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Graphic India Ink Landscapes

In Art 2, I try to introduce as many new types of media as possible.   One of my favorites is India Ink!  I first do a demo and show them the different pen nib options and, of course, the basics of how to use them.  Then I make them do a bunch of value scales using the pen nibs.  Typically they complete hatching, cross-hatching, stippling and scumbling value scales.  Then, they must attempt to draw the 5 basic geometric shapes using their chosen drawing method and they are free to mix them up!

The next day (Note: we have 90 minute block class periods), I do another demo on using India ink with a brush.  They complete a blended value scale, a glazing or layered value scale and a regular value scale with the ink on a brush.  Then, they attempt to draw the 5 geometric forms again.

The third class, I have them view examples of graphic ink landscapes inside of a shape.  If you’d like to see some of the examples I used, you can check out my Pinterest board for Ink & Watercolor.  You might have to scroll down a bit to find them, but many of them are grouped together on the board.

I make them use a real-life reference image of a landscape (NOT someone else’s drawing or painting!)  I really try to get them all to use a photo that they have actually taken.  However, we discuss copyright issues and find a copyright free image, combine reference photos, or crop drastically to make it unrecognizable. I understand it can be difficult to obtain your own reference image of the Eiffel Tower or the Great Pyramid of Giza!

Students start on nice quality watercolor paper using pencil.   I encourage them to keep their pencil lines very light.  Then, they can paint with the ink washes on a brush, draw with the pen nibs or mix it up and do both!

I encourage them to work from light to dark, large areas to details and from BACKGROUND to FOREGROUND whenever they can…. but, of course, every artwork, image and artist are different!  There is no WRONG way to use art materials (well, besides abuse and wastefulness anyway!)

This year,  my Art 2 students put out some nice examples!  Check them out below!

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Hi, I’m Erin!

I’ve been a high school art teacher at a rural school in WV for the past 14 years. I teach Art 1, AP Art + Design, Art 2 and 3. 
I’m a little obsessed with my sweet husband. Together we have FOUR kids and a rescue dog named Boomer! 
I love a bad pun and terrible dad jokes. I spend time looking at MBTI memes, cooking, listening to serial killer podcasts and Harry Potter audiobooks on repeat. I also teach yoga and indoor cycling. Click the button below to learn more about me. 

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