I took my pencil sketch and using my permanent gray ink, I sketched over my pencil lines that I wanted to keep. In some areas I straightened out the previous broken lines I had drawn. I also added in more details where needed. After my permanent ink had dried on my paper, I used my kneaded eraser to remove my pencil lines. Right now, my sketch looks flat and almost like a cartoon.
I left my inky sketch alone for a few days while I decided which colors to use for my inky washes.
I came back to my sketch armed with my TWSBI Swipe filled with Thunderstorm and started my pen & ink wash process. Thunderstorm has been my go to black/blue inky color for when I need to sketch something in black and also for creating shadows around and under my object. It’s a lovely color to use and it has quite a bit of personality as you can see in my sketch below.
I was careful to not inundate my sketch by dumping a lot of dark color onto my paper. It’s harder to “lift” dark colors let alone “lift” fountain pen ink off of my paper. With my first layer of color I applied a light or watered down color wash. To avoid creating a flat sketch, I made sure to leave some lighter color or the white of my paper as highlights. I am always looking for my light source. I let the first layer dry completely before attempting to apply the second layer of color.
When I apply my second layer of color, I can now focus on areas that are quite a bit darker. I think about the shadows within my object. Where are the darkest parts of my object. By applying the different values of a color, I can create a sense of “roundness” to my object. I can also make certain parts of my object appear closer to me like the numbered dial on my tension knob, the golden logo patch, or the horizontal light covering in the arm of my machine.
I used Morning Frost on the silvery pieces of my object like the throat plate, parts of the tension dial/discs, thread spindle, stitch regulator, bobbin winding system, and for the hand wheel/pulley.
While I’m creating my pen & ink wash, I have to remind myself to be a bit spontaneous and less controlling with my sketch. There are times when it’s harder to control where the ink color goes. I make the best of it and most of the time I create wonderful inky surprises.
I have also learned to know when to stop. Since I was using a mixed media paper versus a heavier watercolor paper, I noticed my second layer of inky wash was disturbing the paper’s surface. Small areas of my paper developed a “rash” while the paper was still wet. That was my clue to stop work in that area as the surface had been compromised. Once the paper is dry, the rashes miraculously disappear.
In case you’ve forgotten, this is where my pen & ink sketch started from. My quick pencil sketch.
Once I start sketching, I forget about properly centering my object on the page or in this case across two pages. To help remove the white space on the right side, I added the bobbin and two spools of thread. I intentionally left one of the spools half-off the page to balance out the left side where I ran out of space for the machine’s bed extension.
Pens: TWSBI GOs with Stub 1.1 nibs. TWSBI Swipe with Stub 1.1 nib. Platinum Preppy with 02 Extra Fine nib.
Inks: Robert Oster Thunderstorm, African Gold, Steely Days, Melon Tea, and Blood Rose. Van Dieman’s Ink Morning Frost. DeAtramentis Document Grey (Preppy).
Pencil: Pentel Energize mechanical with 0.7mm HB lead
Journal: Stillman & Birn Alpha softcover A5 (5.5″x8.5″) 150gsm
Journal Cover: Lochby Field Journal A5 waxed canvas in Brown