Creating a black background, even with water-based pens, can result in some shadowing on the following page so it's good to pick up any tips out there on how to manage this successfully, without shadowing.
I came across this method recently and decided to give it a whirl on my copy of Secret Garden. I intend to colour this entire book in monochrome and inking (maybe the occasional touch of colour!)
|The finished title page|
Step 1 -
Firstly I needed to work around the outer edges of the design with a fine water-based black pen. I use a Staedtler Pigment liner, the brilliant 0.05 tip one. This is an arduous process, armed with a magnifying glass in one hand, but it's worthwhile doing to keep the outlines crisp and accurate.
Step 2 -
This involves laying down a base coat of black watercolour pencil. I used Derwent Inktense pencil but any watercolour pencil should work. You can see below that I have inked around the design on the right hand side of the design.
|Steps 1 and 2|
Step 3 -
The background base coat of pencil is now complete and the inking around the edges, done.
Step 4 -
Now a layer of a water-based black pen is added over the pencil. The water in the pens activates the pigment or ink in the pencil to smooth things out. I had hoped that just this one coat of brush pen would be enough to give me a mostly streak free look.
On the left hand side I used a Tombow black brush pen. On the right hand side I used an Artline Stix black brush pen. In the sample I did, the Artline Stix pen won easily. However, to be honest, there wasn't much difference although I think the Tombow pen performed slightly better. In both instances there were still plenty of patchy streaks, such as you get with water-based pens over a larger area.
Step 5 -
So I put over another coat with the Tombow brush pen and this time, I was happy with the result. There was zero shadowing or bleeding through to the reverse page.
Now the design was ready for further inking.
I think you could try this method with any coloured background as long as you could find a reasonable match between your watercolour pencil colour and brush pen colour.
Products I used:
Staedtler Pigment Liner 0.05
Pack of 6 Pigment Liners of different sizes - really useful
Tombow Brush Pen black -
Artline Stix Brush Pens - the best red ever! 16 pack
Check out the rest of the Step-by-Step series - here.
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