‘Reflected Light’ Indian ink and Pastel pencil, pastelmat, A5, photo by Lisa Ann Watkins.
I was inspired to try coloured inks as an underpainting after seeing a LAW video. I used Windsor and Newton inks but the only colours I had were quite.....disperate, I really wasn’t sure where this one was going.....I really didn’t like it :/
Once it was dry I tried to put some tonal values in with seal and aluminium grey....I still didn’t like it. I’d added tone, but was killing the colour.
I started to add pale yellow and sky blue for the highlights, blues and purples in the mid tones and dark blue and brown for the darks. I also realised that his head was floating, so decided to get the blue ink back out and carefully fill in the bottom corner.
By this point I was happy with the dog, but really anxious about the background. The white of the pastelmat was getting a bit dirty, and I’d flicked pink ink on the top left side earlier on; do I go with ink painted/splatted? Or do I leave it white? Or do I go blue like the bottom so he’s emerging from the colour? In the end I went for a dark blended blue/purple/black which I graduated paler up the page. I’d put an initial narrow band of yellow on the top right before applying the dark colours which really helped when I was blending up.
In the end I’m really happy with how it turned out. I like that the ink made some decisions for me that pushed me out of my comfort zone, and these different colours make for a really interesting image.
If you squint a bit you can see the ‘pink’ and ‘blue’ in the photograph that I used to inspire me where to put my inks.