Get Started in Drawing Inks with Eleni Sofroniou and Winsor & Newton
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Get Started in Drawing Inks with Eleni Sofroniou and Winsor & Newton

Difficulty Beginner
Budget £10 - £30
Time 1 hr +

Winsor & Newton Drawing Inks are perfect for creating beautiful, dreamy ink illustrations with the look of watercolour art. Formulated from a series of water-soluble dyes in a superior shellac solution, the inks can be mixed with each other as well as water to create an array of colours for your artwork.

If you've never used drawing inks before, the following guide is a great way to get to grips with this medium and features a plethora of tips and tricks to incorporate within your own artworks.

Project and instructions by illustrator Eleni Sofroniou 


You will need

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How to make

Step 1

Start by gathering up your supplies.

You will also need a jar filled with water for cleaning your brushes, and an eraser.

Step 2

Very lightly draw the illustration in pencil to help guide you with positioning, unless you prefer to paint freely!

Step 3

Outline her body with Winsor & Newton Nutmeg Ink and colour her hair using the Nutmeg, Orange, and a delicate mixture of Black and Nutmeg for a deeper shade of brown.

Top Tip: Try to work quickly with inks as it's trickier to blend them once they've dried.

Step 4

Complete her look with the Scarlett ink and a mixture of Orange and Nutmeg for the bike.

Top Tip: Water down the Scarlett ink so that various shades and intensities can be used on the figures dress, sunglasses and sandals.

Top Tip: Use the end of the paintbrush to scratch texture on to the bike basket!

Step 5

With a very wet brush, freely blot and dot large flowers at the forefront of the illustration and, using a thinner brush, dot them around to create a sense of an endless meadow leading to the sea.

Step 6

To create the rolling cliffs, I applied Emerald Green flatly to begin with, leaving a lot of white space to indicate a different texture to the cliffs. I then used a thick brush with a lot of ink on the nib (and not much water) for intensity to create the shadows of the cliff and rocks.

Step 7

To bring the meadow flowers to life I applied a touch of Violet ink. For the sea, I did this wet on wet by applying water to the area first and then the ink to create amazing ink effects.

I then applied a very watered-down Blue for the sky to honour our very British weather - a blue sky and a hint of grey clouds!

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