Mini Art Tutorial: Ink with Golden Lines

HOW IT’S MADE: AS SEEN ON @MESSYEVERAFTER’S INSTAGRAM

As you know, I’m obsessed with line work and I am always trying to find the perfect tools for crisp lines. For this piece, I tested out a new gold ink that I have fallen in love with. It’s incredibly versatile and can be applied with a brush or a pen. You can buy single colors, or sets. I’d recommend a set as it’s a much better value.

MATERIALS AND SUPPLIES I USE:

*Links contained in this post are affiliate links and I will earn a commission if you make a purchase within 24 hours of clicking. These are products I use regularly and absolutely love.

General Directions:

THE BACKGROUND:

  1. Cut your watercolor paper to your desired size. For this piece, I cut down to 3″x3″. You can tape your paper down with masking tape to prevent warping, but I find this small size doesn’t warp much at all.
  2. Use a protractor or any cylindrical object and draw a light circle in the middle of your paper with a pencil.
  3. Deposit a small amount of each ink color onto your palette. Using your smaller brush, mix the deeper plum/purple shade first. Use a bit of violet and lake blue, and magenta. Mix together on your palette. You’ll want a bit more magenta to push the hue to the plum side.
  4. Using your bigger watercolor brush, lightly wet the entire circle with clean water.
  5. Work the ink into the bottom of your circle with your small brush. Then mix a new hue that is heavier on the violet and work into the bottom layer up into the middle of the circle.
  6. Clean your brush.
  7. Work lake blue into the upper section of the circle. Blend all of the layers together. Clean your brush when working from dark to light.
  8. Dab areas of the circle with a paper towel if you want to lift the ink for lighter areas.
  9. Let dry.

THE LINE WORK AND STARS:

  1. Use any of the pen tips in the Speedball set. I like the softer/pliable tips.
  2. Using a pipette or watercolor brush, put a little clean water onto the Arabic Gold pan. Use a harder bristled synthetic brush and rub the water into the surface until it starts to soften and liquify. You want to stir in water until the gold is like a thin paint or thick ink.
  3. Use the brush to deposit some of the ink onto your Speedball pen tip. Then, test out your ink and pen on a scratch piece of paper to get used to the feel. If the ink doesn’t transfer to the paper, try thinning it with more water, or deposit more onto the pen.
  4. Once you feel somewhat confident in your control of the pen, grab your completely dry paper. Starting from the base of the ink work, create geometric lines. You can use a ruler if you’re more comfortable with that, but you’ll have to wait for each line to dry completely before moving the ruler. I find it’s easier to free hand, but it can take some practice to get to that point.
  5. Once finished with the lines, add stars with your pen or a fine tipped brush.
  6. If your pencil outline is visible, use your eraser and clean up the edges once the gold ink is dry.
  7. And voila! It’s finished!

***

If you enjoyed this little tutorial and want to learn more, let me know through Instagram or Email, or consider becoming a Patron of mine (See details below!) Now go get messy and share your creation on Instagram using #messyeverafter!

-Kelly

SUPPORT MESSY EVER AFTER ON PATREON:

A lot of artists don’t like to share their secrets, but I’m an open book. If you enjoy the content I create and the advice I give to other creators, please consider becoming Patron of mine on Patreon. Pledging as little as $1 a month supports this content and my career as an artist.

Further Reading:

Mini Art Tutorial: Ink Oceanscape

HOW IT’S MADE: AS SEEN ON @MESSYEVERAFTER’S INSTAGRAM

I don’t exactly do art tutorials, but I am trying a loose approach to it and sharing a few tips plus the supplies I use. So check out how I made this inky ocean piece below!

MATERIALS AND SUPPLIES I USE:

*Links contained in this post are affiliate links and I will earn a commission if you make a purchase within 24 hours of clicking. These are products I use regularly and absolutely love.

General Directions:

Your end result may not look exactly like mine, but this will give you an idea of my process.

The Background:

  1. Cut your watercolor paper to your desired size. For this piece, I cut down to 8″x10″. You can tape your paper down with masking tape to prevent warping, but if you use the Canson Heritage Hot Press, it doesn’t warp or buckle as easily as other papers. (You can also pre-stretch your paper if you have the time. I am too lazy for that.)
  2. I used a wet-on-wet method. Using your watercolor brush, lightly wet the entire area of the paper you want your ink to go.
  3. Starting with the yellow, dip your brush in and the touch the top of your wetted area. Work your way across the paper. Add more ink as you go depending on how vibrant you want the ink to be. Clean your brush and pull your ink from the center to the edges if you want more of a gradient.
  4. Then dip into the orange ink and touch the center of the wetted area. Blend the orange up into the yellow.
  5. Dip into the red, and then touch the bottom of the wetted area and slowly work the rest of the area, blending into the orange.
  6. Go over any areas you wish to be darker. Clean your brush in between colors.
  7. If you want a more feathered and light look around the edges, clean your brush and load with clean water, then touch the dry areas of the paper around the edges of the ink. The ink will then bleed into the clear water and create a more subtle edge.
  8. Let dry.

