Illustrating with ink

Hello! Quite often I get asked how I create my artwork, so I decided to share some of my techniques with you. Let’s start with the ink! I love ink, I used it to create the image for september calendar. I will show you how I did it step by step.


Step 1 – Lots of sketches

I wanted to create a floral illustration for a while. So I took my sketchbook and went into my garden. I quickly sketched plants that attracted my attention. I have a tiny garden. But once I started looking closer at plants suddenly I discovered how many plants I have and how different they are.  I used Muji sketchpad and Faber-Castell watercolour pencil  (cobalt turquoise 153).  I like using watercolour pencils for sketching – they are very soft andI like having colourful line.


Step 2 – Ink

I have a set of Winsor & Newton drawing inks. I picked blue and violet this time. I used Daler Rowney heavy weight A3 sketchpad and a basic dip pen.  I like to have lots of space to draw! I spent about an hour drawing plants from my sketchbook and from my memory. I did use some references from internet to draw rose hip and oak leaves.


Step 3 – scan

Time to scan my drawings. I covered the whole page with foxes and plants! I use Epson Perfection 2450 scanner. It scans A4, so I scanned half of page at a time and combined them in Photoshop.


Step 4 – Photoshop

I pick the plants I like and cut them. I arrange them together. It takes sometime to have a composition I’m happy with.  I adjust levels and brightness to make sure the lines pop out well.


Then I colour them using digital watercolour brush. I keep each colour on the separate layer and select the ‘multiply’ option. It helps the watercolour look of the colour and you don’t need to cut out white areas from the elements.


First i add some red.


Then some yellow.


Finally I use dark purple to outline the shadows.


Step 5 – Ta-dah!

The illustration is ready! I hope you enjoyed my illustration tutorial. The next one will be about watercolour!



4 thoughts on “Illustrating with ink

  1. Nix says:

    Hey! I like drawing and illustraing but I always have the issue where my things don’t scan properly if they are fine lines and then I get disheartened and give up with trying this in Photoshop. What advice do you have for those real fine line drawings please?? X


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