Thursday, 28 April 2016

My first pen and wash

I finally took the bull by the horns, took a few hours out from my Apple Mac and went to my art studio with the aim of finally starting pen and wash after a load of research into how I should actually go about it.

I wanted to use my new set of twelve Winsor & Newton watercolour markers to see how they'd cope with the image I wanted to draw. I had high hopes for them after watching a few YouTube videos and their characteristics. I was excited too because I was purposely setting out to be a loose man intent in finishing this in about two hours.

I drew myself some register points in pencil so I knew I was working within a framework and pinpointed where different people and objects should be. No tracing paper, no frisk, no grid system just me and two or three Pitt Pens initially. And I went bananas! I relied on my eye and wasn't too worried about wayward marks.

Soon I had my outline and I was quite happy with the sketch for a first attempt. I used these markers in two ways - first method: directly on to the painting and then adding the water to blend maybe several different colours at once or second method: colouring them on to a palette/paper like you would paint, mixing them and adding water there. I would then apply the colour to the painting. I preferred the first method as the colours were more intense but I used the second for the lighter, more subtle washes.

Once I had all the colour splashed on I took my Pitt pens outs again and went over parts just for emphasis. I had no idea how it would look. Somewhere in all this I have to find my own style, my own way of working so it's very much trial and error at the minute.

I made mistakes, loads of them – too much water mostly and colours that were not as I expected. At the minute I cannot get a decent light brown so I will probably have to order a few more markers. I need a Payne's Grey as I don't want to use black if I can possibly help it.

Anyway bring out the trumpets and let's have a big Bloggerland welcome for my First Pen and Wash. The sound of music please...


OK Julie Andrews get off my stage and take those kids with you – now! 

Overall I enjoyed working with these watercolour markers. The style is right for busy markets and street scenes with people hurriedly moving about. The figures aren't great, but they're not meant to be. One day I will get to St George's Market in Belfast and shoot off a few photographs so I can do my own version of this copy!

I might have to approach landscapes and buildings differently. That'll be for another day – tomorrow!

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