This post is a summary of my thoughts on using acrylic ink and brushes to draw - my process and a few other tidbits and opinions.
My Process With a Brush
- At the outset I must say that my drawing process is much different with a brush than with a pencil. Pencil in hand, I usually sketch a polygon that encloses the subject, then continue refining shapes and lines from there, almost as a sculptor would work.
- I load my brush with the lightest value that I see (besides a white highlight). I then look at the shape of that value.
- Then I decide how I need to hold, twist, twirl, or press the brush to achieve that shape in one stroke. Somewhere I read that the first stroke you put down in watercolor is the best, if you go back to adjust it then it only gets worse - I can't find the quote now, but it has made an impression on me. So ink painting has become a bit like golf for me!
- Next, I twist, twirl, and/or press the brush to create the shape.
- Repeat steps two through four with the medium value shapes. Of course, as there is no outline drawing, it can all go a bit wonky - this where I hope that practice and diligence is improving my eye.
- Then I finish with the darkest darks.
- I'm not sure what made me try these initially, but I'm glad that I did.
- They come in a great range of colors.
- They have the usual lightfastness standards and issues.
- To me, they are less intimidating than watercolors. Once dry they can be painted over again without disturbing the lower layer. However, when wet they have the same nice "accidental" power that watercolors have.
- They are easily mixed with water and can be mixed together to create different colors.
- Up until now, I have used a brush I borrowed from my son's watercolor set and it has worked beautifully.
- Recnetly I purchased a couple of white sable brushes that were on clearance -- they can be used with oil, acrylic, or watercolor - so I figured they'd be alright with acrylic ink. I'll let you know.