It takes a gifted artist to become a great teacher and those who dare to teach never cease to learn.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Ink with Brush and Quill

(Yucca, detail by Susan Curnutte; please click the image to enlarge)
We are used to see pen and ink technique in more technical illustrations, however quill and brush combined with ink have been used for thousands of years both for writing (calligraphy) and for creating images. Bird feathers and bamboo sticks have been used both in India and Egypt prior the beginning of the common era (Prisse Papyrus, 2000 yr BCE).In the more recent time Cicely Mary Barker is well known from the late 1800s England. She illustrated accurate plants with fairies. She also illustrated religious books and painted panel for churches. Arthur Rackham's ink illustrations and art is famous for the softened pen lines which were muted with watercolor. He often placed his scenes in gardens, like Royal Botanic gardens in Kew or Kensigton Gardens in London. 

Within the Botanical Illustration Program in Denver Botanic students we using only quill, brush and ink at the "Expressive Ink" class instructed by Susan DiMarchi
Next season we will be offering Drawing on Tradition: The World of Cicely Mary Barker and you can continue the exercises with ink, quill and brush combined with color.
You can see more images from the classroom by clicking here.

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