Oyster Catcher in ink

Oyster Catcher in ink by Stuart Fowle (ArtOnTheHoof)

I created this little Oyster Catcher in ink as a small exercise in using a method called stippling (also known as pointillism).

The drawing, which is based on one of my own reference photos. I used a mixture of Faber Castell Pitt artist pens and Staedtler triplus fineliners which worked really well together.

For the paper I used my Winsor & Newton A5 heavy weight paper sketch book (170gsm). Very happy to report that the paper is actually well suited for ink work. There was no bleeding of the ink to the other side of the paper.

My work process is to do the initial sketch in pencil and then go to work with the ink pens.

As with most of my drawings, I started with the eye. I used a combination Dark Sepia and Sanguine Faber Castell pens to render the eye.

Moving on from the eye, I tentatively started work on the Oyster Catcher’s head. For this stage I used a combination of different sized (size S and F) black ink pens. The size

When I got to the beak, I used the brighter colours of the Staedtler fine liners. Also by this stage I was starting to feel more confident with the whole process.

Work on the top half the Oyster Catcher then commenced. I made sure that I defined the wings and tail feather areas so that they were clear and obvious.

I realised that adding lots of black dots the work was looking a bit flat. Therefore to add a bit of life to it, I started adding Dark Sepia dots in with the black. I feel this gives the image a bit more life and depth.

The next step was the white of the bird. I did not want to use black again, as I felt this would just look the same as the top half. So I decided to use a very light blue, with a small amount of black dots to emphasise

My final phase was to render this Oyster Catcher in ink legs. I used as combination of Faber Castell black and sanguine for the dots.

At the start of this exercise I thought it would take me quite a while to complete it. It actually took me less time than I expected.


Stuart Fowle is a participant in the Amazon EU Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising programme designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.co.uk.

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