Process Post - Beach Houses at Dusk from 9-2018

Here are some process pics of an ink drawing I did last year, which I’ve called “Beach Houses at Dusk”. The houses in this drawing are loosely based, in part, on real houses (or from my memory of real houses)… but this is 80-90% made up since I didn’t use any kind of photo reference.

I made this with india ink and acrylics on watercolor paper. I mix the colors I use for my ink drawings from 4 main colors, which I buy in bottles: aqua, magenta, yellow, black. I dilute the color I’ve mixed with water in varying amounts and build it up gradually in layers like a watercolor painting to get the opacity I want. I also often use acrylic paint (diluted with an “extender”, which is some kind of oil that thins it and makes it easier to brush on) to add lighter details on top of the dark areas, add white highlights, and increase contrast.

This is a way of working that I’ve been doing for a little while now, but back when I made this drawing in September 2018 I was still dialing-in the process (and I’m continually figuring it out). This drawing in particular came together in a way that I was really happy with. I try to only do one new thing at a time during the course of any particular drawing so as not to overwhelm myself, but this had a few little techniques to it that I wasn’t totally comfortable doing, and I was pleasantly surprised that it came together. Specifically, I was still figuring out how to make gradients, like in the sky.

These days this is the process I use most often; for a little while I’ve been trying to use physical media as much as possible. It’s a more satisfying way to work (for me, personally) and I have yet to figure out how to get the little staged accidents that happen here when I’m working digitally. It’s not that I never use digital methods, but I just like to keep it to a minimum when I can. I’ve fluctuated over the years with how much digital art I do, but over time I’ve found I gravitate more toward physical media, both in my own work and in the work of people I admire.

“Beach Houses at Dusk”, Matt Schumacher 2018, 8x10”, ink & acrylics