I have been dying to play with ink for quite some time now, so for my second round of faces I finally had a good play with it.
What you need to follow along:
- Eye droppers/pipettes of varying sizes – I used one medium eye dropper, and one much narrower one resembling a syringe, but feel free to experiment.
- Watercolour paper – of course you are free to experiment with what works best for you, but I find that watercolour paper absorbs the ink well, and also is fantastic if you wish to use watercolour paints afterward
- A selection of other coloured media – I used oil pastels and watercolour paints for these examples.
- Ink – a good quality Indian Ink would be lovely, but as I am in Thailand (and on a budget) I compromised and picked up some Japanese calligraphy ink from a nearby dollar store, it works just fine.
Blonde lady (face #6)
This striking woman began as quite a pale and angelic person, but as time went by I added more bold and darkness to her eyes, and added red to her lips.
I began, as with many of my faces, by using a face out of my imagination, and creating her form using a very small pipette/dropper with the appearance of a syringe. I let the ink create blots and dots where it felt, and just threw a few lines around for the hair. I chose not to put in any facial features yet.
I blotted the ink with tissue paper, then allowed to dry. I spent a while, as I do with all of my forming faces, to stare as long as I could and allow her face to make itself clear to me.
Once dry, I used oil pastels to colour her skin and hair, and a sharpie to fill in her dark facial features. To me she appears as something out of pulp fiction!
Frida (face #7)
For this face (which, for reasons I am unsure of, remind me of a cross between a ghoul and Frida Kahlo) I used the larger ink dropper.
I created most of this image with the ink, unlike the last one I filled in her features with ink as well. I enjoyed the way the ink splattered over the background and in tiny dots over the face too, giving an ‘imperfect’ look.
One the ink was blotted and dried, I filled in the background with watered down red watercolour paint, and then built up the colour in certain points around the edges.
I was going to paint more detail into her face, but found it more striking to leave it white and unpainted.
I really enjoyed using ink, and playing with a new medium. I intend to experiment much more with it in the future. I would love to see some examples of artists who do extraordinary or unusual things with ink – so please do comment if you know of anybody.