Ink vs Watercolour vs Digital

This weeks artwork is from a drawing I made a few months ago and took really slowly. It began with an A3 sketch…

Then I added some details…

…and finallly inked…

I used my Pigma Microns for the black ink and my W&N Brush Markers for the greys.

Here’s the final ink drawing…

But it just seemed too dull. So I tried adding some colour. I did this with watercolour…

…and with digital colour…

So which method wins, ink, watercolour or digital?

I think my favourite by the slightest margin is the watercolour. Overall though, I don’t think any of them really hit the mark. That vital “something” in a painting, which I can’t define, but can feel when it’s present, is just not there in any of these. I think the thing that pulls the watercolour slightly ahead of the others for me is, ironically, something I didn’t control, which happens naturally with paint.

I was using cheap watercolour paper, rather than my favourite Arches Hot-Pressed paper. So when I got it properly wet it buckled and stretched. This caused the paint to gather in the “troughs” of the paper leaving the “peaks” a little whiter. Here is an example of what I’m talking about…

In the larger pale yellow gap between features you can see darker cadmium yellow deep sections which are strung out like cirrus clouds. This was entirely due to the way the paint settles onto buckled paper.

On reflection I think it is nature’s hand which I love best in almost all art that I can think of. I see it sometimes in paintings of animals and plants, I see it in natural processes inside the paint like this, I even see it in the patterns and archetypes which walk through our books, paintings, films and TV series.

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6 thoughts on “Ink vs Watercolour vs Digital

  1. I’m with you there. While the digital stuff is powerful and easy to do, I often find it “soulless”. It’s hard to do with any real heart. It reminds me of someone playing the piano well from a technical point of view but without any human emotion in it.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I agree, they’re all superb but the watercolour’s my favourite (buckling and pooling notwithstanding!) followed by the ink and then the digital fill.

    Liked by 2 people

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