Experiments with Chinese Ink in my Sketchbook, Part One

I'm not really that precious with my sketch books, although I do have pages that look as if I have taken a lot of time to some people who have seen them, and that can be true if I am trying to resolve something or if I am trying to see how far I can take a technique, a material, or a medium.  I thought I would share a few pages in one sketchbook of a still life I had been drawing and then I played around, thinking what would happened if I tried this or that? sometimes I just end up with a big mess and the only constructive thing about it was that I learnt not to go with this again!

I found a bottle of Chinese Ink I wanted to try and did a few quick brush drawings of a still life using some items I had around. I just like the objects, there is not a theme intended, it is all about the shape and the contrast which attracted me to select them. This one was done on a page of a second hand book shop find .. a lonely encyclopaedia in a sale basket (it cost me $2, I had flicked through and found some sayings I liked with my thoughts being that I could use them in my work and that by me buying a throw out book like this one it might help overcome my fear of cutting up or painting in good books.)

I framed it using paper I had painted black over a page in my sketch book I had first used water soluble crayons to create a background ( I love working with these, they always go into my art travel kit)  and have used PVA to adhere this as one page. Doing exercises like this are wonderful to do and they free my ideas, creating new directions, including ideas about embroidery and textile work. In this exercise I am also thinking about how the ink responds and  I love the way it flows and how I can direct it like a flowing river with my brush. 

Ink drawings still life sketch book.jpg

The next quick ink drawing I did has been done on pages of an old diary which has not been  used, the note section at the back. I kept going with these and made a little book of the drawings once they were dry, then stitched  this into my sketchbook page so I can flick through the different ways I have used the ink on the same still life. 

In this drawing above I have used a nib and then sprayed  over sections using a small cosmetic applicator filled with water. I like this drawing, it may look like a mess to some but to me there is so much potential in it. Some of this drawing looks like machine embroidery. These drawings have been done quickly and by hardly looking at my page until completed, I like how spontaneous this drawing feels and the way I can still see the scratching from the nib. It is a great mark making exciercies as well.  

  I then tried the still life using a brush a lot of water and once it had dried I have then drawn over this using a brush and gesso. I like the chalkiness it adds.  Gesso is a great medium to draw with and I use a lot of it in all my sketchbooks. 

 

I then tried the still life using a brush a lot of water and once it had dried I have then drawn over this using a brush and gesso. I like the chalkiness it adds.  Gesso is a great medium to draw with and I use a lot of it in all my sketchbooks. 

sketchbook drawings .jpg

In this image you can see that I have machine stitched the booklet of drawings onto the left hand side of this large sketchbook and there is another drawing completed  in pen and wash on the right hand side. The space left is for me to jot down some notes, brainstorming ideas that have surfaced while doing these drawings.  ( I also use a lot of washi tape!)