By Joseph Weinzettle
My plein-air drawing materials include oils, silverpoint, bamboo brush and ink. For today’s blog, we’ll look at a couple samples of bamboo brush and ink drawings. I was introduced to this technique by Deborah Remington at the Cooper Union.
Bamboo brush and ink has an immediacy lacking in some other drawing media. Graphite and charcoals build up form and space more gradually with layers of marks. With ink wash, I typically use a three-step process to achieve depth of field. I start off with a light wash to sketch in the entire composition, build up the middle and foreground with a medium wash, and apply ink direct from the bottle (India or Chinese ink) to the foreground. I came to this approach by looking at Chinese Song Dynasty and Japanese ink painters such as Hasegawa Tohaku.
My subject in these works is the landscape, in the Tarpon Springs area. The first work, titled “Mitigation Area” was drawn over morning sessions in part of Brooker Creek Preserve. This is an altered landscape, in which a cypress pond was created to re-direct stormwater from development. The second work is “Study of Cemetery Lot”, drawn earlier this year during early evening sittings, which demonstrates a disturbed habitat typical of the Pinellas County landscape. Native cypress and pine trees are part of each composition.