Think before you ink




What is your inking strategy? You might not even have given this any thought and that is totally fine. Maybe you dont even need to. But if you are brand new at mixing watercolor and ink I strongly reccommend giving your strategy a few minutes of thoughts. I'll break it down in a 3 easy steps so it's super easy to work out. You can also check out my class on Flowers in watercolor and ink where I go in depth with this topic.


1. Watercolor or Fineliner


You can start out with a watercolor wash or with ink first. It will give you different result and you have to consider the difference


Watercolor first

When you start out with watercolor first you will get a looser look. It can be difficult to control the water and paint but it can give you some amazing results. Then when you doodle the fineliner on top you will get a lot more definition of the look.


Ink First

You can totally grab your fineliner first as well. Then you can get a very controlled look that is very true to the reference photo. Be careful to not overwork your watercolor afterwards (the struggle is real) and also make sure that your fineliner is completely dry before adding watercolor. Otherwise it will bleed or just stop working in general.



2. Fineliner


Pen size

If you only have one size of pens then it makes total sense to use that. But if you have more (and Im guessing you have plenty) then consider what size to use. Of course it depends on the size of drawing you want to do. But a rule of thumb is that you either use the same size for outline and details, or use a thick for outline and thin for details.


How do you create your lines

How you create your lines makes a big difference. This is where you breath life into your drawing. If you create lines that are completely perfect you will get a super flat experience (in my oppinion) but if you get a little sketchy and breaks up the line a bit you will get a lot more life.


Shading

When you shade your drawing there is some great techniques to use. They are called hatching, cross hatching, stippling and just thickening the lines where you need them to be thicker (pretty simple).



3. Composition


Before going in you want to think about your composition. What do you want to draw, do you have references for your drawing?


Use a pencil first

When you find your motive then make sure to draw it in pencil first (unless you choose to watercolor first of course). Then you can erase it if it doesnt work for you and that can help you build your composition safely before going in with fineliner.


If you want to learn more about this amazing line and wash technique then check out my class on Flowers in watercolor and ink. I go in detail with all these steps and show you a complete proces of painting both watercolor and ink first.