When DANIEL SMITH asked if I’d like to try their Walnut Ink, I was eager to give it a try. I am particularly fond of inks with warm tones. The idea of drawing the persimmons with walnut ink was appealing. Before the bottle arrived, I did a little research on their website. I thought walnut ink would fade. I was wrong. Here is what I found.
“DANIEL SMITH Walnut Ink is lightfast, non-acidic, transparent, and low staining. It’s finely pigmented, sepia-colored, water-based ink made from walnut husks. It’s great for all types of drawing styles and calligraphy, and works beautifully with a dip pen or brush. With a brush, DANIEL SMITH Walnut Ink handles like a transparent watercolor with good layering, and lifting capabilities in darker washes. The rich color resembles traditional walnut-based inks, but will not fade.”
Drawing on 140lb cold press watercolor paper. My favorite technique for drawing is continual line contour. I keep my pen on the paper for the majority of the drawing. I am using a bamboo reed pen…Why? I enjoy line variation.
Helpful hint: Before you begin drawing soak the tip of the bamboo reed pen in 3 inches of water for 20 minutes. The pen will have an increased ability to hold ink.
I start by pulling fresh color into the center of my palette. I work on a dry surface and mix the colors on the paper. You’ll noticed the Walnut Ink moves…I like that. If I touch the line gently it will move a little and more if I scrub the line with my brush the more it moves. The persimmons are a mixture of Hansa Yellow Medium, Anthraquinoid Scarlet & Quinacridone Burnt Orange. The stem and leaf area is Quinacridone Gold and French Ultramarine.
The plate is painted with Cobalt Teal Blue. I intentionally disrupted the details on the plate with my brush. I want the lines to defuse. I don’t want the lines to be in sharp focus especially since the majority of the plate will be affected by shadows from the persimmons.
Shadows are my favorite subject! The presence of light defines form and gives life to a subject. I begin my making two puddles of paint on my palette:
1. Quinacridone Burnt Orange & Quinacridone Rose.
2. Imperial Purple.
I start by painting the form shadows on the persimmons with Quinacridone Burnt Orange & Quinacridone Rose and quickly move into the cast shadows on the plate with Imperial Purple. I want a soft transition between the objects and the colors.
The final stage I use Imperial Purple in the background. Before the passage has lost its shine, I touch a small amount of Phthalo Turquoise into the area. Final touches are added to the foliage area.
Hope this demonstration was informative and inspirational.
Brenda Swenson is the artist author of two books, Keeping a Watercolor Sketchbook (Finalist, Award of Excellence) and Steps to Success in Watercolor. Her artwork has been featured in Splash 11, 12, 14 & 19, Artistic Touch 4, Creative Freedom, Watercolor Artist, Watercolor Magazine, Watercolor Highlights, Wheels of Time, Plein Air Magazine and numerous other publications. She has two instructional DVD’s on watercolor techniques. Brenda has achieved signature status in WW, NWWS, and SDWS. An active participant in the arts community she has served on the board of directors for the National Watercolor Society and Watercolor West. She is in demand to demonstrate and teach her painting techniques to groups nationwide and abroad.
Brenda Swenson, WW, NWWS, SDWS
Why I love DANIEL SMITH Watercolors
“DANIEL SMITH paints have been my go to brand for years! I fell in love with the colors, but it was their pigment quality and consistency that made me stay. Their line of professional grade watercolors makes it easy to find exactly what I want…paint that is rich in pigment, fluid in wet washes, saturated color, and transparent. I travel a lot teaching workshops and I need pigments that will give me the greatest range of colors. I’m constantly impressed with the wide range of colors I can achieve with a few carefully chosen paints. DANIEL SMITH paints go out of their way to educate artists about pigment, transparency, texture, or staining characteristics. DANIEL SMITH paints are leaders in the industry developing paints that are visually exciting, innovative, permanent and environmentally conscious. DANIEL SMITH watercolors are the BEST!”
My Palette of DANIEL SMITH Watercolors:
Hansa Yellow Medium – used in this painting
Quinacridone Gold – used in this painting
Raw Sienna Light
Permanent Yellow Deep
Quinacridone Burnt Orange – used in this painting
Anthraquinoid Scarlet – used in this painting
Permanent Alizarin Crimson
Quinacridone Rose – used in this painting
Imperial Purple – used in this painting
French Ultramarine – used in this painting
Manganese Blue Hue
Cobalt Teal Blue – used in this painting
Phthalo Turquoise – used in this painting
Phthalo Green (BS)
Transparent Red Oxide