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Ink and Wash 2: Into the Landscape

August 9, 2020

Wind at Winskill Stones North Yorkshire: Art Pen, wash and rainwater!

In last week’s post the accent was on mark and line making and different techniques for drawing in ink and adding washes of more ink and/or watercolour or pastel and our aim was to produce an ink and wash drawing of a natural form.  This week we are operating on a larger scale and moving out into the landscape.  You have many techniques at your disposal and I would like to see you try a landscape from your own reference material; somewhere you know and either love or find interesting.  Best of all would be to work from life at a landscape near you!

Willows and Aspens on the Cam: Quink and Wash

Think about how your subject will be best depicted; whether the accent should be more on line or mark making or whether only an indication of line is needed and most of the “work” will be left to the wash to supply tone and colour.

Red Rocks in Morocco: Rotring Art pen and watercolour

Also think about how you will provide a sense of space and distance.  This may be important or not as we shall see from the rather eclectic group of images chosen for the Ink and Wash Pinterest board at

https://www.pinterest.co.uk/jhall1282/ink-and-wash/

Claude Lorrain

Claude Lorrain’s Study of an Oak Tree ca. 1638 is rich in pen marks on the trunk and foliage but many of his ink wash drawings were almost solely wash as in his View from Monte Mario, where a river winds its way through dark trees against a backdrop of distant mountains.  The paper is white where the water reflects light most strongly and the composition relies almost completely for changes in tone for its effect.  In Trees and Rocks by a Stream ca.1635 there are beautiful calligraphic lines as well as washes where the tone of the wash varies from a very weak tea stain to something much darker.  I find his work has a timeless quality and he has much to teach us today. 

Samuel Palmer

Moving forward Samuel Palmer’s work is equally dramatic tonally but rather more graphically defined.  In Drawing for the Bright Cloud ca. 1831-2 look at how Palmer’s clouds depend on line as well as tone, how the middle ground is very dark and the tree trunks white against the dark and how carefully the sheep have been washed with different tones so we know exactly how the light is falling on them.  There is also an abundance of mark making on their wool and much patterning of foliage.

There are several ways you can produce light against dark;

Reserve the white of the paper; draw/brush round anything you wish to remain white.

Add White: When the work is almost complete add white gouache or even acrylic or white pastel/pastel pencil.

Scratching with a sharp implement taking care not to put a hole in the paper-always best done at the very end and only if the paper is heavy enough to take harsh treatment

Wax: At the very beginning either a line of candle wax which cannot be removed; experiment first on a small piece of the paper you will use to see how much pressure is needed when you add a wash and the wax acts as a resist.

Masking fluid; apply at the beginning with a ruling pen or old brush which must be cleaned immediately afterwards. Make sure the masking fluid is completely dry before removing by rubbing with a finger or soft eraser; not suitable for rough papers so again experiment first

PLEASE NOTE: Wax resist, or adding chalk pastel when a work is almost complete will work with waterproof ink, non-waterproof ink or watercolour.

Non-waterproof ink may lift when you add wet gouache or acrylic.  You may lighten areas of non-waterproof ink or watercolour by lifting out with a damp brush and clean tissue. You can wet the paper repeatedly to lift out but do not rub the surface or it wil become damaged.  Paper is at its most fragile when wet.

The other reference artists chosen are :

John Piper; images of rocky landscapes

Paul Nash; trees and woods in the landscape, carefully considered compositions and delicate lines The Pin labelled Paul Nash at Tate Britain has an image of The Wanderer.  Do look at how the line and colour work together producing a magical narrative landscape where the distant figure has trodden a path through the field.

Ceri Richards; trees and foliage full of wonderful lines and marks evoking a strong sesne of movement

Wu Gannzhong

Lastly I have included the Chinese artist Wu Guanzhong, who died in 2010 and is often thought of as the father of modern Chinese brush painting.  Like Lorrain he has made wash drawings that wholly depend on wash but also those where line is the key element.  The contour of the land is well established so that however abstract his work becomes, it still convinces us.  We are still travelling the path with him and I think his work also has that timeless quality.

Aim to produce;

One considered drawing of a landscape with rocks, trees or both.

Foliage of trees may be suggested with ink but always remember the side of your brush can be very useful whether in strokes or “printed” against the paper. 

Remember to mix some washes up in advance of starting the pen/brush drawing as you may wish to add some wash while the ink is still wet, if you are using waterproof ink. Also ensure that all your equipment like brushes and a sponge or paper towel are to hand.

If you have time for a second drawing, try to make one that is different in nature to the first.  For example the first may be a calm day and the second blowing a hurricane or at least windy.  The first may be monochrome and the second very vibrant.

Enjoy drawing!

Your Drawings:

Mountains in Burma: ink pastel and watercolour by Ann
A tree in Umbria: ink watercolour and pastel by Ann
Mountains in Burma: ink by Ann
Ink and watercolour by Barbara
Ink and watercolour by Barbara
Ink and watercolour by Barbara
Malders Lane : Quink washed by Jan
Malders Lane: Quink and watercolour by Jan
Hoylake Sea View: Quink and walnut ink by Jan
Imaginary landscape: Quink and wash by Heather
Tree by Heather
Ink study by Jane
Ink and watercolour by Jane
Woods: ink and watercolour by Jane
Ink and watercolour by Jane
A Landscape from China: India ink and brush by John
The same landscape as above with ink and watercolour by John
High Gorges, kali Gandaki in the Himalayas: ink and wash by Roger

Dead Tree on the Thicket: inkand watercolour by Vivienne

Boulder and Inscribed Stone: Rotring Art Pen ink and wash by Vivienne
An Imagined landscape: Unipen and pastel by Vivienne
Totem Pole Windsor Great Park: ink and watercolour by Maricarmen
Study for the Totem Pole: ink and wash by Maricarmen
After Piper by Maricarmen
Rocky Headland: Art Pen and wash by Angela
Upper Loch Torridon: mixed media with Rotring Art pen and ink, acrylic ink, watercolour, gouache, soft and oil pastel on cartridge paper, and it still looks like line and wash!
Bluebell Wood: ink, watercolour and pastel by Elizabeth
Pen and watercolour by Elizabeth
Pen, watercolour and pastel by Elizabeth
Castell Coch: brushed ink and watercolour by Liz
Llanddwyn Lighthouse: ink line, watercolour, brushed ink and rocks textured with a sponge by Liz
Cison di Valmarino in the veneto: dip pen, black Quink and wash with washes of compressed travel inks by Sandra
Stourhead stage 1: India ink applied with tape nib, thin twig, mapping pen and thinned ink applied with a brush by Malcolm
Stourhead stage 2: watercolour washes applied by Malcolm
Tree Roots: Quink, India ink, watercolour and pastel by Sarah
Coffee and India ink by Sarah
Overgrown Garden: coffee, Quink and India ink by Sarah
Lake near Cheapside : india ink, watercolour with wax resist on lake by Sarah

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