Watercolor Skulls Project

My Artworks & Process of Drawing, Video, Watercolor Experiments

In today’s post, I’ll show you a new series of three artworks in an unusual for me artistic medium – watercolor.

When I attended an art school for children (many years ago!), I had very little success with watercolor painting.

My favorite subject always was the drawing, graphics, especially in the ink variant, and I also was quite good in painting with paints that gave me the full control like gouache or oils.

Watercolor isn’t the medium that allows being absolutely sure what will happen on the paper surface. It is spontaneous and even seems to have its own mind and will. That’s why we couldn’t decide who is the chief in our relationship 😀 I just wasn’t able to give up the control and stop before there are too many layers of strokes.

So I grew up with a fear of watercolors and a strong belief that I’m just not good at it. That made me sad because I love beautiful watercolor paintings, but, on the other hand, I was a strong graphic artist who felt amazing with inks and graphite pencils. It is something worth celebrating and developing the skill!

Recently I felt that something changed. I don’t want to be just a person who is good at something but that’s all. Comfort isn’t my end goal or the place where I want to spend my whole life…

Yes, specializing is useful and even important. Focusing on something, we have the chance to advance faster and have greater results. But who said that we should put ourselves into a small box and limit our world by its tight boundaries? This is insane.

My new project “Watercolor Skulls” is all about being a person who doesn’t let anybody or anything decide what is possible or permissible. By the way, this project title is still a draft version, maybe I’ll come up with a better and more figurative one in the future.

The series consists of three watercolor painting of the A3 paper size. Below is a gallery with the scanned and edited artworks:

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I’ve chosen a skull theme because I feel like it is a connection point between themes of life’s joy and being in the moment, and the finiteness of everything. Every creature exists in the now, not in the past or in the future, and knowing that life will end makes us more concious.

Mixed Media Perch – New Video


A new video 🙂 I’m drawing a perch, using many various art supplies: Derwent Inktense pencils, Copic beige color liners, Faber-Castell Pitt pens, and alcohol markers. Mixing media and experimenting is fun!

The reason why I decided to use so many mediums is that I wanted to get this special bright and detailed look. Plus, it’s great to have this amazing opportunity to take advantage of all the major art supplies types.

Colored pencils are a fantastic base, especially if you can wash colorful layers with a wet brush. I love Derwent Inktense for the brightness and intensity of color. 

Copic liners in sepia tones are an excellent example how you can add details without losing the balance in your drawing, and making it look too contrast.

Faber-Castell Pitt pens are just incredible. 😀

A white color acrylic marker is perfect for creating crisp highlights.

And alcohol markers add the solidity of color.

Another layer with colored pencils, and, voila – you get a unique art!

Drawing a Rainbow Trout With Aquarelle Pencils

Articles & Drawing Tutorials, Colored and Watercolor Pencils, Video

Last week I had great fun creating this trout drawing, using the Staedtler Aquarelle pencils. 🙂 Although my priority is ink technique, sometimes I take a break or experiment with other mediums.

Here I have a full video process from a light pencil underdrawing to the final touches.

A slideshow of the main steps (please watch the video to get a better idea):

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The description of the process:

  1. I start with a pencil underdrawing. The lines should be barely visible, or the graphite may mix with the aquarelle pencils’ strokes and the colors will be messy.
  2. I apply several shades of beige and brown colors, and also add a little bit of pink to accent the natural coloring of the trout.
  3. I wash the existing color strokes with a wet brush.
  4. I let the drawing dry up a bit, and add the details of the fish. Be sure to leave the highlights, especially in the fish’s eye! 🙂
  5. Gradually, I increase the contrast and richness of my drawing, refining all the significant features more and more.
  6. I add the dark spots to the trout’s body. You may notice that I use both black and dark brown pencils – this helps to achieve a smoother, varied look of the coloring.

I hope you like the process and the result! 🙂 Thanks for watching!

This Is How I Draw With Ink – A New Video

Articles & Drawing Tutorials, Drawing With Ink, Video

A work-in-progress video with educational elements 🙂 You can watch me drawing, and the subtitles will tell you what exactly is going on.

By the way, this is my first video with subtitles. I hope there will be much more video tutorials, and soon – with the voice.

In this video:

  • Creating an illusion of space;
  • Drawing the tree bark texture;
  • The first steps of drawing the owl;
  • Principles of combining hatching, cross-hatching, and stippling.

I use ink liners number 0.05, 0.1, 0.3 and 0.5.

