I had a few minutes last night to create a quick pen & ink wash sketch of some leaves. Mostly from memory and using the available fountain pen inks in my TWSBI GOs.
I had cleaned out a few GOs that were almost empty including an orange ink that I could have used for this week’s inky leaves. Oh well. I took my creative license and pulled out a few Robert Oster inky colors that I had ready to go. As some of you know, when the sketching mojo hits, I have to grab what I have and let the creativity flow.
For my first layer of color, I started out with the gold ink color for the base or foundation color. I had to work quickly while the paper was still damp with the gold inky color and used the other colors to kind of blend in and let the colors mix a tiny bit on the paper.
Tips/Tricks: I touched my water brush to the breather hole of my fountain pen to grab some color and lightly dabble the color onto my leaves. If the inky color is too dark, I would dab once on a towel to remove some ink before applying the color to my paper.
For my top right leaf, I actually like how the Napa (burgundy) ink color blended with my Aussie Gold and Oklahoma City (green) colors.
For the other two leaves, I used a bit of Kansas City (brown) around the edges of the leaves. This brown ink is a lovely wet ink and I had to be careful not to inundate the leaf with too much brown color. That’s why you’ll see light strokes of color and I used my water brush to blend out or away from my lines. For the final layer of color, I added more gold ink to make the leaves glow.
I used Thunderstorm for the cast shadows. I would normally pull in the leaf’s color(s) into the cast shadow, but I decided not to in this sketch. I think just using Thunderstorm made the leaves pop off the page a bit more.
It took me two to three layers of colors to create my pen & ink wash sketch. If I’m not blending the colors on paper, I do let each layer dry before I apply additional inky colors. Otherwise, certain colors will bleed more and could create an unwanted color mix.
Last night, it was a nice break from my long watercolor sketching sessions and I enjoyed how quickly I could create my artwork using my fountain pens and inks.
Inks: Robert Oster Aussie Gold, Kansas City, Napa, Oklahoma City, and Thunderstorm
Pens: TWSBI GOs with Stub 1.1 nibs
Pen & Ink Journal: Stillman & Birn Alpha Softbound A5 (5.5″x8.5″) 150gsm 46 sheets/92 pages