Washing the Ink


One of the suggestions of my most recent how to draw book was to use a fountain pen to draw and then use water and a brush to add some washes to the drawing. I have a whole bunch of fountain pens and a cool watercolor brush that has water in its handle. As you paint with the brush, water fills the brush and lets me move the water-based ink of the fountain pen around.

It reminds me of those pre-printed pictures with colored dots on them that they have for kids. As you brush them with water, the colors spread and you can color in the pictures. The same thing happens here with the fountain pen ink.


It works very nicely to model various forms.


Here I was playing with modeling various squishy shapes, a ball and a present. Notice the hash lines on the ball. I put those where the darkest part of the shadow would be and then added water to create more of a modeled appearance.

On the present, I was able to add just a little water to the lines to give the ribbon a slightly darker color and to give a shadow at the base of the box’s lid.


That same book had some suggestions for using spherical shapes to model things. I did some practicing with the idea. (See the squishy items in the previous picture.) Here I used the idea to create something that looks like a hand.


It worked well with the hand, and here is a face using the same basic techniques. When one item crosses in front of the other, you see something like a “T.” See that on the bottom of the lip as it cuts over the chin and where the nose folds over.


This was a quick drawing of my wife’s hands intertwined as she lay in bed going to sleep. There is some sense of play with negative space in this one.

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