Pen and ink drawing is one of the most visually varied art practices in history. Over the centuries, ink has been used in many different types of art, from calligraphy to tattooing to art sketches and formal drawings. In modern times, these drawings are used largely for illustration, whether for advertisements, editorial cartoons, or comics. The practice of drawing with ink unites artists through the use of many of the same ink drawing techniques including hatching, crosshatching, wash, and various forms of line. With Artist Daily’s free eBook, Pen and Ink Drawing Techniques, you’ll discover insight from ink artists for achieving stunning effects when drawing with ink. Learn how to create an ink illustration with strong contrast and surprising subtlety.
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With your FREE copy of this free guide, you’ll have an expert guide handy for exploring the wonderful drawing possibilities. Learn tips for colors that are as rich or delicate with ink as you desire. In its most elementary form, a pen and ink drawing is stark black marks against a white surface. No dilution of color, no shades of gray. But artists who’ve spent time inking their way across a page know that drawing with ink can actually be an incredibly subtle and finessed endeavor if you use techniques that allow for a slow build up of dark areas for value contrast, and if you are open to the idea of using line in varied ways. In this free eBook, you’ll find the practices of artists past and present that show you how these effects are achieved.
Inking with Subtle Gradation
Artist, Melissa Tubbs creates drawings that are dense and rich with ink yet are made with delicate lines and are subtle with gradation. She builds up layers of line section by section, always changing direction so her parallel lines transform into hatched and crosshatched marks. Her main concentration consists of buildings of architectural significance or the decorative ornaments on those structures. She bases her drawings on photographs she’s taken of ornamentation of tall buildings. She covers the materials and techniques she uses for achieving detail and composition from her photographs into her work.
Tips for Drawing with Ink
Artists, Honore Daumier and Charles Gibson both worked with ink throughout their respective careers, but they used the energy of line very differently. Gibson kept his lines uniform in direction in a way that injected a liveliness into his work. His style became part of the hallmark of ink illustration in early twentieth-century America. Daumier, in a more traditional European approach, used line for both tone and contour in a way that can be traced back to Renaissance masters like Raphael. These two approaches to drawing with pen strokes are still alive and well in the here and now.
From Ink Sketches to Ink Paintings
Contemporary ink artists like David Beynon Pena and Neil McMillan have taken what their pen and ink predecessors have taught them, utilizing the practice as a skill honing endeavor on the part of Pena, with an emphasis on making preparatory ink sketches for his oil paintings. McMillan pursues drawings that are less graphic in feel, though he too finds that working with ink has enhanced his ability to paint—mostly in getting confident in working with a fluid medium. His early ink illustrations depicted subjects who were perfectly still. Over time, McMillan began to get bolder with his approach and draw people who were animated or in conversation. He found that the movement in his drawings added a whole new level of excitement to his inking experience.
Inking for the first time can be quite a challenge, but with the tips and experience learned from the ink artists highlighted in this free tutorial, you can discover how rewarding the skill can be. Explore ways to transform your ink sketches from other artists’ experiences and apply them to your work. These techniques could be the first step in improving your pen and ink drawing techniques.