Posted by on Feb 8, 2012 in drawing, sketchbook, watercolor | 6 comments


A few weeks ago I showed you some of the ways I use black in my art journal. While I adore black in my art journal, heavy black can be a bit intimidating. It’s so solid, so dark, so… obvious. So I made a tutorial for a quick painting in your art journal that utilizes black in a beautiful — and yes, obvious — but also a free form and low pressure way.


First, give your page a nice wet wash. I’m using a little cadmium yellow in there.


While the page is wet, drop red in a sort of uneven row across the middle of the page. Let it run and spread a bit. I think I used both crimson and a little cadmium red light here.


Repeat with yellow and green along the top and bottom. Breathe easy here! No perfectionism, just play!


Once the page is nice and dry, draw some blossomy petal-like shapes along the middle. Relax about this! Make it very loose! We’re not after perfect flowers, just some bumpy swoops and crooked little bubbles!


Finally, take some time and fill in the black lines. Give them some solidity, some weight. Make thick and thin places, add some dots or even curlicues… but don’t get uptight about which goes where, just take your time and keep it fun.


My favorite black pens are PITT pens, and I especially like the Fine and Superfine sizes — but for drawing over watercolor, the brush pens work just a tad better. I have also used and adored Micron pens but the tips don’t hold up quite as well.

Once you have drawn in your heavy black lines, finish with whatever your heart says next. Add journaling, a meaningful quote, or just a border. Only you know when it’s done.

Finally, stand back and love it. Feel happy. Enjoy. (Then do it all again.)

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