Ink Wash: Drawing Cats from The Electrical Life of Louis Wain

Watch a demo on drawing cats from The Electrical Life of Louis Wain.

Sketching techniques using sumi inks for capturing the personality and gesture of the cats in the film are explained, as well as how to build up a range of textures and volumes in the drawings.

Explained in the video is how to build up layers of ink wash gradients to create movement and a range of tones. Demo led by Art Prof Clara Lieu and Teaching Artist Cat Huang.

Video Walkthrough

  • Prof Lieu’s technique for pre-mixing ink wash gradients.
  • Starting an ink wash drawing with pencil can be problematic as the pencil lines always show later.
  • You can sketch more freely with ink wash if you start with an extremely light grey tone and incrementally build toward dark tones.
  • Very light grey washes are easy to paint over.
  • The Chinese Ink, Silver Black has a subtle pearlescent tone to it.
  • Be conscious of how much water is in your brush, will you be doing very wet strokes, or dry strokes?
  • Ink wash drawings can feel very fast, often you have to stop sooner than you think you should to keep yourself from overworking a piece.
  • Sketch Rice paper is more translucent and buckles more than the Gasen and Torinko paper.

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Reference Photos
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Films mentioned

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