Illustrator Anna Sokolova is known for her expressive use of colored inks. Looking at her work, it's easy to see why she fell in love with this medium. Whether she's drawing expressive animals, creating fashion illustrations, or painting realistic flowers, her work shows just how versatile inks can be. And luckily, Sokolova loves sharing tips for using them so that everyone can understand why they need inks in their artistic arsenal.
“Inks are such a magical medium that it feels almost like alchemy! All those brilliant little bottles remind me of liquified jewels,” Sokolova tells My Modern Met. “With just one bottle, you can create both extra-fine permanent lines or extremely subtle washes that look like watercolor. There are so many various techniques with endless possibilities. The challenge is to be brave and try to control this medium.”
Luckily, her new book Brilliant Inks is a step-by-step guide to using colored inks. Geared towards beginners, she goes over different techniques that will help anyone create florals and foliage, animals, still lifes, figures and portraits, or hand lettering projects.
Or, if you are a visual learner, let her hold your hand every step of the way in her My Modern Met Academy online class about colored inks. Her class is called Animal Portraits in Colored Inks: Tell a Visual Story That Conveys Emotion. Over the course of several lessons, you'll work together to create an illustration of a stunning animal using different ink techniques.
Thanks to her passion for teaching, Sokolova helps others discover the joy of color inks. Her advice to others just shows her desire to educate everyone about its myriad uses. “Try as many ink techniques as you can imagine. Unlock your creativity with nib pens, brushes, washes, special effects, and monotypes to find out what suits your character and personality best,” she advises. “The variety of textures and approaches will add another dimension to your art practice, regardless of your style. If you regularly devote just a few minutes to practicing and exploring ink possibilities, I guarantee you’ll feel an immediate improvement in your art techniques.”