Tag: #inktober

Ink in October

Ink in October

Old work, remodeled.

Some of you, might be smiling about now.

At any rate, I always enjoy the challenge of transforming previous, older art images into something different and new.

Something with a refreshing look to it, that catches the eye.

It IS Possible.


cobalt teal blue water, watercolor landscape with ink, debiriley.com
Cobalt Teal Blue and Ink



Watercolor and Ink

Ink in October   started this week’s series.

Now I want to do something with an older piece.



Changing it up.

By cropping a significant portion off the top, which previously was very distracting, the eye now drops down into the image.


The right side was altered as well.

At first with paint. Then,  when that was ineffective, another significant crop went into place.

The left side has a very slight amount of cropping.



I used the ink with a pen this time.


The snow patches on the mountains, I chose to change.

Going  from soft and gentle snow areas to Sharp, abrupt and very Abstracted patterns.



Directional Line Movement

Also,  you might take notice that the 3 directional lines are in place in this image.

Lots of diagonals, which create movement, action, energy.

A few horizontal lines to create solidity, stability, calm.

Some verticals are in there too.

But these are much more subtle in their placement. They are there though. Verticals act to provide some sense of energy, action.

The diagonal creates a more intense sense of energy, action than does the vertical.


Balancing the 3 directionals is a good tip for us to try to remember when we draw, paint, create.

It provides a more balanced and interesting design.





Something Different

I wanted the watercolor landscape

to be different. 


To be something you don’t see all the time.

Everywhere.    And then forget in 2 seconds.




For artists,  remembering that you can  recreate things is liberating.

You can turn shapes (ie snow on mountain)  into Abstract patterns and shapes.

This is one of the easiest ways to start learning how to paint and create abstracts too!






Black Ink on watercolors

Black Ink on watercolors

Hints of cobalt teal blue peep through.


black ink abstract on watercolors, cobalt teal blue, winsor lemon, debiriley.com
Black ink for drama, on watercolors


Black Ink


Dark intense black ink drawn and splattered across the painted paper.

Those dark lines rivet the eye and act like magnets.

Some areas of ink were allowed to bleed and merge, just a little.


This was an abstract.

Simply fun.  An experiment, if you will.

And while I may not be super crazy about the entire composition, I really do enjoy the color pairing.



And Watercolors

The cobalt teal blue and winsor lemon watercolor mixing on the paper looks gorgeous.


And the Ink marks and lines and splatters, I love too.

Overall, it is, an interesting image.


One that I would want to pursue similar pairings in the future.





A final note.

I think it is relevant, and important to bear in mind  the white space. 

The colors used plus the deep dark of the ink could have very easily gone overboard.


How? Why?

Eagerness and enthusiasm.

In the excitement of getting to paint, one often just “keeps on putting the paint and marks on.”


This image has kept a fine balance of light…. white of the paper being left and the tones of the paints and the black ink.



You could…. refer to Tony Smibert’s art works and/or  Toko Shinoda.  Google or Pinterest has plenty of images and examples that you can see how brilliantly they use the space in their canvases and papers.








Inking Up in October

Inking Up in October

Inks on trend….

not that I  ever ‘do what I’m told, or supposed to do.’

But,  I am in the process of “inking up.”


inking up, inktober, october ink, chinese paper brushes with inks, debiriley.com
Inking Up



That’s the start of the process.



Materials for Inking Up


I can’t help but love all my gorgeous papers, inks and brushes and stones. They’re just so lovely!


The  Feel of them, is fabulous.


Slate grey, the ink stone is cool and smooth to the touch.


My Masa papers are slightly velvety, not rough, but with a gentle raspy surface. Which is perfect for the ink. It will absorb, but not act like blotting paper. Nor will it run off, unabsorbed.  I’ve been happy with this paper and its sensitive, versatility.


An old weathered stick gathered from the Pacific NW shores, is worn smooth with the point bluntly tapered. Its not as sharply pointed as my new, fresh skewer.

The first provides a wider, broader line and mark. Perhaps for larger items or things less important.

But the thin, super sharp tipped skewer… it is meant for details. To pull the eye to something important. A focal point.


The chinese brushes, my hakes, and the flat Davinci brush with its silky bristles … lie in wait.

I don’t know yet, what they will be needed for.  I’m sure they will let me know, when the time comes.

Time. Experience. Practice. Mistakes.

With these, you develop that kind of sensitivity to your materials.  And to your subjects.



The stunningly carved head and face of the dragon – lion, really inspires me all on its own.



lion dragon chop, chinese ink chop carved, debiriley.com


Contemplation,   inked up

Every aspect, is considered.

Reflected upon.


I do immerse myself in the process, in the way of the brush.

