Edge of the woods, drawing with ink and twigs and a little pen

 Detail of the drawing

It's a long time since I did any drawing with ink and twigs.  They make such a lovely range of marks with different tones and textures, I should do it more often.

The drawing below was done mainly with twigs from the garden (image at end of post)  but also a bamboo pen, a shaped wooden stirrer from a cafe, a Tombo pen, a Sharpie and a very little black coloured pencil.  The Sharpie was a little too hard edged and doesn't gel enough with the fluid inks I feel but it was a fun experiment.   Using J Herbin Gris Nuage ink, I couldn't get the darks quite dark enough, which is why I tried the Sharpie.   There is also a little Daler Rowny FW white acrylic ink in there.

It was done in the Derwent Panoramic book, 16.54 x 7.08 inches, 110lb paper.   I tried using watercolour in this book without success, the paper was too thin and buckled.  It worked well with the ink though.

Edge of the Wood, ink sketch

detail 2

 The twigs are now packed in with my drawing materials.  I need to get some larger ones as well and find my Indian ink.  A friend has been using sepia Indian ink, which I hadn't heard of ..... oh dear another for the wish list!

The materials used

The dappled light and texture was what interested me and the dazzle of leaves.   Some fine pale marks don't show well here.

It is also useful to dip these twigs into watercolour mixes for calligraphic marks when painting.

The stirrers that you get in cafes and wooden ice lolly sticks, shaped at the end with a craft knife are also interesting to draw with, the stirrer, shaped to a point,  at the front of the image above was used in this one, along with the twigs.   I gave my class one each at the end of term - I wonder if anyone has used them?


I love your mark making and that you are drawn to the edge of the tree line. Such fun things to be found there. Stunning study!
Art Matters said…
These are great. There is a recent post on the Urban Sketchers site on using shaped twigs for drawing. The artist did a workshop at the Symposium. We spend so much time/money looking for the perfect pen when twigs make such wonderful marks.
vivien said…
Thanks Pam and Carol :-)

Yes Kiah Kian ... I love his sketches. I find I prefer grey ink so I can get tonal variations, with black I tend to use charcoal with it for similar egpffects.

I'm not one for deep forest, I feel too closed in but love the edges. The coast is another edge.

It has gone very quite since google finished reader :-(. So feedback is. Very welcome.
I love tonal studies, this is gorgeous! Thank you for the reminder to use the humble twig. It's funny how we get stuck in a way of working and forget to go back to other materials. I really must get the charcoal out again.....

I like the format of this sketchbook, I might have to treat myself.
vivien said…
Thanks Lisa :-). I will be interested to see what you do

I love charcoal. Have you tried the XL tinted charcoal and graphite? It's gorgeous.
Kev's Art said…
A truly beautiful ink drawing! I'm so occupied with my efforts in watercolour I always forget about work like this. You have opened my eyes. The range of tones, marks and textures you have achieved is remarkable. I love this picture!!!
vivien said…
Thank you Kev :-)).

You could do a similar thing with a big wash of a neutral mix of watercolour, simply work tonally and forget colour for a change.
vivien said…
Thank you Kev :-)).

You could do a similar thing with a big wash of a neutral mix of watercolour, simply work tonally and forget colour for a change.

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