I like that these beetles are named after large, lumbering animals. When you draw them at this size--not that big really, about 8x10 inches--but larger than life, they do have that quality, like noble beasts.
Got a little more opaque with this one. At first I thought I overworked it, but now I really like it. It's done in acrylic ink, which has a different quality than regular ink--you can really layer it in. So this one has more of a glazed look, like an acrylic or oil painting. Acrylic ink has got the opaque quality of acrylic and the fluid quality of ink that's ideal for dry brush. You just can't get the same effect with watered down acrylics. Acrylic ink maintains it's opacity as a pigment in it's fluid state, while you lose that opacity when you water down acrylics. Colored inks too, though more potent color-wise, aren't as opaque as acrylic ink.
I've tried acrylic ink with crow quill pen with mixed results. it tends to gum up the pen if you don't rinse it off frequently, and don't even think about putting it in a technical pen!
It's too bad acrylic ink doesn't tend to come in artist's colors, though. Last time I bought them they came in colors like, "Hot Momma Red". The problem is pigment--when you buy nice watercolors, acrylics or oils, the pigments are consistent-- cadmium red is always cadmium red, and if you mix it with ultramarine blue, no matter what the medium, you'll always get the same color. But who knows what happens when you mix Hot Momma Red with Lapis Lazuli Blue. There's a lot more trial and error, and you're just not going to be able to get the same colors you're used to. Right now that's less of an issue for me though, since I'm working in monochrome, but I've been considering trying full color painting with the medium. It might be my answer when it comes to this idea of painting nudibranchs with my dry brush technique! I might finally be able to get that luminous quality that they have. Also, I just like to say, "nudibranchs".