Thank you for watching! 🙂 Please let me know if you have specific questions about the ink drawing technique – I’d be happy to create something useful for you and share the experience 🙂

The Mermaid Artwork

Black and White Ink, My Artworks & Process of Drawing, Video

This is another artwork from the Marine series, and it’s time to write about it and show you the overview. I feel like it took me ages to complete this drawing but the result is worth it 🙂


The artwork is a cut A2 size of paper, so it’s quite a large format, especially for the liners of such small width like 0.05 or 0.1 (I used them a lot for creating textures and details).

The main technical difference between the large-scale drawings I made a year and a half ago, and those I worked on recently is the variation of the line width and increased contrast.

My older artworks were lacy and low-contrast because I used many tiny lines, the thinner, the better. And now I use more liners of broader widths (like number 0.3 or 0.4) and, situationally, apply brush strokes for contouring.

On this photo, you can see me working with an S liner of the Faber-Castell Pitt line (S means 0.3).


An example of the process photo:


A video: creating contours and textures, refining the artwork.

The fragments of the finished artwork as a slideshow:

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I hope you like the process and the result. I can’t wait to finish the last drawing of this series!

By the way, I have already started the work on that artwork, and today I’ll show the first process photo (if you don’t follow me on social media, check out my Links page and be sure to keep up with my progress! 🙂 ) 

Have a great day and happy spring! 😀

Introduction to Dotwork (Stippling) Technique in Ink

Articles & Drawing Tutorials, Drawing With Ink, Video

Today, I’d like to talk about a very powerful technique for graphic art and tell you about the basics and practical tips. Dotwork, also known as stippling, is an amazing method of creating visual effects in ink drawings.

Note: dot art is also known as pointillism. 🙂

This technique is simply magical! With the use of dotwork, you can create smooth transitions of value in your drawing and make velvety textures with the highest eye appeal.

In short, all you have to do is to leave dots on paper. The more dots you add, the darker the area of your drawing becomes.

Let’s have a look at the image below. It’s a visual representation of the difference how can look samples of dotwork depending on the width of the tool it was made with.


From left to right: dotwork samples made with ink liners of 0.1, 0.2, 0.3, 0.4, 0.5, 0.8, 1.0 widths. The last sample from the lower row is a variety of dots made with 0.4, 0.5 and 0.8 ink liners.

A combination of dots of various dimensions looks quite impressive. This simple trick also helps to refine the details of the texture. However, it’s necessary to see to it that your dots are of a predictable width, not random. In other words, you have to control the drawing process and learn how to draw with your tool with equal pressure onto the paper. This habit builds up with deliberate training.

If you want to practise the stippling technique, you can make visual borders on a paper sheet (like my circles above) or download my worksheet and fill them with dots. Very simple!

For a start, use a pen or a liner of a constant width (0.3 – 0.5 is absolutely awesome).

Then, when you feel more comfortable, try to achieve basic graphic effects like om the last circle of my drawing. Let your sample be darker on the perimeter and lighter at the center. Looks more volumetric, right? 🙂

A video for your reference – here you can see how I make an illusion of depth and volume with additional layers of dots. Very simple yet persuasive!

As another exercise, I can suggest you increasing the value with the help of different liners. Like here:dotwork-stripeThis stripe begins with very small dots made with a liner of 0.1 width, then it proceeds to 0.2 liner dots, then 0.3, 0.4, 0.5, 0.8 and, at last, 1.0 width.

What kind of tool is the best for creating dotwork?

There is no exact answer. I personally prefer ink liners and pens (non-refillable). They form dots of a predictable width, and there is no danger of having an occasional drop of ink on your drawing – like it happens with nibs.

I don’t recommend using refillable technical pens (rapidographs and isographs). Stippling is a method that wears off and blunts the tip of the tool faster than hatching technique. It isn’t so noticeable when your tool is disposable, but if it is “everlasting” and quite expensive, this can be a problem.

You can also use nibs for creating dotwork. But it’s necessary to get used to nibs and learn how to control the pressure – then you dots will be of equal and predictable size.

A video for your reference (here I use both a 0.5 liner and a nib)

Useful tips for a great stippling 

  • Small details actually make a difference. Even the shift and twist of the paper on your desk relatively to you hand affects the character of your dots. The same goes for the angle of your tool relatively to the paper (try to vary it, and you will see).
  • Make light touches with the tool onto the paper. If you exert you hand while drawing, it won’t make any good. If you have to create big bold dots, it’s a better idea to take a tool with a wider tip that makes such dots naturally.
  • Try to place your dots a bit chaotically – this texture feels more natural. Sometimes it’s necessary to keep order and place dots in an even row, but these cases are relatively rare.
  • Learn how to make dotwork that way, so it looks uniform, without considerable gaps. Of course, not every texture in your drawing will be that solid, but the skill of creating integral stippling texture is very useful in any artistic arsenal.

