Four more experiments sketching on pre-stained paper, this time using a homemade sepia ink for the stain, leaving a white border. From the top there’s a quiet moment in The Waterstones cafe, two busy scenes near Kingsmead Square, and finally the Roman Baths steaming on a cold autumn afternoon, all drawn with the fabulously juicy and variable Confucius Fude pen. It’s fun using various ‘whiteners’ to adjust the tone, alongside the usual dilute grey ink brush. Each whitener has its own qualities:
- White gouache/titanium white watercolour is good for large areas and subtle changes, but always dries darker than it looks when painted (and looks a bit odd for skin-tones, see the zombies sat in the cafe in the second sketch).
- A white pencil adds a textured effect, but once it’s on the paper it can’t be shifted or painted/inked on… I used it for the fur collar in the middle sketch, highlights on the right side in the third sketch, and for the flames and mist in the last one. This is the best one I’ve found, the Staedtler Lumocolor Glascrom, rich in pigment.
- And for maximum opacity a correction pen is super-bright. I’ve used it to bring the white border of the paper into the pre-stained areas and for ultra-highlights, but it can unbalance the overall tonal balance as it’s so light. The best I’ve found is this one, the Uniball CLP-305, as it has a roller ball so is much smoother to use, but it’s harder to find (I’ve stopped using the popular white Gelly Rolls as they’re just not opaque enough).