Monday, February 18, 2013

Dynamic Ink: Using Non-waterproof Ink Creatively (Workshop F)

Instructor: Norberto Dorantes (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
Location: Laietana / Urquinaona / Carrer Comtal

Pens with non-waterproof ink can be an interesting and essential to dominate when we do sketching.

Often it is believed that we should use permanent ink before the watercolor, however, non-waterproof ink enhances the richness of the work and can create very interesting artistic effects.

This type of ink help us capture the light and atmosphere in a special and original form, since the ink in contact with water produces dynamism and strength in our sketches.

  • Produce fluency and freshness in the drawings.
  • When using fine-tipped pens we can control the outflow of ink and avoid losing our stroke
  • The tone of the ink (slightly purple, depending on the type of ink) creates a special atmosphere when it makes contact with watercolor.
  • We can simply use water to produce depth or contrast in our work without other color.
  • We work with graphics (stripes and patterns) in combination with stains (water touches or watercolor)
  • We can use a variety of ink colors (brown, blue, black) to recreate special atmospheres.
  • This technique is recommended for:
    • Quick sketches and expressive (only need pen and brush with water!!!)
    • Mid drawings preparation (when working with limited watercolor palette, using between one and even three colors) and
    • Complex drawings (using a more extensive watercolor palette)
This workshop will focus on creating original and dynamic sketches following this strategy:
  • Look for the best possible point of view.
  • Find the places of greatest contrast. The light and shadow.
  • General strokes with dynamic lines.
  • Apply water where we want to emphasize a focal point.
  • Develop foreground details.


The workshop will develop as follows:

First: an introduction and overview demo.

Second: in each exercise you will learn a different kind of dynamic ink in which the instructor will give a brief explanation, demonstrate and give feedback individually.

Third: group feedback and expo.

Demo Exercise: We draw little sketches to find the best point of view and framing. Having thought about the strategy, we can work with swift and firm lines with pen F. We identify the main points of contrast, applying higher textures with pen. Then apply water beginning where we find shadows. Caring for our line we keep touching the lines where we look more interesting. We have many blank surface.

Learning goals
  • You will acquire the skill to control the dynamic ink line when applying water or watercolor.
  • You will use the dynamic ink to enhance the contrast and recreate the atmosphere of the site.
  • You can apply this technique in a quick sketch and ink with water only, the second using two or three colors and a third drawing more complex sketches.

Supply list
  • Watercolor sketchbook of any size. Paper that supports watercolor. The Stillman & Birn sketchbook is especially functional for both ink and watercolor washes.
  • Pen Rotring Art Pen F, Lamy F or similar.
  • Ink black, brown, blue and others!
  • Watercolors Set
  • N10 or N12 Brushes
  • Water tank

Sample sketches


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This sketch looks pretty amazing. Can I share it on facebook login page?

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