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Ink Drawing

Learning Hatching for Pen-and-Ink Illustration of Surfaces

davinciinitiative 4 3864305 penandinkdrawing pdf “PEN AND INK DRAWING” 9 12 DRAWING With your quill pen, dip the drawing point half way into the sepia ink bottle Proceed to re draw the subject, reworking the pencil drawing This is the second draft,

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Pen and ink drawing techniques Drawing with Ink to Create Art with Strong Contrast and Surprising Subtlety

pen and ink drawing techniques


T u bbs

I was sensing a lack of focus and accomplishment in my drawings and pastel paintings

I felt a need to concentrate on one medium and develop into the very best artist I was capable of becoming—and,

to create work that was marketable

Those concerns led me to find a medium few other artists were using,

and determine how to provide a service people valued

At about that time,

my sister came to me with the kind of request artists often receive

She asked if I would create an original drawing of her father-in-law’s house that she could give him as a Christmas gift

Fulfilling such requests from family members for holiday or wedding gifts,

or commemorative documents is often a thankless and unprofitable enterprise


it gave me an idea of how I might change the direction of my art career

I put a lot of effort into that house portrait,

and several people who saw my pen-andink drawing ordered similar renderings of their dwellings

With that encouragement,

I asked a local gift shop to display a few of my drawings of historic homes in hopes of attracting more commissions

That display led to an ongoing assignment from a local law firm (Gidiere,


Alabama) Looking South to document every courtby Melissa R

This content has been abridged from an original article written by Melissa B

This premium has been published by Interweave Press,

Fourth St


CO 80537-5655

Copyright © 2012 by Interweave Press,

The contents of this publication may not be reproduced either in whole or in part without consent of the copyright owner

pen and ink drawing techniques

Lombard Lamp Central Park South,

To date,

I have created more than a by Melissa Tubbs,

house drawings that are now framed and displayed in the law offices

the firm allowed me to reproduce the images on note cards sold throughout the region

Within a relatively short period of time,

I began to concentrate on drawing buildings of architectural significance or the decorative ornaments on those structures

Some were in danger of being altered or demolished,

and a few fragments were already removed from their original place of honor

My work became an act of preservation,

something that was and still is very satisfying to me

For example,

the Will’s Guild Montgomery chapter of the American Institute of Architects’ Tour of Homes

committee commissioned six drawings of the buildings open during their annual tour

Those drawings brought me a great deal of additional attention in the region and reinforced my standing as an artist available for drawing private homes and public buildings

In 1997,

I ended a career as an art director and the managing editor of a magazine to become a fulltime fine artist

I simply needed more time to fulfill commissions,

and I had ideas about expanding my art business by making proposals to area businesses and institutions

Three months after I resigned from my job,

the Montgomery Area Business Committee for the Arts accepted my proposal to create five drawings that were given to businesses supporting the arts

Museum of Fine Arts commissioned a series of eight drawings of the interior and exterior of its building,

the museum asked me to teach drawing classes

In the past 15 years,

the number of opportunities I’ve received to create collections of drawings,

and enter juried shows has been greater than I ever imagined

In 1999,

I received a $14,000 grant award from the Mellon Bank in Pittsburgh to support the publication of a brochure,

and— most important—create more drawings

In 2002,

I participated in a National Trust for Historic Preservation study tour in New York

In 2009,

Carnegie Hall,

NYC was included in the book “Strokes of Genius 2: The Best of Drawing Light and Shadow

pen and ink drawing techniques

I was commissioned by by Melissa R

Strathmore Artist 2009,

Papers to create drawings for their newly re-designed drawing pad covers,

Urban Lion was created for the 400 series pads and a drawing of their logo,

was created for the 500 series

Terra-Cotta Faces,


Materials and Techniques My drawings are based on photographs I take with Nikon D50 digital SLR camera with a zoom lens and an additional longer range zoom lens for taking pictures of ornamentation on taller buildings

I shoot overall photographs of the subjects,

trying to get the best composition within the lens so I can use one of those images as the basis of a drawing

I take a lot of detail photographs at different exposures so I capture important information in both the shadow and sunlit areas

I determine when to take photographs of buildings in order to get the best shadows by noting which direction they face

If facing east,

If facing west,

If the building faces south,

the best time is either early morning or late afternoon

I prefer late afternoon because I like the shadows going from left to right

It is almost impossible to get a photograph with strong shadows of a building facing north because the sun stays so low in the sky—especially in the winter

