Light and dark

Flashlight (Ink and digital)
Flashlight (Ink and digital)

India ink is a very satisfying medium to work with. You paint it on like watercolor, and it flows and bleeds and blends in beautiful ways. But unlike watercolor, once it hits the paper, it’s there for good.  This illustration (11 x 8.5 inches) took me about 15 hours to paint, in order to build up the darks gradually. There are a few tiny details I added in Photoshop: linen texture overlay on tent and white spatters on foreground grass. The other textures were achieved from the paper and brush work.


Bombay, made by Dr. Ph. Martin’s, is my go-to ink. I love its even consistency and predictability. To get really black ink I concentrate new bottles by leaving them out with the cap off for a day or two. The paper is Arches 300-lb hot press. It provides a lovely texture for ink wash and is also smooth enough for line work done with a quill pen.