I have been wanting to be a bit more expressive in style, and to loosen up a bit. However, when you get RA, it’s not a good idea to have the hands tense for a period of time, which can happen easily when using pencil, pastel, etc, since you need to press harder to get that thinker and darker line.
I have been doing these studies with a light grey, mid-grey and black. So I just dilute the ink for the grey tones, and store it in little screw top containers. The top image was done with a number 3 brush, while the self portrait was done with a Chinese sable brush.The nice thing about the Chinese brush is the variety of kinds of stroke that it allows.
I guess you could think of these as drawings done in a painterly way, where there is an initial layer, or ground, just made up of free brush strokes, and from there I build up tones with density of strokes. Contour lines and little details are left to the final phase. The tricky thing to keep in mind is you don’t have any white to do highlights, so you have to be careful to dodge the lightest areas.