It’s been a while since the last blog post now, and I’ve continued to work on my pieces over this time. I have realized that creating ink pen artwork takes longer than expected, not to mention having to learn all the techniques. Nonetheless, I have learnt a couple new skills, along with practicing the old ones.
A new technique I have been taught is the usage of ink to illustrate fur or hair, specifically small objects we can’t control. I have already done my best to mimic Rainn Wilson’s hair, and I am now working on fur, specifically an orangutan’s fur. When creating fur, it’s important to use smaller pen size to create a soft appearance. The direction of the fur is an important factor to remember, as well as the frequency of strokes you begin with. Starting with fewer strokes is ideal so that shading is more convenient as time goes on.
As for concepts, some that I have been over with my mentor include:
Visualizing/modeling the illustrations beforehand. This is important for most artwork, especially at a beginner level, but is most needed when sketching a living creature. While working on pieces like wildlife or a person’s face, I modeled out the individual parts changing them into separate shapes in order to give myself a rough visual of where everything goes. I do this to allow for minimal mistakes so I won’t finish my piece and then realize that the entire thing is off.
The technique used to portray different textures and images. I have been over many of the techniques my mentor taught me, from the realism of glasses to the lighting of different areas based on their relation with outside sources. All of the techniques I learned allowed for a greater understanding of how everything illustrated worked, rather than just drawing based on sight.
As for alternatives, there have been moments where alternatives were suggested but not necessary. At one point I made a mistake on one of my pieces, zoning out and forgetting to pay attention to what I was actively doing. I suggested working around the mistake and adapting it to the image, when my mentor provided me with the alternative of painting over it gently, somewhat like white-out. Although the option made sense, I believed that I had the artistic ability to fix my mistake and decided to instead alter the final image. In the end, I was satisfied with my decision and thought process.
For my learning centre itself, I plan to allow for a more aesthetic appeal, a white table with my illustrations separated into different sections. I haven’t decided on what those sections should be yet, whether or not it should be by time of creation or by image genre, but I’m sure I’ll figure out what looks best at the end. There will be labels up above each one of the sections, and I will be describing my process to those who stop by along the way. I would like to focus on the illustration of people using ink pen, because it was the most difficult and time-consuming piece out of all the pieces. Simultaneously, I acquired multiple new skills during the creation of ‘Dwight Schrute,’ and I enjoyed both the process and final outcome. I may include my previous artwork from last year, allowing for a side by side comparison to visualize the growth. To conclude, I hope my audience is able to see not only how much time goes into ink pen artwork, but how diverse the process is from regular pencil eraser sketching.