The Line Work and Stars:

  1. Use any of the pen tips in the Speedball set. First, test out your ink and pen on a scratch piece of paper to get used to the feel. You don’t want to get too much ink on the pen otherwise you’ll create blobby messes. So practice with this for a bit. I usually don’t dip the pen in the bottle, but use the dropper top and manually apply ink to the pen tip.
  2. Once you feel somewhat confident in your control of the pen, grab your completely dry paper. Starting from the base of the ink work, create long flowing lines. Work your way up.
  3. Allow each area to dry before trying to go over it a second time.
  4. Once finished with the lines, add stars with your pen.
  5. If some areas don’t look as solid white as others, using a small brush and dip it in the white ink and touch up the less opaque sections.

***

And that’s all! If you enjoyed this little tutorial and want to learn more, let me know through Instagram or Email, or consider becoming a Patron of mine (See details below!) Now go get messy and share your creation on Instagram using #messyeverafter!

-Kelly

SUPPORT MESSY EVER AFTER ON PATREON:

A lot of artists don’t like to share their secrets, but I’m an open book. If you enjoy the content I create and the advice I give to other creators, please consider becoming Patron of mine on Patreon. Pledging as little as $1 a month supports this content and my career as an artist.

Further Reading:

Mini Art Tutorial: Rainbow Canvas

How It’s Made: As seen on @messyeverafter’s Instagram

I don’t exactly do art tutorials, but I am trying a loose approach to it and sharing a few tips plus the supplies I use. So check out how I made this rainbow swirly piece below!

Materials and Supplies I Use:

*Links contained in this post are affiliate links and I will earn a commission if you make a purchase within 24 hours of clicking. These are products I use regularly and absolutely love.

General Directions:

This is by no means a complete tutorial, and your end result may not look exactly like mine, but this will give you an idea of my process.

Blending the Background:
  1. Start with white acrylic paint and a little bit of Teal or Lake Blue with a 1″ brush. I do not add water to my paint initially. Work in small sections with light pressure on the brush. If you see too many brush strokes, you’re pressing too hard or you need more paint. Cover the whole canvas. Let your brush strokes be a little messy. No need to blend the white and blue completely.
  2. Let the light base blue layer dry. Switching to the 1/2″ brush gradually add small amounts of darker blues, and then violet. Add a little white to create natural transitions between your color layers. I just dab a small amount of my next color on my brush If your paint gets too dry while working, give your canvas a spritz with water. If your layers get too dark, add a little fluid white mixture to your area to lighten it up.
  3. After your blues and violets, add a little green in the middle and continue blending. Continue to spritz the canvas with one or two sprays of water as you work. Then add a drop of yellow fluid acrylic on your brush and work it into the green. The Golden fluid acrylics are highly pigmented and you only need a small drop while working.
  4. Bring the yellow downwards and blend into white. Then introduce a small drop of Quinacridone Magenta and blend together to create the light orange color. Add more magenta on the edges and near the violet. Work in more white between layers for that natural blend. Use small amounts of paint at at time.
  5. Allow to dry.

Blending takes patience and practice!

Catalyst Wedge Layers:

I love my catalyst wedge and I use it to create transparent layers of color that look wispy and add more depth to my work. After your initial blending is dry, put a little strip of white fluid acrylic on the side of the wedge and glide it across the outer edges of the canvas. If the layer is too opaque for your tastes, give the area a spritz with water and run the wedge over it again to lighten it up. See the example below:

Create “Stars” or Splatters:

Once your base layer and white wisps are dry add your splatters.

Using the fluid white mixture and a dry brush (I use a really coarse bristled brush), dip and flick white paint on the edges so it creates a splatter effect. You can also dip your fingers in the paint and flick, or hand draw each dot with the Fineline Precision Applicator.

Let dry.

Using the Applicator for Line Work:

To fill your Fineline Precision Applicators, take the the Brea Reese Titanium White paint and squeeze a little into the bottle. I usually fill it about 1/3 full. Then, add a little bit of water to the bottle. Start with a a few spray bottle spritzes. Then put your thumb over the opening and shake the bottle vigorously. Then put the cap on and try squeezing some paint out. If the bottle is too hard to squeeze, add a little more water and repeat. If paint falls out of the applicator tip without squeezing, your mixture is too thin and needs more paint.

Then, start doodling. Try practicing your lines on a piece of paper with pen or pencil and then trace the lines with your applicator until you get used to the tool. It takes practice and your lines may be shaky at first.

Make sure to cap the bottle immediately after your done using it to reduce clogs! (See more on my applicators here)

Varnish your new masterpiece!

Once you are all finished, let your work dry and then add two layers of Liquitex High Gloss varnish to your work.

***

And that’s all! If you enjoyed this little tutorial and want to learn more, let me know through Instagram or Email, or consider becoming a Patron of mine (See details below!) Now go get messy and share your creation on Instagram using #messyeverafter!

-Kelly

Support Messy Ever After on Patreon:

A lot of artists don’t like to share their secrets, but I’m an open book. If you enjoy the content I create and the advice I give to other creators, please consider becoming Patron of mine on Patreon. Pledging as little as $1 a month supports this content and my career as an artist.

Further Reading: