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Ink Drawing Techniques: Road Kill Illustrations

0:00 Charcoal drawing of roadkill
0:40 Photo references of roadkill
1:11  Album cover designs
1:39 Inspiration: Catholic Renaissance

2:07 Thumbnail sketches
2:24 Non-photo blue pencils
2:54 Inking
3:24 Brush recommendations

4:28 Toilet paper as a tool
5:25 Clean up: gouache & Photoshop
6:06 Risograph prints
6:30 Summary of the process
7:16  Bloopers

Casey Roonan, Comics Artist & Cartoonist
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Create an ink drawing of a grotesque image.

Core Ideas

Line, shape, contrast.

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Art Supplies: India Ink
Art Supplies: Watercolor Brushes
Art Supplies: Bristol Board
Art Supplies: Drafting Tape
Art Supplies: Non-Photo Blue Pencils
Art Supplies: White Gouache
Art SUpplies: Papermate Flair Felt-Tip Pen
Art Supplies: Strathmore Softcover Sketchbook
Art Supplies: Toilet Paper


Sofie Levin

“I have done ink pieces before, but this project really challenged me and how I deal with detailed work. I really wanted to challenge myself with this project and step out of my comfort zone when it comes to drawing details. I usually draw simplistic drawings with minor detail when I need to emphasize something.

In my detailed sketch, I made sure to play around with details to make sure I felt comfortable with them before the final piece. When it came to shading, I added a lot of detail in the fur and the shadows. I wanted to add texture to the dog’s fur so I added some parallel lines and so forth.

I really wish I practiced and had more experience when it came to line work and shading when I went into the piece as I struggled to add the texture I wanted into the fur and intestines. The whole concept of the project though was right in my comfort zone as I usually like to draw and paint things similar to this concept.

I went through multiple animals like birds and raccoons before I chose a dog as the subject. The concept helped me overcome some of my art block I was having prior to doing the project as well as helping me figure out my strengths and weaknesses when it comes to using ink for my art pieces.

In the future, I hope to overcome my fear in putting too much detail into my art pieces and hope to become more efficient in ink shading. This project I think is a perfect balance of conceptual thinking as well as technical learning if one is new to using ink and pen work.”

Iris Yip

Iris Yip

“Personally, I’ve always felt like there’s a particular intensity that comes with ink media, with how opaque and fine it comes out. Using it portray grotesque and morbid subjects made sense to me, since it’s almost as if there’s a certain elegance to be found in its macabre nature due to the striking contrast of black against white.

Throughout this project, I really had trouble pushing myself to give more depth and variety in the line work, as well as include more substantial areas of pure and rich black (for the sake of enhancing its intensity), since I’m pretty much a stickler for very thin lines.

The subject matter, surprisingly, did not give me much trouble—not that the subject of my illustrations are frequently of grotesque nature or anything. It just felt as if the medium itself sought to portray something dark, so that part of the process went very smoothly.

Personally, I also found it to be an exercise in control and finesse, as every stroke really had to look deliberate. (Honestly, I relied very heavily on the white gouache to pull me through.) I felt that the strength of this project is how it felt both meditative and soothing, but yet also gave me excellent practice in precision and control as it requires a lot of concentration and patience.”

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