About washed ink - help
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    About washed ink - help

    Hello guys.
    And in advace i thank for all the help.
    This is my question
    I would like to know "how to" and "master" the washed ink technique. How to make gray tones with ink. Any advices, tips, links... anything, or maybe other and better techniques to achieve similar results.
    I know i can make gray tones using pencils or charcoal. With pencils, with differents kinds of lead hardness or softness. Also very "easily" with digital techniques. Also i am ware of Copics, tough never really use them.
    But i am intrigued by using washed ink.

    Thank you!!

    J.C. Andy

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    kev ferrara is offline Registered User Level 17 Gladiator: Spartacus' Dimachaeri
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    Use paper that can take the wash. Otherwise the paper will buckle.

    At least Icarus tried!


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    Quote Originally Posted by kev ferrara View Post
    Use paper that can take the wash. Otherwise the paper will buckle.
    I've heard about "stretching" paper. Is it as simple as taping the paper (ie cold press watercolor paper?) down so that the edges dont curl inward as the fibers in the paper contract?

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    TASmith is offline Registered User Level 16 Gladiator: Spartacus' Retiarii
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    Get an ink bottle, a brush, and a bowl of water. Dip brush in ink, dip in water, and wash. Still to dark? Dip brush in water, and repeat. Now experiment and learn.

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    Pre-mix two or three lighter shades of ink by diluting it from the full-strength bottle. Start with the lightest value and work up from there.

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    Pre-mix two or three lighter shades of ink by diluting it from the full-strength bottle. Start with the lightest value and work up from there.
    ^^This!

    Get a palette with a number of wells, or series of small cups. Set up a range of dilutions... these are approximations, but something like... almost-black, 75% black, 50-50 gray, 25% gray, almost-water. Generally work light to dark, and give your work some drying time in between washes. As Kev said, good paper makes a huge difference.

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    I've heard about "stretching" paper. Is it as simple as taping the paper (ie cold press watercolor paper?) down so that the edges dont curl inward as the fibers in the paper contract?
    I've seen people just use tape. I prefer staples. Get a pretty sturdy board a little larger than your paper, then soak the paper in a tub/sink for 5-10 minutes. Take it out, put it on the board and put staples around the perimeter. Since the paper expands when it gets wet you can actually notice a measurable increase in the size of the paper (1/4" or so on larger pieces). As it dries it'll shrink and get really taut on the board. Depending on the sort of board, it might also bend the edges inward to give an almost drum-like effect. Once you've done this you can use all the wet-media you want without worry. Just wait for it to fully dry and then cut it (or pull out all the staples) from the board.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TASmith View Post
    Get an ink bottle, a brush, and a bowl of water. Dip brush in ink, dip in water, and wash. Still to dark? Dip brush in water, and repeat. Now experiment and learn.
    This is pretty much the way to go. Ink wash is just diluting the ink obviously enough. Get your tools together and "dive in" and start sketching. I wouldn't put to much pressure to create a master piece the first few times you play around. Of course if you do, all the power to you. Just draw some stuff and get a feel for it.
    What worked best for me was using "strathmore smooth bristol" 100lb It allowed me to start with very light washes, and build up the values, getting darker as I go. The paper seemed to be able to handle the about of water/ink I used. Saying That I enjoy seeing allot of the random brushstrokes so I like to have a bit of a dry brush look to it. I dip, and use paper towel to take off some of the water, then apply it.
    Have Fun.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Noah Bradley View Post
    I've seen people just use tape. I prefer staples. Get a pretty sturdy board a little larger than your paper, then soak the paper in a tub/sink for 5-10 minutes. Take it out, put it on the board and put staples around the perimeter. Since the paper expands when it gets wet you can actually notice a measurable increase in the size of the paper (1/4" or so on larger pieces). As it dries it'll shrink and get really taut on the board. Depending on the sort of board, it might also bend the edges inward to give an almost drum-like effect. Once you've done this you can use all the wet-media you want without worry. Just wait for it to fully dry and then cut it (or pull out all the staples) from the board.
    Awesome. What kind of board should I use? Are you talking an actual sturdy piece of wood/HDF?

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    I've seen people use plywood, but that stuff gets really heavy at large sizes. The kind one of my old teachers told us to get is Homasote board, which is a somewhat flexible board that's great for taking the staples and bending slightly to the paper's shrinking, while not being extremely heavy. But if you can't get that, plywood will work in a pinch. (not sure about HDF... it might not take the staples right)

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    I'd like to supplement the original question with a question of my own. It's about the paper, what types of paper are used for this work? I haven't
    experimented much with paper since I do most of my sketching, black and white work and some watercolor roughs on cheap photocopy paper. I have a
    pad of paper for watercolors but I haven't used it much. It would be nice to have more info on this part of the process too, and in the same thread.

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    It may be fussy/compulsive, but I've been using an eye dropper to measure out the amount of water I use in washes. [Standard glass tube, rubber squeezer thing you can buy in a drug store.]

    30 to 60 drops of water + 1 drop of Higgins Ink (from the Higgins' dropper) makes kind of a nice mid-tone.

    You can store your wash in a standard brownish-amber pill bottle (with the child-proof white screw top). That'll keep the water from evaporating if you want to save left over wash.

    Use good brushes and wash them IMMEDIATELY after use or during any long delays. Ink is really destructive to brushes if you let it dry.

    I work on Bristol, but I don't see where a good watercolor paper wouldn't work as well.

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    Hey guys, i just wanna thank all your answers. They have been very instructive and helpful. Now i just have to put into practice all your advices.
    Thank you all.
    And if you want to give more tips about ink techniques, please feel free to do so.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Line View Post
    I'd like to supplement the original question with a question of my own. It's about the paper, what types of paper are used for this work?...
    The thicker the paper the better. A good quality illustration board works well, or thick watercolor paper. They hold up well when wet; although, even the thickest ones can buckle slightly if you use lots of water. A smooth plate surface will be a benefit if you plan on drawing over the washes with a pen.

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