Now Use Even Fewer Strokes…

June 28, 2021
Pentel Brush pen, ink wash, Hahnemühle Travel Journal.

Did you spend your weekend working with your brush pen like I suggested on Friday?

If so you’re ready to use even fewer strokes.

Draw your subject with as as few strokes as possible. Think before you draw a contour line or make texture marks.

Do you really need ink marks for that contour? For that texture?

Practice holding details in your mind.

Immediately add value washes monochromatically using an ink wash or watercolor washes. (Instead of using black watercolor I like to use complementary colors from my palette mixed to a useful neutral.)

Brush pen and value washes (complementary colors mixed to neutral). Handbook Watercolor Journal.

My favorite complementary pair is PB60 (Indanthrone Blue) and Burnt Sienna; but take your warm red and Perylene Green to some wonderful neutrals too.

Put in the form shadows and cast shadows for the subject of your brush pen sketch.

Go ahead and splurge on values since you were so careful with your lines.

Do this several times today when you sketch. Hold back on the lines, and really use your monochromatic washes to nail the values.

Tomorrow take a look at all the monochromatic washes you laid down today.

What to those washes tell you about more unnecessary ink lines? (I could have left the “eyebags” lines out of my first sketch in today’s post, as well as the underlip ink lines, maybe some of those neck lines, that forehead wrinkle?)

Next time you pick up the brush pen remember there are lines and shadows you want to simply hold in your mind until the wash round.

Do more sketches. Decide which way you like things to go.

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