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Take up the challenge...

Updated: Jun 11

A couple of years ago I decided there wasn't enough room in my life or on my website for blogs, but recently in spring 2024 I found time to come back and say hello, but please bear with me if my blogs are a little sparse (or rusty) because I'm still a busy artist and I don't get much free time to blog, but here is one of my latest little blogs ....

Challenging ourselves as artists.

Occasionally you may see me painting in ink instead of my usual watercolours.

I just love the purity of ink, graphite and charcoal, and simple clean black and white monochrome schemes can look incredible in art.

I also enjoy the challenge, ink is is a tricky medium to master, it takes a bit of courage and conviction to use because it dries incredibly fast and is staining, and because of this fast drying time it means that it can't be moved around much, reworked or removed, once it's been laid down it can't be scrubbed or lifted with a paintbrush, therefore each mark you make has to be on point from the very beginning, there's no turning back and the trick is to work fairly quickly and with conviction, it takes absolute trust in your own creativity, just let your pencil or brush do the talking and work in a spontaneous way.

Being reasonably adept at illustration when sketching with ink charcoal or graphite is important though because you can't rely on colour to give the painting excitement and interest, with monochrome pieces you'll be relying solely on your skills to create depth, tonal values, movement and texture with just your sketching abilities, hence its worth nurturing and honing your graphite sketching skills now and again before moving on to ink.

Keeping in touch with your sketching skills will help you in many aspect of your creative journey, I always take a little mini pencil and notebook with me whenever I'm out and about, even on train journeys etc you never know what you might be inspired to sketch!. And it just keeps you hands flexible as well.

All these things (and more) are the reasons why I totally love working with ink charcoal and graphite, I find it challenges me and stops my work become too predictable and lazy. 

Happy creating everyone, have fun with it.

Big love



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