Pen and Ink Techniques

Pen and Ink Techniques

Ink drawing is one of the harder aspects of drawing in general. One has to create shading and images through what’s known as hard-edged design. This is not an easy thing to do, especially when trying to make something look realistic. For that reason, it more often used in cartoons, where the characters are supposed to be mockery or humans or animals they do not have to look real.

One of the most common techniques used is called pointillism. This is used for shading and is very common in many styles of ink drawing. It is a series of dots ranging from so close that no space can be seen to so far apart that the surface looks white. This is a comparatively easy way to shade using pens. One can control the size of the dots and where they’re put. They can also be used to make various shapes better (that is, they can be rounded or straight, and either way look natural).

Another technique is called hatching. It is simply a series of lines that are drawn across a surface, ranging from solid black to very far apart (depending on the size of the surface, they may get farther or still be relatively close to representing the white). It is a good technique for beginning artists, as drawing straight lines at varying intervals is not hard. One should be careful that they GRADUALLY move apart, and that nothing is done suddenly. It won’t create the necessary effect if this is done.

Cross-hatching is another element of design. It is a more complicated one and is usually done by advancing artists. It drawing lines in two directions (usually perpendicular, but not necessarily) to create shading. It is harder to do, as the intervals of both lines must be watched carefully. This is not recommended for beginning ink drawers, who should most likely start with regular hatching.

A lot of the design lies in the way the artist chooses to set up his/her paper. The overlap should be used (when necessary; in designs, but not always when characters are being created), and interesting negative space should be created as positive images are laid down. This is very eye-catching (the element of the design itself) especially in this type of drawing, where there is rarely any color. Ink drawing usually means black and white.

Another thing that an artist can do to make things more interesting is to vary the way the line is. This means edges (which can vary between sharp and soft) and, especially, line thickness. Many different pens are often used in order to create a contrast between certain sections. At least three different pens should be available, from around 0.3mm to 1mm. These will create even more in the work very thin lines tend to create sharper edges and clearer images, while thicker lines tend to blur things and make them more user friendly.

Following these techniques, anyone can come up with a beautiful ink drawing. It’s not too hard a skill to learn; it simply employs techniques that must be followed a little more closely than some other types of drawing. This will also enhance anyone’s art skills and will leave them with a good foundation for moving on to smearable materials and color.


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