Inked Up #worldwatercolormonth

#worldwatercolormonth, impressionist blue tree landscape,

Cobalt Blue:  An Impressionist Watercolor-Ink Landscape.

This very small 3×5 inch painting was an unexpected surprise.  I was working Wet in Wet with watercolors and inks, with a series of small sizes taped up ready to go. Some were going to be using cobalt, some zoisite and some in a lovely light red.


#worldwatercolormonth, impressionist blue tree landscape,
Inked with Watercolors



Watercolors With Inks


I love the fresh impulsive spontaneity.

The vibrance and depth can be quite wonderful when both ink and watercolors are combined.




With Inks…. once the inks are on my paper, thats it.


I can’t go back to lift them out like I can, and do, with watercolors.



I see three brushstrokes in my image that I’d dearly love to wash out.

But, no.

I just have to accept them, as they are. 






I’ve done this same process before and have had a lot of fun with it.


The process is using the ink and watercolor on wet paper.

Its a  hit and miss affair.



That’s why it appeals to me.



Step One

First was a wet in wet watercolor technique, making sure I had tons of white left on my paper.

I wanted a clear ratio of tonal values in this: light, mid, darks.

I chose to use cobalt blue pb28  Daniel Smith range.


Step Two 

I used India Ink by  dipping my old, discardable Rekab #2 brush into the black ink.

Then drew upon the dampened paper creating darker forms that would suggest “tree trunks.”

By having my background in place already, I was well prepared – Tonally, to get my deeper darks in now.

In the front, foreground where they needed to go.



Tonal Values

The light red and zoisite exercises didn’t have enough contrast; so I didn’t bother photographing them.

The tiny little cobalt image did.


Its small size – is no deterrent in my mind.  Big, medium, small. That part doesn’t matter.

It could be 3 foot by 5 foot, and if it was a disaster… being big, wouldn’t make it any better.

It needs to have a good solid tonal value range to make it work, regardless of its dimensions!


This cobalt wc and ink image contains a good solid 7-9 tonal values.

Enough. To give it sufficient contrast.






Other Images

Below, I’ve combined Ink with watercolor in other images you’ve seen before.


But,  in these paintings I have used the pen to apply the ink, not the brush.


This,   is the usual way   that many people think of with “Watercolor and Inks”

rather than how I used the ink in the Top featured image.




spring roses watercolor card, painting,
Spring Roses Bouquet on a card



watercolor Strelitzia with ink,
Watercolor and Ink Strelitzia



Mary Ellen Fern (c)
Cobalt Teal Blue watercolor with ink line drawing



watercolors with ink, mountain landscape,, #worldwatercolormonth,
Cobalt Teal shores, Mountain in watercolor and inks












Published by debiriley

The act of creation, in any media is a fascinating and magical process. I simply love to create. Expressing in color, line, tone, texture - as if, they were words upon a page. Creating a uniquely me, interpretation. Enjoy More of my "one-of-a-kind" expressive art at and,

3 thoughts on “Inked Up #worldwatercolormonth

  1. Picture #1 – a kelp forest in tropical (blue) waters. In northern waters the colours would have to be green for the water and brown for the kelp.


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