As a conclusion, I would like to encourage you to practise dotwork and experiment with it. I usually don’t use this technique singly but mix it with lines and hatching (these are more straightforward, concrete, and sometimes even aggressive).

Dots work great in combination with other drawing manners! For example, I use dotwork when:

  • some object of my drawing has an even subtle texture,
  • the object I draw is light,
  • I want to emphasize the shadow,
  • the overall look of the artwork needs some integrity,
  • the surface of the object or place in my drawing is plain or velvety,
  • there are thin and refined details,
  • I draw something blurry.

These are some samples how I combined hatching and dotwork:

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A bonus for you: if you are intersted in practising stippling, you can download this worksheetworksheet-previewI hope this guide was useful and informative! Good luck with practising this wonderful art technique! 🙂

As usual, I’d like to know if I there is something I can help you with. What is your biggest struggle in mastering drawing with ink and liners?

Thank you for reading! And please, like and share this post with your friends who could be interested in these tips 😀

How to Draw with Nib and Ink

Articles & Drawing Tutorials, Drawing With Ink, Video

Hello, Friends! How is your first day of 2017th? 😀

Mine is great, and I’m already working. 🙂 It’s time to create awesome art, and various useful and inspirational content! Let’s open this year with a video.

This short video may be helpful for the beginners in ink graphics technique: here you can see the typical process of drawing with a thin nib and liquid ink.

I draw a simple berries sketch with contour lines, hatches, and dots.

I have two containers on my table: one with ink (black), one with just clean water. The second container is used when I have to clean and refresh my nib.

By the way, it’s not a “duty” to pour ink into a separate container – you absolutely can use the bottle in which ink was by default (in the moment of purchasing). I use a container just because this way ink in the main big bottle doesn’t dry so fast because of air.

I dip the nib into ink up to its small opening, then draw, varying the pressure on the tool. When ink on my nib ends, I take another portion of it.

In this video, you can also see how I dab my nib with a paper towel and dip it into water. If you draw with liquid ink, the nib should be cleaned from time to time, otherwise, ink will dry up on your tool and lines will be thick and inaccurate or there will be an obstacle for the ink to leave marks on paper.

I hope you find this video useful and entertaining. Have fun! 🙂

Editing Black and White Ink Art In Adobe Photoshop

Articles & Drawing Tutorials, Editing Ink Artworks, Video

I often get questions about creating t-shirt designs for black color clothing. When I was a beginner, it took me some time to find my way to transform original black art into something that can be printed on dark surfaces 🙂 My tips and experience can be useful for somebody!

Generally speaking, editing art is a subject worth throw light upon. It is as important for out digital age as the drawing process itself.

That’s why I decided to arrange all my videos that relate to the theme of ink art edition and transforming it into anything applied.

  1. Editing Complete Ink Art in Adobe Photoshop

It may seem that when ink drawing is complete, the work is finished: just scan it and it’s all you need to do. But let me show you the process behind editing the scan on the example of this black and white drawing of a sphinx cat.

This artwork was scanned at 1200 dpi at understated brightness, black and white mode, and now I’m cleaning it up in the Photoshop file at 600 dpi. It’s raster, so I need it at a very high quality.

The first step is increasing Brightness/Contrast – it will automatically remove some blurry grey tints.

And then starts the most time-consuming part – I use The Brush tool (white color) to remove all the small black dots and other garbage (pencil lines and occasional marks). Sometimes black lines are scanned not so dark and crisp as I need them to be (it happens with 0.05 and 0.1 mm lines all the time), so I have to redraw them in Adobe Photoshop.

I like using the “nib” brush from this amazing Ray Frenden set, because it is really handy: a thin starting point and pressure sensitivity, so I can vary the line as captious as I need. It’s also very useful to use the Rotate View tool (R).

This artwork is really small, only about 16 cm in height on paper. But you can see how many stray marks it contains in the digital form! I want all my artworks to be perfect, because the cleaner they are, the nicer printed products will look.

