love experimenting with wet inks or watercolours on wet backgrounds. There is something quite therapeutic about letting go and giving the control of a piece of artwork over to spontaneity and chance. I love the delicate lines created when ink is left to softly bleed and disperse across a page and the softened shapes this process creates.
Here is an easy tutorial walking you through how to draw a simple flower using wet ink on a wet background. You can see for yourself how fun, free and rewarding this drawing technique is.
MATERIALS YOU WILL NEED:
A bottle of ink (I have used green but you could use any colour you wish)
sponge brush or small sponge
A paint brush with a rounded end
White acrylic paint
A black fine liner pen
Small piece of card or folded paper
A pot of water
Step one: Wet the sponge and paint the water across your paper to make a wet surface to work on top of.
Step two: Dip your brush into your ink to begin painting the petals. Think a wavy oval with a pointed end. If you need guidance work with a photograph of a flower you like in front of you to remind you of the petal shape you are aiming for. You should notice the ink bleeding as you apply it to the wet surface.
Step three: Complete the flower by adding more petals in a semi-circle arrangement. Each petal should meet together at a point at the bottom of the flower head where the stem will be. Once you have drawn in your petals you can add several staman coming out of the centre of the flower like a Lilly to make the flower seem delicate or ornate.
As you apply the wet ink on the wet paper the ink will run, disperse and separate. This is the effect that you want. Some lines will stay thin while others will spread thick. Experiment with different brush strokes and using a dry verses a very wet brush for different effects.
Step four: Once your flower head is complete draw in a stem coming from the base where the petals meet. At this point you can also add leaves coming from the stem as you wish.
Step five: Once you have finished outlining your flower with the wet brush turn your brush around and dip the round handle end into your ink. You can now work your way back through your flower here and there adding darker and bolder lines. You will notice that because the hard end of your brush does not absorb much water the lines you draw like this do not run or spread as much allowing you to define certain areas of your drawing.
Step six: By now your paper should have dried off somewhat. Pick up your sponge again and dab a bit more water on the paper around the flower to re-wet the page.
Step seven: Next is, in my opinion, a super fun bit. Take your piece of thick card or alternatively fold a piece of paper into a thick wedge. Dip your paint brush into the ink and then flick your brush off of the edge of your card in the direction of your artwork. This should be quite messy and will spread little ink dots all over the page. The ink will bleed in places when it hits wet parts of the drawing creating a varied speckle effect. This process should be spontaneous so try not to think about it too much as you leave the marks on the page. Just go with the flow.
Here is how your drawing should look so far. Please do not expect your work to look exactly like this one. The reason why ink drawing wet on wet is so fun is that it is loose and sporadic. Each drawing you create using this process will look very different even if you attempt to make it exactly the same.
Step eight: Squirt a small amount of white acrylic paint onto your palette or onto a scrap piece of paper. Using the handle end of your brush, dip your brush into the paint and drag the white across different areas of your drawing picking out highlights and defining shape. Apply the paint thickly here creating interesting texture and adding more depth to your work.
Step nine: Finally, using a thin black fine liner pen pick out areas of shadow. No need to go overboard here, I quite liked this drawing before I added the black detail and feel this step is fairly optional.
Your wet on wet ink drawing is now finished and ready for you to frame, hang or do with as you wish. I hope you enjoyed following this ink flower tutorial. I would love to see your finished drawings.
Are you interesting in more floral craft project tutorials? If so please check out this lovely list of 12 fabulous floral craft ideas for you to try.
Short of time right now? Why not pin this tutorial for a later date?