Today’s prompt for Inktober 2019 is “bait” – bait?! Jail bait. Cut bait. Click bait. Take the bait. Switch and bait. Crow bait. All kinds of bait.
I went for the obvious: a fish lure and a mouse trap.
I also decided that I would use my homemade iron gall ink that I made earlier this year. Iron gall ink is present in manuscripts, old letters, and the sketchbooks of yore. It’s something I haven’t done yet, and thought it could be a fun (and very messy) project for the month of Inktober.
So, a fish lure. I didn’t decide on the iron gall ink until last minute, so the initial drawing was done with a fountain pen and the washes done with the iron gall, sometimes directly applied, other times diluted. I am using a throwaway brush because iron gall corrodes things, such as pen nibs, so it will most likely do a number on the brush.
A mouse trap with a really generous bit of cheese – and probably an unrealistic amount at that!
So, baited we are.
Beds of dried, caked and cracked mud are fascinating. Footprints in them are even better, or the mysterious sliding rocks found in Death Valley. I looked at a lot of pictures of mud flats, and one thing I noticed were curves and angles as well as the way light bounces off their slightly uneven surfaces.
Here I used ink and water, specifically Private Reserve’s Copper Burst. I have never considered using fountain pen ink as a painting medium, but it’s opened up my eye to its potential.
Every artist practices. Pianists do scales. Painters paint. I, on the other hand, have never been fond of practicing anything because I always want to do. However, I am finding myself rather stumped at the moment, and have decided I do need to practice. I need to practice brush strokes and colors. I realized this after I lay down this wash for the mesa and lower portions of the painting, which for now are at a standstill.
Looking at everything, I am thinking about two things. What colors should I use? What brush should I use?
Colors don’t require a brush choice, so I have dabbled with reds for the mesa, as you can see below. There are combinations of Burnt Sienna, Quin Gold, Yellow Ochre, Raw Umber, Organic Vermilion, and Pyrrol Orange. Doing these early in the morning, I didn’t label them. That’s okay, because I know the colors I used, and I will check them out during daylight.
Next, I need to decide on a brush. I am inclined to go with a flat, so I can draw straight across to show the sedimentary layers of rock. Those I will get to sometime tomorrow and then choose colors and – yes! – practice making some strokes and mixing the colors strong enough to make some good contrasts, too.