One of my favourite styles of drawing is using inks. I will often do a rough pencil in of whatever it is that I want drawn, then do the fine details afterwards with the inks. In some instances the ink needs to be put in using a very fine brush. Other times I can use a traditional nib pen, much like a calligraphy pen.
When doing something like the butterfly this is the exact methods that I used. The butterfly and Celtic knot-work were both penciled in carefully and very lightly. This gave the shape and dimensions that I wanted on these. Then, I decided on the colours. The butterfly, of course, was decided for me, since it was done from a photograph and the colours of the butterfly are already chosen for me. Whether you call it Nature or God, the beauty of the colours are already there, all I had to do was copy it as closely as possible with the tools I have at my disposal.
The next thing is, of course, choosing the colours that work with the natural colours of the butterfly. In this case I decided to do a very small landscape drawing as part of the whole endeavour. This was done entirely with inks and no pencil was used for this.
With the knotwork I colour the whole thing first, then do the outlines. This helps to keep it cleaner looking at the end. The interior of the knotwork is painted with the ink, but the outer edge is done using a pen with a nib that is dipped into the ink. There are some very fine drawing points available for this kind of ink work. I do recall once being stuck because my nib broke, so I actually used a pin. It doesn’t work nearly as well, because a nib has a reservoir that holds some ink above the drawing point and allows it to flow down as the ink on the tip is depleted. That makes it a lot easier and quicker when drawing.