Sketching with Water Soluble Ink

Sketching with water soluble ink can provide a really unique, colorful sketch.  If you decide to sketch with water soluble ink and color with watercolors, then you want to always use the watercolors first so the ink won’t run.  With this form of sketching, you can skip the under drawing sketch process and jump right into blocking areas with colors, start with light colors and gradually move toward your darkest color to give more saturation.

If you prefer to use waterproof ink or pencil, then the watercolors can be applied first or last.

Most watercolor sketchers prefer to put in the lighter colors with more water first as they can be covered later with darker colors.  For example, the sky is usually a good place to start. If you are using traditional brushes, you can achieve a large expanse sky with a consistent color in a single stroke.

Let the Waterbrush work for you…

If you prefer to use waterbrushes, I would recommend breaking up the sky with clouds.  The water to paint ratio in a waterbrush stroke is always changing, constantly going from dark and heavy to light and watery.  If you take advantage of the water to paint ratio, you can end up with some beautiful variation within each color area.  Just make sure you start the stroke where you want the color to be darkest, and complete the stroke where you want the color to be lightest.  You can also provide your piece with more depth if you mix some colors on the palette and other colors right on the sketch.   When you paint different colors next to each other on the sketch allowing them touch and bleed into each other and slightly overlap you will inevitably create more depth.

As always, never scrub the colors into the paper, apply with a light touch.  To maintain a fresh look to your colors, limit yourself to several layers. I

Sketching with water soluble ink isn’t terribly labor intensive.  As always, have fun with it!

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