Not Just For Ink Blots Anymore

1 Oct 2013

Drawing with ink takes the precision of a master draftsman and the skill of a watercolorist handling a fluid medium. When I was in school I was completely captivated by the silky dark lines of one of the most famous pen and ink artists, Aubrey Beardsley, but there are several artists working today whose pen and ink drawing work deserves some attention, too.

Daniel Egneus is a Swedish illustrator who works with pen and ink drawing and watercolor. He's had widespread commercial success creating illustrations and designs for Haagen-Dasz, BMW, and Nike, among others, so you may be familiar with his drawings. And if you aren't you'll know them now by the way he contrasts slender line strokes and outlines with voluminous passages of dark ink. His drawings feel more like ink sketches, with marks that are not deliberate and end results that have an ease and flow to them. He's also got a playful side to him, turning a girl's ponytail into a small school of goldfish--and that's the kind of play that opens up one's creative mind.   

Works by Daniel Egneus. Works by Daniel Egneus.
Works by Daniel Egneus.

Matt Rota pursues his own fine art drawings while holding down freelance work for a variety of sources including the New York Times Op-Ed page. From images based on current news coverage to more inchoate narratives that lead to expansive ideas as you view them, my mind never shuts off when I look at his ink drawings. I'm always abuzz with ideas or fragmented thoughts, attesting to his strong compositional skills and his way of creating unconventional and sometimes alarming scenes that grab you with a strong image, but never run away with formal concerns. His work could never be described as "art for art's sake." Instead, the artist keeps any purely aesthetic impulse in check to visually whisper in your ear, though never giving away too much.  

Works by Matt Rota. Works by Matt Rota.
Works by Matt Rota.

I think of collapsing worlds and images when I look at the work of Minjae Lee. He's a young South Korean artist who uses color, pattern, and line to create images that read like slick ink paintings that combine fantasy imagery, typography, the human face, and more. His drawings are almost completely ornamental and the height of artifice, but my eye follows each line almost as if I was looking at a landscape painting--that is how engaging each passage of any one of his drawings is.     

Works by Minjae Lee. Works by Minjae Lee.
Works by Minjae Lee.

To see more artists whose drawing or painting styles set them apart, consider a subscription to Drawing, The Artist's Magazine, Pastel Journal, Southwest Art, or Watercolor Artist. You'll find figure drawing expertise, still life studies, lessons in painting--all in the medium you prefer. So wait no more if you want an up-close look at the artists and methods that inspire you so you can learn how they do what they do so well. Now's the time! Enjoy!

P.S. What artists working with pen and ink do you admire? Leave a message and let me know.

 


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Comments

on 20 Apr 2012 8:15 AM

My colleague and friend, John Pierro is an inspiring artist who works in many mediums, but excels in pen & ink. Here's a link to his work: johnpierro.com/.../25847_Pen_Ink.html

Pencil Me In wrote
on 20 Apr 2012 3:28 PM

If anyone wants to look up that wonderful pen & ink artist you mention, it's actually Aubrey (with a "b") Beardsley, and his fabulous art is well worth a viewing!

on 20 Apr 2012 6:16 PM

I like Aubrey Beardsley. I have not heard of Audrey.

on 20 Apr 2012 10:42 PM

Ooops! Typo! It is indeed Aubrey Beardsley that I was referring to.

Ian Fletcher wrote
on 21 Apr 2012 5:29 AM

Paulette Fedarb, any time !

See her ink lines , dots, scribbles, etc, overwashed with water colour in an imaginative

highly original style.

Ian Fletcher

ianfletcher@iafrica.com

s

nikki112459 wrote
on 21 Apr 2012 11:43 AM

See now that is the rub. I have been interested in ink paintings for a few years now. And let me tell you what I found. When I ask about ink paintings in the USA I am told " Oh you know that is an Asian Style of painting?". And when I say no it is not. I am told that " We in the States don't use ink to make pictures any more since the advance of the computer and wooden printers being obsolite.

But if we did use to use ink to create pictures, where are all the old pictures, as well as artist who created them? Nobody seems to have an answer for me.

So if any body knows any American ink painters please email me.

karenbarnard wrote
on 21 Apr 2012 12:53 PM

I love ink!

My work is primarily ink. I become totally lost in all the lines.

Check it out.....

karenbarnard.com/home.html

nsdeitz wrote
on 23 Apr 2012 11:33 AM

I really wish you could enable your newsletter to allow us to enlarge the illustrations for a closer look.  Please consider doing this.