In the way of the inks. In the way of the materials.


In the Feeling of the subject and materials.

It is, a very non Western way.


It is so much more in tune with the Eastern way of art.

This feels to me,  more liberating.

Expressive.  Expansive.

It works, for me.


Looking forward to inking up, tomorrow!




enso, ink drawing, debiriley.com
enso   and the resting dragon




Ink Falls…. Upon a Page

Ink Falls…. Upon a Page

#Inktober simply can not pass by without my Taking


to allow,  Ink to Fall

upon a page


ink art work, inktober, pen and ink, drawings in ink, ink stone, debiriley.com
Inked, by hand. So….Slowly



Ink Sticks

I thought some of you may be as intrigued with the different types of inks available as I am. So I’ve included this from Wiki.


From Wikipedia: 

“There are many types of ink sticks that are produced. The artist or calligrapher may use a specific ink for a special purpose or to create special effects.

  • Oil soot ink: made using the soot of burnt tung or various other oils. There is more glue in this type of ink than the other kinds so does not spread as much. Gives a warm black colour. It is good as a general purpose painting and calligraphy ink.
  • Pine soot ink: made from the soot of pines. Has less glue so spreads more than oil soot inks. Gives a blueish-black colour. It is good for calligraphy and meticulous style painting.
  • Lacquer soot ink: made from the soot of dried raw lacquer. Has a shiny appearance and is most suitable for painting.
  • Charcoal ink: made using standard wood charcoal. It has the least amount of glue and so spreads on paper more than other inks. Mainly used for freestyle painting and calligraphy.
  • Blueish ink (青墨): oil or pine soot that has been mixed with other ingredients to produce a subtle blueish-black ink. Mainly used for calligraphy.
  • Coloured ink: oil soot ink that has been blended with pigments to create a solid ink of colour. Most popular is cinnabar ink which was reportedly used by emperors.
  • Medical ink: ink produced by mixing standard ink with herbal medicines which can be ground and taken internally.
  • Collectors ink: ink that is highly decorative and in odd shapes that are meant for collecting rather than actual use.
  • Custom ink: ink that has been commissioned by an artist who may want a specific type of ink to suit their needs.”



Chinese  …’reading,’ a painting

I’ve mentioned previously, I have a leaning towards the Japanese/Chinese art styles. I’m ‘influenced’ by the Asian wabi sabi and minimalist flavor.  Having a wander through The Met Department of Asian Art recently (online) I discovered Maxwell Hearn.


What I found at  The Met   written by Maxwell Hearn, resonates with me.

Hearn explains the Chinese way of   appreciating a    painting   can be expressed by the words   du hua,   “to read a painting.”
The aim of the traditional Chinese painter:   to Capture  not only the exterior of the subject, but its inner essence as well – its energy, life force, spirit.  
To achieve this goal, the painter often chooses to forego using color. As it is felt that color, can be a distraction from the goal.


Let The Ink …Fall


#inktober, ink drawings, watercolor and ink, paintings of waterfalls, nature journal in inks, debiriley.com
Ink Falls, (c) debiriley.com


Ink Falls….

Let the broken twig, dipped in ink – flow

Flood and cascade down the page, like a Waterfall.

and still

with bent and broken stick

search out

the branches

permitting the twig to discover the boughs

within their hiding spaces





Black ink and Blue  paint  

inktober, blue watercolor still life, ink and watercolor, debiriley.com
Blue Monday in Inks (c) debiriley.com


No Time

I had no time.  I was busy. busy.  Had some meetings to attend.

I made some time.

No more than 5 minutes though.

60 seconds to grab an apple, vase and yucky fake flowers.


Whacked out the ink… india ink this time.  Dipped a nylon flat brush in and got the basic structure down.

If you look. You can count, my ink strokes. There aren’t too many.

And stopped.  4 minutes!

I had to go.

Sometimes “busy” is good.



A couple days later.

Prussian Blue watercolor pb27  was on my palette from work, so I made some light washes up.  Whacked them on.

Willy nilly. Dripping and splashing. Making a mess, it didn’t matter!!

That took less than 5 minutes as well.

I refused to get bogged down.

I wanted “Loose!” so I kept with the plan.


I can repeat this Technique.

5 minute ink sketch up.

“then, Go away!  Return later.”

Splash in some watercolors.



I think some of you, may like to do this as well.

Try it.

An apple.  A vase.  Flowers, of some sort.    Easy, Simple Designs are great to begin with. The more convoluted the pretty subject is, well,  you Know!




Inks are so wonderful for encouraging loose creative, interpretive Artistic art work.

Art work that  Captures the Inner Essence.




so,   why don’t you get out your inks.

Let the Ink Fall – upon a page