Two-ink sketching in Yosemite National Park

I’m enjoying playing with a two-toned approach to my linework: For the most part, I do a very loose line drawing with brown ink first, just enough to let me see where my big shapes are. Then it’s watercolor time. Last of all, I’m back in with a darker ink to define shapes and draw attention to parts of the image. I’m finding it to be a good way to keep my line from being flat and monotonous. And, knowing I will come back in for a second time and define what I need to keeps me from drawing too much in line on my first pass: It allows for less defined edges, like the clouds at the top of El Capitan in Yosemite (below) breaking the edge of the rock formation.yosemite_elcapitan

Here’s another rock formation I sketched, this time from the top of Vernal Falls, halfway through a beautiful hike.
yosemite_topofvernalfallsThis one is Sentinel Rock (yes, they all start to merge after a while), but you can see I was having fun with this two-ink thing…yosemite_sentinel

I used pencil and black pen here. This is Yosemite Falls.

And for variety, here’s a branch of pine using brown and black ink, blue colored pencil, and a white gel pen.

These are the Giant Sequoias in the southern part of the park.

And my favorite rock (and sketch) comes last: Half Dome. In watercolor, graphite pencil and a wee bit of blue colored pencil.

Here’s what I’m using: Two Sailor bent nib pens, one with black carbon ink the other with De Atramentis Brown Document ink. Graphite pencil, blue colored pencil, white gel pen, and watercolor.

About Suhita Shirodkar

obsessive-sketcher. graphic designer.
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18 Responses to Two-ink sketching in Yosemite National Park

  1. Great, great, great! Through your eyes I could walk on Yosemite National Park


  2. Stunning and gorgeous!! Well done!


  3. Wendie says:

    Absolutely beautiful!


  4. Love the technique. Never thought about drawing with two colors of ink twice, I’ll have to try that! These are beautiful and evocative.


  5. Lovely!! I love the loose fresh quality to all of them!


  6. marctaro says:

    Great demo of this technique! Love it – and want to try it next 🙂


  7. Terry Elrod says:

    Wonderfu, Suhita! Thank you for sharing your insights as well as your art.


  8. These are both beautiful and inspiring, Suhita, thank you! (AND in one of my favorite places in the world…so glad you could share with us.)


  9. Margene says:

    Wonderful web site. Lots of helpful information here.
    I am sending it to some friends ans also sharing in delicious.
    And naturally, thanks in your effort!


  10. Marylin says:

    This is a topic which is close to my heart… Best wishes!
    Exactly where are your contact details though?


  11. Sammie says:

    Appreciate the recommendation. Will try it out.


  12. Squidtea says:

    How beautiful! I love the way you draw, with bold, doesn’t-have-to-be-perfect strokes that create the impression of a quick sketch that is masterfully done. If I could draw, I’d like to draw like that, and the watercolors over the sketches is absolutely magnificent.



  13. Rene Wojcik says:

    Great sketches from Yosemite. Thanks for sharing. I live in central Texas but will be going to Yosemite at the end of April with my sketching gear. I can hardly wait for that trip.


  14. D. Abreu says:

    This is lovely! Your two colors are beautiful and it looks amazing.


  15. Val says:

    Incredibly beautiful art!

    Liked by 1 person

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