Category Archives: Ink

Cosmic Koi


Cosmic Koi by Meg Lyman

11×14″ gouache and ink on illustration board


This was another fun experiment! I used a large ink brush by Pentel – the kind you have to squeeze to get the ink flowing – to do the outline. I painted the koi with gouache and scanned it so it could be used as a tattoo. Then I colored the background, using salt and a white ink pen to make “stars.” This is pretty much backwards from how I usually work. Finally, I went over the ink again. It was challenging, but fun.

Also, I was out of big black mats, so I painted a beige mat with black gouache. It’s quite absorbent, so it worked well with only one coat… but the black gouache came off on my fingers if I rubbed it. Solution: frame or put in a ClearBag.

Another Step-by-Step

Another quick step-by-step demo, on a simpler piece. This technique is quick and easy and I can do it in my sleep now. When convention time rolls around and I have to do dozens of these, it comes in handy… but it gets old. Makes me want to break out the oils, or at least do a complicated gouache piece with a full background an no outlines.

Luckily I have a dozen of those complicated kinds of pieces I have to get ready for Dragon*Con, which is in a month. A MONTH. Pardon while I go panic and paint all day.


Step 1: Sketch, transfer.

Step 2: Since this is on dark-ish paper and the character is yellow, I lay down a white base layer. Without it, the yellows end up very dark and neutral. My advice when painting on dark paper: do a test sheet so you know what colors might need assistance.

Continue reading Another Step-by-Step

Be My Valentine


Won’t you be mine?

Woo, sorry it’s been so long since I gave you some how-tos. It’s tough getting the gumption to explain art techniques when you see PHP code in your sleep; I’m haunted by semicolons.

BUT! I want to say that I love my new white gel pen, put to good use in this piece. Magic white dots, immediately visible! Even better than chocolate.

Sneak Peek


I can’t show you the cool art I finished for the illustration contest last week, but I can show you a peek. I used gouache for the color and then outlined it with a big, thick india ink brush pen. I loved experimenting with this style and will probably do it again, especially for childrens’ work.

Gotta run, just captured a stray cat that was in my backyard, wigging out in my catnip plant.

Birthday Cards

Birthday Squid

Making birthday cards is way more fun than buying them. You don’t have to spend very long on them, because even if you make little mistakes, your friends and family will still love it more than all their other birthday cards because you made it. Even if it has a squid on it.


Nautilus Trap

Nautilus Trap by Meg Lyman

Ink on notecard


First, I updated my website with the three meager paintings I did in January. Go look! If you want to be on my mailing list and get notified when I update the site, send me a note.

Something fairly exciting happened this week. I got a call from someone writing a childrens’ book who said she and her partner saw my website and were interested in having me illustrate the book.

Cool, I thought. Let’s see what they have to say. They took me out to lunch and pitched their book to me. It seems like an awesome book, and is nearly finished. Their next step is getting art and a publisher. I’m on track to do some character design for them, and potentially illustrate the whole book.


The coolest thing about it (besides the characters being right down my alley) is that they found me in a fairly obscure local newspaper. The awesome artist who organized our participation in the boat show had us write blurbs about ourselves and got them into the local paper. Lesson: do as much as you can, even shows that may not mean a lot of sales, for the exposure. Never let an opportunity pass you by!

Metallic ACEOs

Cat Eye ACEO

Cat Eye ACEO by Meg Lyman

Ink on ACEO

$10 – click to buy

Although you’ve all given me fabulous ideas about how to clean my scanner (thank you!), I haven’t tried any of them yet. Instead, I blissfully scanned more art, expecting it to turn out horribly. As a result, when it turned out OK, I was pleasantly surprised.

I got a pack of ACEOs when I bought some gouache from someone over on WetCanvas. About half of them make me wonder what in the world people DO with ACEOs. I have shiny, slick, metallic cards, cards with stripes, and hot pink. These black ones look neat, but they’re slick, so I needed light-colored ink to use with them. I’d been wanted to buy metallic brush pens for a while… so I did, and here’s the result. Metallic ink is waaay too much fun. And the scanner handled it OK!

Cat Prints II

Cat Prints II by Meg Lyman

9×12″ ink on Yupo


Playing around with Yupo has been fun. You can do some very neat things with brush pens on it. This close-up shows the texture you can create using only one pen:

The only catch is, it takes several days to dry. It inevitably gets cat hairs and dust stuck in it, which must be painstakingly removed while you curse yourself for forgetting to cover it while it dried. At the same time, you must avoid touching the dry ink, because it lifts off the plastic like dry-erase marker lifts off whiteboards. But still, it’s fun.

Cat Prints I is here: [link]