What can I do with just ink? That’s a lot of what these are about. I see this as a kind of challenge, and an excellent exercise for artists however far along they are in their careers. The technique is basically to just use ink and brushes (though one could use other implements), and keep it relatively quick and spontaneous. There is no pencil stage, no erasing, and errors can be inked over, incorporated, or just left there. Also, because it uses brushes, rather than a pen, it shades into painting, and helps keep one from getting bogged down in any tedious draftsmanship. It’s also something nearly anyone, anywhere can try. I’m doing them on the floor in a guesthouse room.
Surely everything that can be done with just ink and paper has been done! Right? Well, that’s easier to say than to test. Maybe I won’t be able to come up with anything obviously new, but I can try. At very least it’s a good exercise in exploring ranges of composition, light & dark, positive and negative space, shapes, contours, line…
I could use recognizable imagery, and even words, but for now want to see some of the range of non-representational imagery I can make.
Again, any visual artist worth their salt should be able to do something worthwhile with just ink, and to do something interesting or novel is a real challenge. There’s no cheating and nothing to hide behind. No appropriation, no assistants, no sexy models, no expensive lenses, no computer modeling programs, no commissioning anyone else to do it for you. If you can’t make a decently interesting ink drawing, and you’re an artist, that’s like being a musician who can’t make a tune.
For these I just used my imagination, but I don’t see why one couldn’t do representational drawings or whatever, except one doesn’t want to fall into the tyranny of faithfulness to observed reality, or get caught in being derivative of established dimensions of Abstract Expressionism, geometric abstraction, comic style, graffiti style, biomorphic abstraction, making mere patterns, tattoos, or other stuff that’s been done to death.
I guess when one comes up against the limits of one’s imagination, that would be a good time to switch to doing it in color. Hmmmm.
Originals are also for sale through the links. The drawings are about as cheap as I can sell them for but still be worth me making the trip to the post office, so, between $60-$75.
2 replies on “3 Ink Drawings”
Also a useful exercise for learning about when to say when
True. I often go overboard.