Exercise: Identifying tools and materials

Exercise: Identifying tools and materials

It has been quite difficult to research for artists techniques as it’s often difficult to understand where and how they are being mixed. I chose to research the traditional techniques, which I find really interesting.
Particularly, I investigated artists which are using mostly water based medias and inks.
Elia Mervi

Graphite and watercolour
Watercolours are used as a complement to the graphite drawings, mainly in the form of light washes, to highlight keys details by creating contrast and get them popping out of the paper. The style is quite realistic and the colours are bright.

Paul X Johnson

Gouache and ink
This artist treats his works with a very smooth use of gouaches. The effect is very clean and the mood created by the choice of the colours is a frozen, restless calm. The reality is slightly distorted.

Martin Krusche

Marker, ink, watercolour, digital
In his use of watercolours we can see a quite accurate way of keeping the colour within the contour line. The tones are really bright and condensed. The markers are instead used to create a tattoo-like style. The reality is often distorted.

Sjoukje Bierma

The use of watercolours here is quite traditional. The artist creates various textures and brush strokes are particularly evident in some of her works. A wide outline is often used to clearly separate the main subject from the background and to push it forward the viewer.

Yelena Bryksenkova

Pen, watercolours, gouache
The gouache effect is really solid and full, watercolours comes in where transparency is needed and the pen is used to define the outlines. The colours are varied and distortion occurs particularly in the human subjects.

Marlies Nemeijer

Ink, watercolour
Extremely precise in the use of both mediums. Realistic in the rendering, creates a delicate and quite romantic mood. The style is directly connected with the main subject of this illustrator, which is botanic.

Kaethe Butcher

Graphite, marker
Really free use of the ink and graphite, very soft dynamic lines. The subjects are quite realistic, the colour rarely comes in, black/white is absolutely predominant.

Conrad Roset

clara copia_copy6Watercolours, ink
Very delicate line drawings where the watercolour comes in, completing the figure almost as a decorative aid. Sometimes it looks like they are casual stains, but their shape perfectly suggest a function.
The portraits are realistic.

Clint Reid


Watercolours, ink

Watercolours here are used as a ‘filling’ to the ink drawings, so that we have a very precise outline and patterns are created both with the pen and the watercolours. The reality is distorted.
Golden Section Illustration – Yuliyart



This artist uses a variety of mediums. Watercolours are used by her in a very similar manner to the above mentioned Yelena Briksenkova. The colour are really varied and the reality is just a little distorted.

I chose Elia Mervi’s work to experiment with the first image, as I particularly appreciate her illustrations. I carried out the main drawing in graphite and after I tried to use the watercolours as a complement, to highlight the main focuses of the image.

Scan 2

I loved the combination of graphite and watercolour, I love the fact that the water mixes with it and fixes it on the paper. The colour feels very full and round. I also tried to apply the colour where it could highlight the keys of the image, as the artist does.

Afterwards I experimented with the way of using watercolours adopted by yelena briksenkova, by traditionally overlapping layers to obtain an image, using a pen outline only for the smallest details.

Scan 3

It felt particularly difficult to me to distinguish the technique from the way of composing the image. Sometimes, I found, the composition and the distortion of the image is strictly connected with the technique and the harmony of those two determines a particular style.


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