Freedom in Arabia

This drawing is India ink on dual-ply bristol board. The dimensions are 11x14. Bristol board is smooth and strong. It can withstand being saturated with ink and it won’t peel or tear when an ink nib is dragged across it.

arabia town

Sweat the Details I experimented with different pen strokes to achieve realistic looking palm trees. Notice how the bird in the final drawing differs from this sketch in that it has its wings up, a more inspiring position.

turban ink

Headwear I used photos from the Internet to see how turbans are folded. I began with a simple outline, then moved on to the inking. When inking, try not to overdo the strokes. It is easy to forget that blank areas are just as effective as blackened ones.

robe fold
ink robe fold

Dress Rehearsal I had to drape a sheet over a model to capture the ebb and flow of a robe. Work in hard pencil, then graduate to ink.

ink hand

Lend a Hand Hold your own hands up to use as models. Think about it: how would you pick up the thing that you want to show being manipulated? Fingers are really a series of cylinders. The palm is shaped like a box. Notice how the creases of the fingers suggest their positioning.

arabia bird freedom

Finish Him! Realize that not all of your drawings will make the final cut. Make several smaller drawings and add them up. I may have made a hundred or so sketches on may way to completing the final draft that you see below. India ink is unforgiving when it comes to mistakes, so make sure your underlay sketch is as tight as possible.

Set the Stage I like to decide on a setting first. Make a few sketches of the general environment, in this case, a large Arabian city. You may have to study reference material to get a feel for the location that you hope to capture.