More Thinking Ink

From time to time I’ve shown paintings here that use ink in addition to or as a substitute for watercolour. Last weekend I ran a workshop at West Norfolk Arts Centre, Castle Rising which was devoted to these techniques, which can just add another dimension to your work. I had a good time with a group of nice people, and I got paid too – what more can an art tutor want!

Cley Mill painting in ink
Cley Mill. Pen and wash using Rowney FW acrylic inks. Approximately 40 x 30 cms.

Burnham Overy Staithe. Pen and wash
Burnham Overy Staithe. Pen and wash using Rowney FW acrylic inks. 40 x 30 cms.

Part of the weekend was spent looking at traditional pen and wash, but with the added twist of using acrylic inks rather than watercolour. The inks were kindly sponsored by Daler-Rowney and you can see them in the two paintings here, which I did as demonstrations. The inks are Rowney FW acrylic inks and they are available in a wide range of colours. They have a very high tinting strength and are waterproof when dry, so that you can paint over the top without disturbing the initial wash. The inks look very garish when straight from the bottle, but well watered down and carefully mixed the results can be more subtle. Rowney supplied a boxed set of six inks, called the Primary Colours set, which consisted of Cyan, Magenta and Yellow, which are the colours typically used in inkjet printers, plus three additional colours of Scarlet, Emerald Green and Sepia. It was quite a challenge to generate traditional watercolour hues from these but it was fun and good colour mixing practice. The underlying drawing in both paintings was done with a Faber Castell Pitt artist’s pen, containing black waterproof ink.

By the way, spot the flying boat in the painting of Burnham Overy Staithe. A quick “how to draw a boat” sketch that I did while working on the main painting!

Over the weekend we also explored using Indian ink from a bottle and water soluble pens, so there was quite a variety of techniques. My thanks to all the course participants for being so pleasant and fun to work with, to Daler-Rowney for supplying the materials, and to Richard and Ros Cartwright of the Art Centre who were as welcoming as ever. They do a great lunch too!

I will be back at West Norfolk Arts Centre in August for an outdoor sketching weekend, so why not join me working in pen and wash and other sketching media in the picturesque village of Castle Rising, Norfolk. You can find full details, including how to book, on the Arts Centre website