Sunday, July 18, 2010

Inks and Carrots

Here is the inked version of Leara. Changed the angle a bit. Inked with india ink and a brush. Cleaned up with Photoshop. For ink, I prefer Higgins Black Magic with a little bit of Koh I Noor rapidograph ink mixed in. If I use Black Magic straight, it tends to start get too thick for some of the finer liner work.

I always had a fascination with finding out what tools of the trade some of my favorite artist used to get their effects (especially inkers). It was almost as if finding the right tool would instantly improve my artwork. In college, I once had an instructor who wanted to make a point that it was about the artist and not about the tools so she had us paint with carrots. Initially I thought it was a stupid idea but it turned out to be a great exercise. There were all kinds of different solutions including using the leafy part of the carrot to paint like a brush or carving it into different types of pens using an x acto knife. It was a lot of fun and proved a point. We were able to create some very interesting textures that would not have been created by traditional means. Point was made.

That being said, having good materials matter and there is nothing worse than trying to ink with a cheap brush. I prefer Raphael series 8404 Kolinsky sable #2 for inking but there are lots of great brushes out there. You never know, you might find your favorite in the produce aisle.

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