Illustrating garden design concepts with fountain pen inks

I was recently asked how I would go about illustrating garden design concepts. After some initial investigation, it would seem that the most popular way of doing this is by using a waterproof felt tip pen with watercolour paint washes applied on top. And yes, they look good but from what I’ve learned from this project I think we can improve on this.

I recommended to Cherry that she do her line work, not with a waterproof felt tip pen but with a flex nib dip pen using Diamine India Ink – because not only do you get that artistic variance in line width, but once dry, the line work is waterproof. Then, using my CMYK fountain pen ink mix set and a hint of Robert Oster Signature Citrus, apply the fountain pen ink washes and see what transpires.

With watercolour paints being pigment based and fountain pen inks being dye based, the colours of the latter are always going to be more vivid and WOW! – even I have to admit, these really do ‘POP!’.

So, for all you garden design enthusiasts, why not give it a go and see what you think? By the way, all the illustrations were created on cartridge paper. Many thanks to Cherry for allowing me to showcase her work.

AND HEY! If you’re interested to know more about how to use fountain pen inks in more creative ways – whether it’s simply to observe their chromatic behaviours, or, to recreate one of my swatch cards, or, to learn how to use them in watercolour painting, illustration and calligraphy, why not check out my online course ?

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