Colour splotches first, then line

I like this technique and use it a lot in my sketchbooks. Colour is randomly applied — usually diluted coloured ink — and left to dry. Then simple line drawings are doodled on top. The subject matter in both of these was suggested by themes proposed by the sketch club I belong to.

(don’t drive that Jeep until the wheel gets fixed)

Urban Roots

For years I’ve been fascinated by how tree roots adapt to small city spaces, especially in public areas with curbs and sidewalks. The roots are often constrained and confined, and become quite contorted. Yet the tree thrives. This is adaptability and resilience!

I’ve decided to use a high contrast style in black and white, in different media on a variety of surfaces, to make a series of semi-abstract images on this topic.

This one is 10″ x 16″ in carbon ink (for both lines and wash) on cold-press watercolour paper:

Urban Roots No.1

Old leather gloves

Sketched with a black china marker across the cream-coloured pages of a pocket-sized Moleskine sketchbook. I’m trying to use up this book even though this particular kind has paper too thin for the media I prefer: ink. (Or anything wet.) I like black china marker, also known as grease pencil, better than pencil… it’s blacker and doesn’t smudge in a sketchbook.

An operatic dude

The sketch is of one of the outdoor sculptures on the Opera Walk, in the Italian Garden at Hastings Park. Lines and wash are made with the same ink. I love water soluble ink because I can draw lines and then selectively dissolve them into washes with a brush dipped in water. This ink is one of those that turns into other colours! The line it makes with a pen is a very dark purple, almost black. But golly gee, when water is added, the dried lines dissolve into pinks and blues!! (I’m easily thrilled.) The washes are very unpredictable compared to watercolour, but personally I like that.