Introduction to Pen and Ink

Skill Level : 1 Beginner

Medium : Pen and Ink Drawing

Subject : General

Tutor : Dennis Clark

Class Length : 1 hour 30 minutes

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Class Description

Pen and ink drawings have existed for thousands of years. In this lesson you are going to explore a few pen and ink techniques – enough to produce excellent drawings. Don’t skip them as they are very crucial to you producing masterpieces.

What you are going to Learn:

1. the basic vertical strokes
2. the basic diagonal strokes
3. the basic horizontal strokes\
4. the various combinations of the above strokes, and more
5. how to put this all together in various sketches
6. And, O yes, don’t forget the practice sheets!

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Class Video

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Class Tutorial

List of materials

Pen and Ink is an exciting medium to work in.  It is a challenge that is well worth the while. Where colour photos make a book expensive, pen and ink illustrations drastically reduce the cost of publishing a book. Let's take a brief look at the materials needed.

Ink is what makes the drawing visible.  In this series we will not be looking at coloured inks.  The ink being used here is a black waterproof Indian Ink.  Before using, the bottle needs to be given a good shake to evenly mix up all the suspended solids.

Any type of pen may be used.  Obviously different types are used to create the various textures in the drawing. In the photograph there are three of the types that will be used.  There are many more types in the market place.  We have here 3 UNIPIN fine line pens.  They are water and fade proof pigment ink pens- Sizes 0.3, 0.05 and 0.8 mm.  Then there is a normal dip type pen and the very versatile mapping pen.

Any type graphite pencil may be used.  The HB is recommended for the initial sketching work.  A 0.5 mm mechanical clutch pencil may also be sued.

Illustrated:  The Gum Eraser, White plastic eraser, Black eraser and lastly the Kneadable eraser.

1. A very soft brush for sweeping eraser particles off the drawing – NEVER wipe them off with the hand.
2. A craft knife for making minor corrections and sharpening the pencils.
3. Holder for loose nibs
4. Small measuring container for ink during drawing time.

Sketch book

Buy a sketch book with quality smooth cartridge paper.  The paper must not be flimsy.  Thick paper is the best.

Play around with the pen and ink

Get the “feel” of the pens before actual practice begins.

Practice sheets

This sheet is for practising straight lines, and also how to draw ithem evenly spaced. When practising do NOT try to draw at speed.  Do everything slowly and deliberately. Accuracy is the name of the game. Pen and ink drawing is a skill. “Quality work never happens when impatience tries its hand”.  Take your time now for quality later.

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Sheet #3 is for practising all types of diagonal lines.  The basis of all this here is to be able to draw various types of cross hatchings.  Cross hatching forms a major part of pen and ink work.

A different type of diagonal drawing.  Each of the practice sheets have sections where different size pens are used.

Another practice sheet for drawing texture.  Some of the exercises require concentration. With this type it is very easy to find yourself in a wrong area. A tip here is to keep your finger ion the photograph at the place you are working. Your attention will always come back to the right place. These errors are not easy to fix.  In most cases the drawing has been ruined when this happens. This is one area where haste or speed is the enemy.

Practice sketching a box

We need now to walk the talk.  Make a pencil sketch of a box as shown.  Then outline it, being careful not to fill in the “invisible” lines.  Now carefully draw in the lines to indicate that the top is open.

Practice sketching a cylinder and barrel

Notice how the shading of the cylinder and barrel has been executed.  Wider lines for bright areas and progressively closer together to increase the shading towards the edge roundings.  Pay particular attention to the ellipses at the top and the bottom.  Although they are placed on a flat surface the bottom is NOT drawn as a straight line.

About Dennis Clark

Dennis has been drawing and painting for most of his life (since 1944) and shortly after that in watercolours. During WWII there were no art books so to speak, so he had to teach himself through experimentation, sweat and tears. He teaches the following mediums online - Watercolours, Pastels, Acrylics, Pencil, Pastels, Pen and Ink and Oils.
Read more about Dennis Clark

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