You Made A Mistake On Your Ink Drawing – Now What?

By Nicole Tinkham


The biggest thing holding artists back from beginning their journey in the world of ink drawing is the fear of making a mistake! We tend to have this belief that ink is totally permanent and one little mistake can ruin the whole project. We agree, this can be a little overwhelming but keep in mind that ANY mistake no matter the medium can be worked around. An ink mistake can be tricky but we have 6 different solutions that could work for you. Read on for what to do if you’ve made a mistake on your ink drawing.

Be creative and draw over the mistake
Before you go removing that ink mistake with the following methods, think about how you can make it part of your drawing. Remember that “mistakes” are just happy little accidents. How can you incorporate that slip up in your artwork? What can you add to the piece to cover up the mistake?

Scan, Photoshop, print
If you’re computer savvy, removing the ink mistake in Photoshop is actually really simple. You do need to have Photoshop and know the basics of how to use it but all you’d have to do is scan the artwork, remove the mistake, and print it out.

Use a razorblade to scrape away the ink on heavier paper
Eeeek! Using a razorblade on your artwork can be a terrifying thing but this method actually seems to be the most popular among artists. Be sure to only do this on heavy paper and gently scrape the mistake out.

Use a Tombow Sand Eraser (for small stains)
Tombow offers a course eraser that can help with getting ink stains removed from your artwork. We recommend using this on a heavier paper so you don’t tear through it. We’ve also heard of artists using actual sand paper to gently rub the stain out.

Cover it with white out (if you’re using white paper)
Your typical bottle of white out can be used to cover up a mistake on white paper but be sure to get the right type! On very small details, you may want to use the correction pen vs the correction fluid with the brush.

If you are using an off white paper, you can cover the mistake up with paint but you’ll have to mix colors to get the perfect shade. You’ll probably have to add a tad of yellow to white paint. Even if the paper looks white, often times it’s not pure white.

Start over
If your mistake happened in the very beginning of a project or if you didn’t like where your ink drawing was going anyway and you didn’t spend much time on it, feel free to start over! That doesn’t mean you have to get rid of it. Maybe you can do something with it at a later date but don’t frustrate yourself trying to perfect the mistake when it’s just as easy to start fresh.

If you’re unsure about starting your first ink project, you need to just dive in! Leave your fears behind, go into it with an open and positive mind, roll with the mistakes if they happen, and have fun with it. Don’t rush or put too much pressure on yourself. Practice makes perfect so we encourage you to do an ink drawing every single day, even if it’s just a quick sketch. You’ll quickly get over your need for perfection and improve your skills. But if mistakes do pop up (they always do!) remember these 6 techniques for what to do.

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