He Turneth Rivers Into A Wilderness – In this post, I’ll explain a general step by step for creating the pen & ink and watercolor artwork, ‘Turneth Rivers Into A Wilderness’. The paper that was used for this project was Strathmore’s 18″ X 24″ 400 series Watercolor paper. After sketching out the celtic border, and the composition of the scene using a 2H pencil and a kneaded eraser, I determine a width for the border. From there I begin drawing the knotwork while trying to find a pattern that will enhance the landscape. The ‘knots’ need to be properly spaced vertically and horizontally so they fit together like a puzzle. Using a 1.20mm Koh-I-Noor Rapidograph pen, circle template and french curve, I draw and ink the border. Unlike painting, I always ink the celtic border first. When I am painting with gouache, I paint the border last.
Always use only Koh-I-Noor inks for your Rapidograph pen. Once the celtic border is inked, I continue the pencil drawing of the composition, adding more detail. Once the pencil drawing is complete, I begin the ink drawing using a crow quill pen with india ink. Pictured below is the crow quill pen I’ve been using since 1980. It is a Koh-I-Noor No. 127 ‘Made in Germany’ nib holder. The nib I use is a Speedball 22B.
The drawing of the landscape is always inked using a crow quill pen because you can make your lines with various line widths. More pressure will give you a thicker line while less pressure will give you a thinner line. I only use the Rapidograph for the border and the crow quill for drawing the landscape or composition. Once both the pencil drawing and the border have been inked, I begin adding the watercolor. For this project, I used Windsor & Newton watercolor pigments. For brushes I use Robert Simmons White Sable Rounds, sizes 2, 4 and 6. The title of this painting is based on Bible scripture from Psalms 107:33, ‘He Turneth Rivers Into A Wilderness…’. And here is the finished artwork: