Marine Painting with Randall Blue/Black

As a keen sailor and artist, there’s nothing quite like getting stuck into a marine painting. I knew when Randall Blue Black was created that it would be a very good writing ink, but what I didn’t appreciate at that time, was how magical it would be for marine painting too.

I have had three scenes in mind for some time, so spotting a lull in the work load, thought it high time to crack them out using nothing but a really simple palette of Randall Blue Black and a hint of bleach.

My scenes from the East Coast of England were chosen to demonstrate the very subtle chromatography, the inherent serendipity and the depth of tonal range that Randall (click the link for details about the ink) can offer. I used Bockingford 200lb rough watercolour paper as the surface with 4 synthetic brushes of various sizes for all the wash work and my Kaweco Steel Sport with an extra fine gold nib for the very dark detailed line work. For some of the highlight areas I have used diluted bleach and am delighted that those areas  bleached out really clean AND… I have been able to go back in again and work over the top!

From a purist point of view, I’m particularly pleased, because for some years now, I have been trying to find a natural and seamless progression for fountain pen inks to not just be used for handwriting but also as a credible painting and illustration medium too. To be able to emulate those far eastern art traditions where writing and imagery become a single harmonious art form – bonded together by the single medium. In a way, I’m taking the traditional India ink line and wash genre, which has been used in journal keeping for centuries, but instead of keeping it monochrome or using watercolour paints to add colour, I’m attempting to revolutionise the genre through utilising the serendipity and chromatic behaviours of coloured fountain pen inks which also keeps the genre pure. There’s still a way to go but I’m now confident that the goal is achievable.

Of Note: For those of you based in Europe, the British Museum (click the link) in London is hosting a huge Manga exhibition which opened today. Illustration is enjoying a significant interest at the moment and I’m going to the event next week to explore the possibilities of how I can go about introducing fountain pen ink into this amazing genre. I don’t believe that digital illustration and Apple Pro have the art markets completely sewn up just yet. Fountain pen inks and their unique behaviours should help keep the analogue traditions fresh and alive for a while yet. And I’m hoping that Inktober 2019 will be amazing.

If you’d like to know how to create these yourself, why not check out my tutorials course? Click for details.

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