.

I have some mental health difficulties going on at the moment as well as ongoing sinus, ear and chest infections, so going outside is pretty difficult. I’ll have to think about it.

5 thoughts on “Direct Ink – Quick Sketches

  1. Do what you can, when and how you can – health, both mental and physical, should always come first.

    Oh, and I particularly like your study of the woman resting. Maybe because it felt comfortingly relaxed…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Obi Wan! Ink sketches on the public transport sounds like fun… potentially a little stressful… maybe a park, where you can keep your distance a little more?

    Liked by 1 person

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