Helen South wrote
on 14 Sep 2012 5:47 PM

Ed Hall. He's probably best known as a cartoonist, but he's also an amazing artist in his own right. I've been lucky enough to persuade him to do a few tutorials for me at drawsketch.about.com. Ed has a really beautiful sense of form and contour like that of a classically trained artist, but without losing that sense of the artist's hand at work - there's so much energy in his line. His figure drawings in ink are just gorgeous.

www.halltoons.blogspot.com.au

sepblues wrote
on 2 Oct 2013 1:01 PM

Daniel Eugene creates intoxicatingly beautiful pen and ink line drawings, musings on his complex inner life.  His drawings display a vocabulary of form and symbol that at times seems vaguely familiar, and other times, otherworldly.  Apart from the imagery, the flowing forms are a treat for the eye but soon engage the viewer's imagination.  The masterful lines leave one wondering about the magnificence of the human mind and hand as they work together to produce transcendent images that have a corollary in wonderfully composed music. His work is truly the stuff of dreams.  Visit the website at http://www.feruvius.com

sepblues wrote
on 2 Oct 2013 1:01 PM

Daniel Eugene creates intoxicatingly beautiful pen and ink line drawings, musings on his complex inner life.  His drawings display a vocabulary of form and symbol that at times seems vaguely familiar, and other times, otherworldly.  Apart from the imagery, the flowing forms are a treat for the eye but soon engage the viewer's imagination.  The masterful lines leave one wondering about the magnificence of the human mind and hand as they work together to produce transcendent images that have a corollary in wonderfully composed music. His work is truly the stuff of dreams.  Visit the website at http://www.feruvius.com

sepblues wrote
on 2 Oct 2013 1:02 PM

Daniel Eugene creates intoxicatingly beautiful pen and ink line drawings, musings on his complex inner life.  His drawings display a vocabulary of form and symbol that at times seems vaguely familiar, and other times, otherworldly.  Apart from the imagery, the flowing forms are a treat for the eye but soon engage the viewer's imagination.  The masterful lines leave one wondering about the magnificence of the human mind and hand as they work together to produce transcendent images that have a corollary in wonderfully composed music. His work is truly the stuff of dreams.  Visit the website at http://www.feruvius.com

sepblues wrote
on 2 Oct 2013 1:07 PM

Daniel Eugene creates intoxicatingly beautiful pen and ink line drawings, musings on his complex inner life.  His drawings display a vocabulary of form and symbol that at times seems vaguely familiar, and other times, otherworldly.  Apart from the imagery, the flowing forms are a treat for the eye but soon engage the viewer's imagination.  The masterful lines leave one wondering about the magnificence of the human mind and hand as they work together to produce transcendent images that have a corollary in wonderfully composed music. His work is truly the stuff of dreams.  Visit the website at http://www.feruvius.com

sepblues wrote
on 2 Oct 2013 1:07 PM

Daniel Eugene creates intoxicatingly beautiful pen and ink line drawings, musings on his complex inner life.  His drawings display a vocabulary of form and symbol that at times seems vaguely familiar, and other times, otherworldly.  Apart from the imagery, the flowing forms are a treat for the eye but soon engage the viewer's imagination.  The masterful lines leave one wondering about the magnificence of the human mind and hand as they work together to produce transcendent images that have a corollary in wonderfully composed music. His work is truly the stuff of dreams.  Visit the website at http://www.feruvius.com

sepblues wrote
on 2 Oct 2013 1:08 PM

Daniel Eugene creates intoxicatingly beautiful pen and ink line drawings, musings on his complex inner life.  His drawings display a vocabulary of form and symbol that at times seems vaguely familiar, and other times, otherworldly.  Apart from the imagery, the flowing forms are a treat for the eye but soon engage the viewer's imagination.  The masterful lines leave one wondering about the magnificence of the human mind and hand as they work together to produce transcendent images that have a corollary in wonderfully composed music. His work is truly the stuff of dreams.  Visit the website at http://www.feruvius.com

dkartist11 wrote
on 9 Oct 2013 4:49 PM

My favorite medium is Pen and Ink. I work in others i.e., charcoal, graphite pencils, and watercolor but P&I is the overall winner! My style uses the stippling technique and is quite tedious but well worth the effort. I don't think that today P&I art is given due respect as other mainstream mediums. I hope to help change that view! You can see some of my work at fineartamerica.com under dkbetts11. See u there!