Thursday, August 17, 2017

Making "Protection from Fate's Seas", Part 2

My only no-tan preliminary sketch for "Protection from Fate's Seas"

At this point in time I was experimenting with ways to achieve charcoal-style ease of sketching without using charcoal—charcoals, pastels, and other dusty dry media hurt my lungs badly and aggravate my asthma to the point where I end up in the emergency room.

Thus I took out some cream-colored Strathmore 400 series drawing paper and did a rough sketch using a Pentel Pocket brush pen—the tip is actual bristles instead of felt, so it was easy to get dry-brush style effects similar to charcoal, especially on the toothy drawing paper. This allowed me to easily feel out and build up the composition of my no-tan interpretation (white = water and very bright highlights, black = rocks).

This is where happy accidents come in for me. I'd drawn the initial frame for my sketch too tall, so I had to color in the top to get a better sense of the composition below. But the block of black at the top fit in so well that it had to play a role in the final painting.

For more about no-tan, see this previous post.

For the rest of the posts on this series, see the Protection from Fate's Seas label.

Ava Jarvis is an ink and watercolor artist with a portfolio site at If you found this post useful, consider a one-time tip or supporting Ava on Patreon.