Work out at least three alternative compositions for your objects and other material, and test colour combinations in your sketchbook. Use a collection of markers with different sized fibre tips, from fine points to wedge shapes. Choose a variety of colours in different tonal values. Pick some vibrant coloured inks and have ready a couple of different widths of nibs for your dip pens. Try using both media together. Once you’ve tested a few compositional possibilities, select the one you feel works best and recreate it on an A4 or A3 sheet (or use a found surface).
I spent a bit of time playing with different pens and dip pens in my sketchbook before creating a final drawing. I was thinking about the concepts of cartoons and pop art and thinking about how to create a lively “pop” image. I wanted to move away from literal representation towards flattening and brightening a bold picture with intense colours.
Brush pen and marker pens on A3 250gsm bristol board (extra smooth). In this first attempt I was thinking about trying to flatten the image whilst still drawing in shadow and tone. I felt the cherry tomatoes worked well- I liked the cartoon-like highlights, which I forgot to put into the other fruit. I tried dabbing ink off the page with a wet towel which smudged the finish and detracted from what I was attempting to do. I like the effect of the bold outlining which added to the cartoon style.
Dip pen & ink and marker pens on A3 250gsm bristol board (extra smooth). This time I decided to go with my natural instinct to represent detail and form in the objects but to enjoy using bright unrealistically vivid colours. I started in the lightest areas on each piece of fruit and built up through mid tones to the darkest colours. Whilst trying to represent the textures of each piece of fruit I was not attempting to create photorealism and I enjoyed using different squiggly lines to suggest the citrus fruit skin (more suggestion that realistic texture). I think the apple works the best; it looks very round and vivd and juicy!
Lastly, I added the background, from my imagination, but I was annoyed that I put the edge of the surface the fruit was sitting on too low so it looks as if the pepper is about to fall off the table! If I did this again I would make sure I set up a background to draw from. I chose bright but contrasting colours for the background to exaggerate the intensity of the fruit colours. I really liked the way the (Sharpie) marker pens worked in layers. The first colours were true and all subsequent colours blended nicely with those beneath. I used dip pen last to add detail and outline in places- again to increase the impact and contrast of bright colours against the dark areas.