Nov 15, 2018

Using Tonal Values in Ink - Painting and Drawing Tips

Coloured Ink!

As you know, I am a permanent black ink Artist.  Don't play with my pens, black ink only.

Well, it was a surprise to me. . .

Who knew I would try coloured ink.  Now, don't think I have a closed mind.  I did try doing a drawing in a Sepia Coloured Ink. But fought it the whole time.  I just didn't feel I had any darks, my tonal range seemed so limited.  It all felt bland.  I decided then and there, it was black ink for me forever.

Mushroom Village - This large mass of mushrooms reminds me so much of a large apartment complex clinging to the side of mountain.  

Then along came Karina . . .
Karina is one of my young students and an awesome artist.  She brought her coloured pens to class one day and wanted to learn how to use them.  She only had a few colours: Light and dark green, blue, Orange,  Burnt Orange and Black.  I bit the bullet, picked up a pen and went for it.

Micron Pigma pens are my favourite to work with but of course black only.  This pack is their Earth Colours.  They are a fine tip, .45 mm 05 - very nice to work with. 

Of course I started with black first . . .
Turns out that was a good move.  I showed her how to work with her limited pallet of colours using a system of tonal values.  This works whether you are using ink, acrylic or oil.  It is all about assigning your colours to a tonal value.

Usually I talk about 10 tonal values but a 5 value scale may be easier to understand when talking about ink 

My Dark Value was my black . . .
Not just a black line but a dark crosshatched area as well.  When working on the mushrooms, which had an orange glow to them, the medium value became the orange. The Medium-Dark value became the Brunt Orange.   When working on the moss, the medium value was the light green and the Medium-Dark was the Dark Green. 

You wont stay with 5 Tonal Values for long . . .
Once the layout was complete and I dived into the shadows, 5 Values soon became more.  As shadows move from Dark to light there is a soft transition of value.  This happens in ink with crosshatching.  It made sense to combine the colours in that transition as well.


Close up of the mushroom caps.  Note the darks in black.  Then the midtones changes from the black to orange.  Then the orange changing to white. 

Using Your Colours to build  . . . 
Look at the mushroom caps. The darkest part is black but as the shadow lightens, the crosshatching becomes more loose.  Letting in the light.  Moving in with my burnt orange makes that transition softer and moves it from the shadow dark towards the local colour.  Moving further out the Burnt Orange becomes looser as it lightens up and now the Orange moves in.  This then becomes looser to as it moves to the white of the paper.

Working on the detail of the green moss - I first laid a layer of green to create a sense of the local colour.  This was then followed with wavy lines and bits of green outside the edges of the stump to give a sense of the layering and texture of the green.  Of course more work to come.

The same process with the Mushroom Caps also happens with the greens in the moss.  There is the Dark Value of Black then the mix of Dark Green and Black.  This gives way to Dark Green and Light Green.  Then Light Green to white.  All is tempered with tight or loose crosshatching and directional lines.

 MUSHROOM VILLAGE - WIP - This gives a sense of how the layout began in black ink and then I moved in on different areas to bring them to lift.  

One drawback to working with ink, everything takes longer.  So, sorry picture not finished but I tried to finish sections so you could get an idea how the layout and fill come together for a finished piece. 

Playing with Limited Pallets gives a greater feel to the role tonal values play in any drawing or painting.  Checking out the following post for more ideas on working with a Limited Pallet .


Opportunities Coming Up: 

1. Heart to Home Art  Show & Sale, Saturday & Sunday, Nov 17 & 18, 12-5pm daily
Surrey Art Center, Bear Creek Park, 13750 88 Ave, Surrey
Looking Forward to seeing you there. Guaranteed to find that perfect One-of-a-Kind Gift - Handmade Arts and Crafts from 30+ local Artists. Free Admission, 

2.  Paints'n Bloom Workshops & Art Show & Sale Thursday, Nov 22-Saturday, Nov 24  in Support of the Alzheimer's Society of BC
Gardenworks at Mandeville Gardens, 4746 Marine Dr, Burnaby   - C U THERE 

3.  Just in Time for Christmas - My Dog & Cat Lover Christmas Cards  Instant Download Cards so you can Print and Give, right away.  Etsy - WendyMouldsArt

Max was very happy to see My Dog/Puppy Cards, of course he was my Inspiration!  Esty Store - $12 for the 3 Pack. 
Excited to share my Cat/Kitten Cards as instant digital downloads at my Esty Store - $12 for the 3 Pack.  

Artists reading this post also find the following valuable:
3 Ways to Turn Drawing Despair into Action here
Drawing a Seagull Part 1 and Part 2 Starting here
Using Edges to Make Soft and Fluffy Birds & Animals Part 1 and Part 2 Starting here 

 Be sure to like and share my posts.
You won't miss a single post if you Follow by Email or Like my Facebook Page.
Have a great Artful Day,

Wendy