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Old 03-26-2007, 01:21 AM   #1
Elizabeth Schott Elizabeth Schott is offline
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Toddler in ink.




I have been very busy and haven't had time to post but once in a while.

I wanted to post this, not so much for the critique, but the challenges in the medium, which is pen and ink.

At first I thought these could sell for 1/2 the cost of my pastels but am finding that these are so much harder to complete, because now I say "If it's not done right, it's done over".

It is very hard to achieve the smoothness of a smaller child's face with this medium, but I explain this to all my clients and show examples so they will understand the process. The younger the subject, the less line (pen) work I do, so they almost become "ink paintings".

I have actually done this little girl 3 times and wasn't happy, of course the last time I split water all over her on my drawing board .

I was also once told that inks would never sell, but I am finding this too not be the case at all and really love to do them. But moving into portraiture now, it has been a bit of a struggle.

On this one, the client wanted the attention drawn immediately to the face - there is also a brother to be done. To achieve this I have kept her dress very simple and pretty much just getting lost to the back ground. My concern is now I like it this way, but should I fill in the arm area or let it too remain white?

Note the bow and other minor things are not completed. This is 10 x 8 (the largest I will do these) with sumi'e ink on Strathmore 500 series paper.
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Old 03-26-2007, 08:30 AM   #2
Mischa Milosevic Mischa Milosevic is offline
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Beth, this is a lovely portrait. As you are quite aware working in this medium can be quite interesting. I would suggest when working portraits to treat the medium as a water color and sneak up on the values.

I really enjoy your work.
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Old 03-26-2007, 08:45 AM   #3
Tammy Moore Tammy Moore is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elizabeth Schott
I
On this one, the client wanted the attention drawn immediately to the face - there is also a brother to be done. To achieve this I have kept her dress very simple and pretty much just getting lost to the back ground. My concern is now I like it this way, but should I fill in the arm area or let it too remain white?

Note the bow and other minor things are not completed. This is 10 x 8 (the largest I will do these) with sumi'e ink on Strathmore 500 series paper.
I found that my eye traveled to her face immediately when I blocked my view of her arm and covered the dark shadow on the bow with my mouse cursor. When I unblocked the arm, my eye was pulled there, so I would say you will probably need some tone on the arm. You said the bow was not finished, so I am sure the pull of the dark area on the bow will get resolved as it is modeled as you indend.
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Old 03-26-2007, 11:26 AM   #4
David Clemons David Clemons is offline
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Hey there, Beth! Nice one. You should not have problem selling as long as the quality is there. Your customers will know what to expect.

Sumi is basically particles of soot, so it tends to be more noticeably grainy in the lighter areas of washes. Most inks are that way actually, but different brands are finer than others. There is "student" grade sumi just as with paint. When working in washes, I tend to just go with a different medium if I want smooth, like watercolor. Did you use liquid sumi or an ink stick?
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Old 03-26-2007, 12:36 PM   #5
Elizabeth Schott Elizabeth Schott is offline
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Thanks guys,

Tammy, you are right to point out the old squinting! I might do some sketches and see how it would look with a bit of work on the upper arm.

Mischa you are right they should be built by layer, this actually is done that way. I have found that is a quality of of Sumi-e to almost dye the paper so their is no movement. I wanted to reinforce what you said especially since I have never worked in water color, anyone that does just amazes me! I always end up with a blob of mud, well a river off mud!

Dave - who is the Ink King in my mind - this is stick sumi-e with a stone, I also bought (you had mentioned) a nice bottle of the liquid like the Japanese Vermilion I use with my stamp. One of the reasons I'm doing the little boy over, I went into the really dark-darks with the liquid and it looked like a "black hole" where ever I put it, so I'm taking it out all together.

But see, I learn something from you every time - I had no idea one of the properties was the grainy look, I thought it was dust! HA!

I think the client liked the look of this ink so she is expecting these issues.

I just wish I could fine more Bistre without shellac! The one below is done with this ink and shows more line work, but you'll see the more diluted quality of the non shellac version.
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Old 03-26-2007, 03:09 PM   #6
David Clemons David Clemons is offline
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Thanks for the kind words, Beth. There's a certain type (Okone?) that's a fairly high grade, as I recall. Plant soot, or pine, sometimes bamboo... The Chinese variety may also be subtly different than the Japnaese. I've forgotten some of the particulars about sumi brands, so I may be a bit foggy on details. Of course, paper matters too, but Strathmore 500 plate is pretty smooth.

Oh, and the above drawing of the old woman is superb!
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Old 03-28-2007, 10:45 AM   #7
Michele Rushworth Michele Rushworth is offline
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These are so nice!
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Old 03-28-2007, 01:25 PM   #8
Elizabeth Schott Elizabeth Schott is offline
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Thanks Michele! You are always so nice and helpful - as busy as you are - amazing!
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Old 04-01-2007, 06:12 PM   #9
Linda Brandon Linda Brandon is offline
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Beautiful work on these, Beth - and I congratulate you for doing so well with such a difficult medium!
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Old 04-02-2007, 05:27 PM   #10
Elizabeth Schott Elizabeth Schott is offline
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Thanks Linda!

Tammy I did some work on the little girls arm, hopefully you'll be able to tell.

You'll see the gray in the backgrounds and hopefully that will give you an idea of the rest knowing it's not really there, since the paper is whitish (Strathmore 500 series). The are at the same values but it doesn't look like it in these images.

I am showing the brother here too, they are both such cute kids, it's been fun working on them, although they are NOT done.

Thanks again.
Beth
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