Don’t Sweat Ink Blots

July 22, 2019
Page spread from a Hahnemühle Travel Book. Sakura Pigment Professional Brush Pen FB and ink wash.


Look if you’re making an illustration for a client or inking a piece to hang on the wall, an ink blot can be unfortunate.

But if you’re working quickly in your journal and you get a blot—laugh, smile, take a big breath, wonder at the unique shape that the ink made as it fell and splashed onto the paper.

In other words, just enjoy the day and the fact that you have the time to sketch and that ink is a marvelous thing.

Life is too short.

If you take my advice you’ll feel a little lighter, your step will have a little more bounce, and you’ll be eager to get back to your book. 

Things happen. You look away when you should look at your hand or your page, you get bumped. A bird flies by and distracts you. Things happen.

I look at this page and smile. The blot makes me happy. I wish we could all do a Vulcan Mind Meld so you could all feel it too. And know that things are going to be OK. Don’t fret. 

Turn the page and start a new sketch with a smile on your face.

Next time you’re working with ink wash you’ll remind yourself to avoid the situation where you made a blot in the first place. Perhaps you’ll be more careful how you load your brush, or mix your inks. Maybe you’ll remind yourself to work a little more slowly so you can have the blemish-free piece your client is waiting for.

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