I've drawn dozens of pen-and-ink line portraits this year and have slowly begun to push them further along with watercolor. I've shared just a couple here already (Shara, Tasha, Jube) and have some more today.
I find it a a real eye-opener to take the black and white line drawing into a different place. The addition of color is not always successful and it often exaggerates what may have been slightly "off" in the original drawing. Then again, it can also give a rather simple sketch some real punch. Never knowing where I'm going to end up is both exciting and terrifying -- I'm constantly in fear that I'm going to "wreck" something that was perfectly acceptable in its original state.
But risk taking has its own rewards.
I drew two different line drawings of the same subject, the first was done with a rapidograph ink pen which has a very controlled flow to the ink:
So I laid down a preliminary wash on this one -- it was looking ok:
And then I kept on glazing and laying down colors. And I'm afraid I may have totally overworked it. I don't know if I can salvage it. I may have to do the old run-it-under-the-faucet routine and see what happens. It's just too overworked at this point BUT there are portions of it that I like:
So I put it aside for a while, just to have a fresh start with something else. And I took up the second drawing I'd made of the same subject.The second was done with a bamboo pen dipped in ink and the result is much greater variety in the line, it narrows and thickens and even disappears in places:
I tried to take a much lighter hand to this one, having learned something from the first version. This one is much more pleasing, tho I still have a few areas to work on:
Much more fresh, no? So totally screwing up a painting was worth it, because it freed me up to try something different with the next.