I mentioned a few weeks ago that learning to render with ink and gouache was on my “to do” list. In spite of dragging in the energy department today, I decided to face this new challenge head on. I scrounged around for waterproof fountain pen ink, nibs of various sizes (fortunately my husband, who has the world’s most beautiful handwriting, has an interest in calligraphy and pens), and set to work trying to learn this new skill. I consulted several of my design books and the Complete Guide to Drawing and Painting for reference, and found the step-by-step instructions in The Art of Jewelry Design especially helpful. The result was surprisingly gratifying:
In fact, it was so gratifying that I rewarded myself with a trip to the art store to buy my own set of calligraphy/drawing nibs, and the suggested waterproof sepia ink. In the rendering above, I only had black ink, which makes the contrast between the high and low values a little too extreme. Even so, it is remarkable that such gradations of color can be achieved with only black ink and white gouache.
Because I think it might be of value for those of you interested in rendering techniques (and of interest, too, for the general art lover) I’ll re-render this brooch over the next four days using all of the media commonly used for hand-drawn jewelry rendering. I’ll use ink and gouache together with permanent yellow ink to render this brooch in gold, watercolor and gouache on art paper, charcoal and gouache on art paper, and finally, colored pencil and gouache on vellum.