Reposted from April 2010! An oldie but a goody!
Watercolor over Ink
3.5 x 5.5 Moleskine WC Sketchbook
Here's something you probably don't know about me—I'm not a huge fan of black ink. It has its place, just not in my sketches. I'm not sure why I feel that way. Maybe because it's...well, because it's so dark? It seems stark to me. Now, in some sketches, other people's sketches, it looks great. In mine it looks....harsh. So why am I telling you this? Because I've started searching for an alternative (permanent) ink color to use in place of black.
The teapot featured above is one of those little look-a-like Limoges boxes and is drawn with ZIG® Clean Color Real Brush Marker/Pen in Oatmeal. It's permanent ink, water resistant and can be blended. (BTW, did you know blendable is not a word? I didn't. The word is out there on the internet, but it's not in the dictionary. There, that's two things you've learned today.) I like the oatmeal color, but I'm not sure it's what I'm looking for.
I went with my Father-In-Law this morning to the eye doctor, well actually, to the surgeon as he had just cataract surgery. I was the designated driver and I had about 2.5 hours to kill. On the way out of the door this morning, I was looking for something to sketch and my eyes landed on this little teapot. It was left over from the yard sale this past weekend. I also took my computer as I had some work to do. When we arrived I pulled out the laptop and did my work. When that was finished I pulled out my little teapot.
I may have imagined it, but it seemed the volume went down for a second or three when I set the little teapot on the table so I could see it to sketch. Mind you, I was easily the youngest in the room by 25 years. Maybe 30. And I hadn't just had eye surgery!
I had the feeling that most of them were thinking "What is that young un' up to now?" (Remember, I'm in the South down here.) Finally, one brave soul leaned over and whispered loud enough for the other 21 folks in the room to hear, "Whutrudoin'? [Translation: what are you doing?]"
She had to have been eighty, if she was a day!
"Sketching," I replied with a smile. "Kinasee? [Translation: Can I see?]" she asked. I leaned over and showed her just the bare bones contour drawing (no paint yet). She looked at it a minute then stared at me a minute longer before saying, "Yous not too good, are you?"
To which I burst out laughing and said, "No, ma'am, I gotta long ole' waystago."
We can either enjoy the experience of other people looking over our shoulders or we can be intimidated, irritated or outraged. Me, personally? I think it adds to the experience. I can still remember her...she was very thin and her movements were bird-like, but she was curious enough to ask me what I was doing. There's a lot to be said for still being curious at eighty!