How To Create A Pen And Ink Drawing

902 words - 4 pages

This type of art focuses on drawing skills, and as such takes time in learning the basics of illustration. Color is secondary to form in a pen and ink drawing, and simply reinforces and fills out the inked in portion of the work. Simply put, you really need to know how to draw to pull off this type of art.


A student artist will probably draw long before he ever takes brush in hand. A pencil and a notepad are all that is needed to practice and develop this skill. There are many fine books and magazines devoted to drawing, as well as countless web pages and articles.

Once a student has developed a little self-confidence in creating a pleasing drawing, he is most anxious to ...view middle of the document...

However, if the artist intends on doing wet in wet or large applications of paint, the paper should be stretched onto the drawing board, just as a watercolorist does.


Ink and a pen are most commonly used for this type of artwork. The Eastern oriental style similar to this type of painting uses a bamboo paintbrush for applying the ink. It really is a form of calligraphy. However, Western art, using a pen to apply the ink, is the more modern method, and requires less advanced painting skill.

The artist will use a good quality, permanent India ink, which will not bleed when exposed to water. There is something painterly about a quill pen. It allows the student to vary the thickness of line with just a slight change in pressure. It definitely is more time consuming and takes more practice, but it has a quality of its own. There are many sizes of nibs and holders available and a nice assortment of these tools is not a costly investment. The more modern artist may consider using permanent markers for easy and speed. They are available in a number of thicknesses, but make sure they are permanent, not water-soluble.


When doing this type of painting, it is very loose, but in a thoughtful manner. The paint highlights or accentuates an area of the work, and is not meant to be used throughout the entire painting. When the artist has completed the inked drawing, it is time to apply color. This is one of those cases where less can be more. If the student adds...

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