blotted line drawing & aries

aries_7Many people ask what kind of medium and what kind of technique do I use.  So, I thought I should share how do I paint my paintings using my interpretation of the astrological sign Aries as an example.

The technique I use is called “Blotted Line Drawing”.  Since I was a child, I have loved illustrations created by this method without ever knowing how it was done.  It was only until I saw an Andy Warhol drawings exhibition, that I found out about it.  After that, I completely changed my painting style, and adopted blotted line drawing technique.  Though looking back, I should have done more research when I first started this, because it would have saved me lots of trials and errors!

Above is the final product which is all hand-drawn, scanned, and touched up on a computer.  And below are the steps:

1. I first sketch out my original idea for Aries



2. I then trace the sketch in pencil with design vellum paper, as I find normal tracing paper to be too thin



3. The traced sketch is outlined with ink by me slowly blotting the outlines on to a mounted sheet of watercolour paper.  This is a really time consuming step, where lots can go wrong–too much ink, small splatters, smudging, and etc. Oh, how much time and sheets of paper and time have I wasted in the past (and still do) on this step alone!



4.  After completing the ink blotting, I wait overnight for the ink to dry



5. I use watercolours with traditional Chinese/Japanese paint brushes to colour in the illustration



6. After another night, the dried coloured image is scanned to be touched up digitally.  I do this because too much of the texture from the paper shows up in the scans, and is very distracting especially when viewed on a computer screen.  This is the same image as the initial one of this post–the completed product, so to say



7. The original painting is framed, and is really to be showcased at the stars & my favourite things show!  Of course, my little Aries is also looking forward to meeting her new owner, and finding her destined new home!



For more information about the blotted line technique, please visit the Andy Warhol Museum website (For me, I found this out a little too late):

They even have a step-by-step video, though I personally neither use watercolour ink nor trace from photos even when I draw items in real life.