Cleaning this artwork took me about 50 minutes, even though it’s small and doesn’t contain really thin hatches made by 0.2 liner and less! When I edit drawings of my usual size and detalization (A3 and bigger), the cleaning stage may require up to normal work day duration. Like it or not – it’s part of the process 🙂

2. What to Do If the Artwork Is Bigger Than Your Scanner

Here you can see my process of joining the two scanned halves of an artwork. This drawing is of the A3 size of paper, and my scanner is only A4.

I’ll show you a method that works great for black and white art.

Description of steps:

1) With the Lasso tool (key L) I select the first part of the artwork and paste it into a new document. Then I paste the second part. I use the Lasso tool because it gives me precision – and also I won’t have to remove the occasional garbage of the scanned image’s periphery.

2) Using the Ctrl + T (the Transform option) I unite pieces as close as I can.

3) I reduce the opacity of one layer – it helps to see where the halves can be successfully applied one above another. Be attentive and cautious 🙂
With the Eraser tool (key E) I remove the backup unit (the part that is doubling)

4) Now we can merge the layers (Ctrl + E)

And then I have the edition process – to make the scanned art look perfect:
I adjust the Brightness/Contrast to remove blurry grey tints;
Repaint the garbage points and places with the Brush tool (white color)
Pay additional attention to the joint line. Sometimes I have to correct something to achieve a nice-looking image.

The edition process is very time-consuming, because I scan my artworks at 600 dpi (black and white mode), and all the pencil marks and an occasional mess is clearly observable. I included the whole process of removing the messy points and marks so you could get the point 🙂

The speed of the video is increased by 4 times.

3. Creating a White Underlayer and a Contour for a Scanned Black Ink Artwork (for a T-Shirt Printing)

Here you can see how I prepare my ink artworks for printing on dark-colored clothes and other surfaces.

Note: in this video, you can see the process for an artwork that has a solid contour, without any breaks – even very small ones. It’s important! If your artwork’s contour has breaks, this method won’t work. Please watch a video that is below, under the number 4.

Description of steps:

1) I click with the Wand tool on the artboard, where my artwork is (the box “contiguous” is checked) and select all white-colored massive, then hit Delete on the keyboard. It will remove the areas where the untouched paper was.
Please be sure that at this step you have a layer, not a background (on the Layer panel)

2) I move the art nearer to take aim better and select the white color with the Magic Wand tool (key W). This time, the box “contiguous” shouldn’t be checked.
I click the right mouse button and choose Layer via cut. It will separate the colors and move them to different layers, which is great for easing the printing.

3) In the Layers panel, I give names to the layers: “black” and “white”, according to the color. I transpose the layers – the white one should be under the black.

4) With the Brush tool, I draw the new white contour that is repeating the original black one.

5) When the white contour is complete, I move to the “black” layer and select all the artwork with the Wand tool. Then I move to the “white” layer and hit Delete on the keyboard. It is necessary for refining the white contour and subtracting the black line from it.

Now I have a nice white artwork! It can be printed solely or in addition to the black layer.

4. Creating a White Underlayer & Contour for a Scanned Black Ink Artwork (a T-Shirt Design)

In the previous video, I’ve shown you the process how you can create a white underlayer and a contour to prepare your black-color art for printing on dark clothes or other surfaces.

That method was for artworks with a solid black contour, and in this video, you’ll see how I deal with more complex artworks that have a broken contour.

By the way, this video is the continuation of the fist part that showed the process of joining two scanned halves of the artwork and the edition (the video number 2 here at this post)

Description of steps:

1) With the Magic Wand tool, I select the white color area around my artwork (the box “contiguous” is checked), and delete it. Here you should have a layer at the Layers panel, not a background.

2) I zoom the artwork closer and select smaller areas of white color which should also be removed.

3) I create a greenish background to see the changes in my file clearer.

4) I select all the white color in my artwork with the Magic Wand tool (that means, the box “contiguous” is NOT checked. Right click of the mouse – choose Layer via cut.

5) Now I have two layers that separate the colors. I move the “white” layer under the “black” one.

6) With the Brush tool, I paint the white spaces that were occasionally selected with the Wand tool and deleted.

7) I create a new white contour all around. Contrast contours like this look great on dark-colored apparel 🙂

8) Finishing steps: with the Eraser tool I refine the white contour here and there.
Then I select the whole black art (on the corresponding layer) with the Magic Wand tool and, clicking on the “white” layer, subtract the selected area.

Here is how I get a nice clean white design that can be printed separately or in combination with the black art layer.

I hope you will find these videos and step-by-step checklists useful 🙂 Thanks for watching!