BASIC BLACK: PEN AND INK

THE PARADISE. © 2013 ELLEN WARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. DO NOT REPRODUCE REBLOG OR PIN. PENTEL HYBRID TECHNICA in STILLMAN & BIRN ALPHA JOURNAL.

THE PARADISE. © 2013 ELLEN WARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. DO NOT REPRODUCE REBLOG OR PIN. PENTEL HYBRID TECHNICA in STILLMAN & BIRN ALPHA JOURNAL.

MASTERPIECE THEATER is a great training ground for sketch practice. Zola’s THE PARADISE is currently airing and certainly delivers lots of visual stimulation. Period dramas have the best lighting because they aim for a natural appearance and produce strong, obvious shadows. The past few sketches in the DELTA and ALPHA journals have reminded me of my favorite instructional book on inking techniques . It is an oldie but a goodie:

RENDERING IN PEN AND INK by ARTHUR GUPTILL

Classic pen and ink techniques were not taught when I was in art school. Instructors provided some basic tips about cross contour shading and crosshatching, but traditional masters transcended any mechanical interpretation of these approaches. Great ink illustrations often use a variety of expressive and informational marks to produce results that are akin to painting.

This is another attempt with a PENTEL HYBRID TECHNICA pen, working loose  with a combination of hatching and scribbles for speed. The slight tooth of the paper helps to break up the ink and allows one to build masses slowly with directional line. This kind of paper is really good for beginners, despite the fact that often instructional books advise a smooth plate paper like BRISTOL BOARD for inking. Smooth paper is great for rapid and gestural marks because the pen has no resistance on its trajectory. For most beginners in my experience, super fast lines may lead to frustration when one is just figuring things out. A little drag can be good thing!

Sometimes the simplicity of a black mark on a white page is all one needs to tell a story.

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2 Responses to “BASIC BLACK: PEN AND INK”

  1. Ronny Parkerson Says:

    Hello. I really admire your work, and this posting on pen & ink is excellent. I am a beginner having taken up art as a hobby in retirment. I have taken classes in drawing, watercolor, acrylics, & colored pencil, yet I have not found a niche, nor do I feel as if I have made any improvement. Drawing the human form is something I have no success with, but I do enjoy “creative” doodling with pen & ink. Thanks for showing your work so we can all enjoy it.

    • invincible pioneer Says:

      HMMM: if you do not feel like you are “improving” I am going to suggest something.
      Pick some very simple materials and begin working with them daily for 15 minutes. 8 colored pencils, for instance. Draw a bit everyday from life using only these materials. Mix it up: a scene outside your window, a red pepper, a selfie in a mirror, breakfast.

      Do this for 30 days straight as a mental exercise. I also recommend reading any book by the fabulous LYNDA BARRY. She is the GRAND POOBAH OF CREATIVITY…I wonder if she owns a fez?

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