I print color images on HP Premium Plus glossy photo paper from which to work

After trying a number of different pens,

I found the combination of materials that works best for me

The pen I preferred to use is no longer available

I have had to find a new pen to use twice now because the manufacturers stopped making the pens that I used

I now primarily use the Rotring Isograph

The barrel is shorter than a rapidograph so there is less chance of clogging

It is always ready to use

The point glides smoothly along the paper and the ink is a rich,

These pens come in several point sizes

I use the smallest which is

Rotring pens are no longer sold in North America so I purchase them online

In my search for a pen to use for my architectural drawings I discovered two pens that work well for other types of drawings

The Copic

Multiliner SPs,

is wonderful for very small drawings requiring more wispy type line

and Prismacolor Premier Fine Line Markers for drawings when a warmer black ink is needed

Both of these pens come in several point sizes and may be purchased in artist supply stores and hobby shops or online

The inks in these pens are also lightfast

I prefer to work on sheets of Strathmore 400 series drawing paper because of its rich,

off-white color and the way the surface accepts the ink

I know many other pen-andink artists work on illustration boards,

but I find them to be either too stiff or too glaringly bright

This archival drawing paper can be purchased in pads,

The rolls of paper have been very useful when creating a drawing larger than the largest pad or sheet size

After sketching the basic design of a subject with a graphite pencil,

I lay in the underlying details in the first layers of ink

Those details include the shadow areas that may not be clearly seen in the finished drawing,

I slowly build up layers of lines in one small area at a time,

changing the direction of my parallel lines so the combination of hatched and crosshatched marks adequately describes the shape and volume of the subject

When I put a line down,

I want the marks to be deliberate and confident,

In addition to the number of layers of lines,

I can also control values by the amount of space I leave between the lines

As the drawing progresses,

I continually add several more layers of lines to the darkest areas to strengthen value contrast

If I am uncertain how to handle a

pen and ink drawing techniques

passage in a drawing or how to presby Melissa R

I look through my 13 x9

library of books on bottom right drawing and printDoors & Porches,

Home Again making to get ideas by Melissa R

like Albrecht Dürer and a contemporary artist like Barry Moser

The variety of line patterns in the reproduced wood engravings,

and woodcuts can suggest new ways of developing flat patterns,

I work best in intervals of two hours or so,

with 30-minute breaks between each session

I often get so excited about a developing picture that I have to force myself to take breaks,

especially as I’m nearing the completion of a drawing and become impatient to evaluate my finished work

The final shadow patterns pull all the individual areas together and make the drawing “pop” with the contrast of values and the added depth

It can take anywhere from two hours,

Urban Lion

Recording the Drawings When I complete a drawing,

I have it professionally scanned and filed on a CD

These scans hold the line detail of my drawings beautifully

I can e-mail images,

upload images to show entry sites,

burn to CDs to mail and reproduce images as needed

The cost is nominal because the work is black and white

Technology has really made it so much easier than when we had to have slides made

pen and ink drawing techniques

Ink Along & Around the Form From Honoré Daumier and Charles Dana Gibson to contemporary New Yorkers David Beynon Pena and Neil McMillan,

artists have found that pen-and-ink is a medium that allows quick work,

Picturesque America Anywhere Along the Beach by Charles Dana Gibson,

This content has been abridged from an original article written by John A

This premium has been published by Interweave Press,

Fourth St


CO 80537-5655

Copyright © 2012 by Interweave Press,

The contents of this publication may not be reproduced either in whole or in part without consent of the copyright owner

pen and ink drawing techniques The Golden Age of Illustration continues to exert a lively influence on American art

In the late-19th- and early-20th centuries,

the widespread distribution of magazines,

and the somewhat primitive state of photography combined to give illustration a unique power

A number of immensely skilled artists were able to deploy their talents before an enormous public and amass considerable riches

Along the way they established an approach to representation that is uniquely American

Nowhere is this more apparent than in the pen-and-ink sketches of Charles Dana Gibson

Gibson reworked the ven- title

Not only is the subject a celebration erable art of pen-and-ink to suit the of modernity but the way the image is ebullience and optimism of a new conti- made also conveys a very modern sense nent and a new age

He invented the defined by a certain zippiness and gencharacter of the Gibson Girl,

In order to understand just how this independent,

and attractive type of young lady whose presence and look is achieved it is worth comparing the piece to a pen-and-ink poise command the respect work by a European draftsand admiration of the entire Hercules Overpowering man of the previous genmale gender

In a typical a Lion eration,

Honoré Daumier example,

Picturesque by Raphael,

In Clown With America—Anywhere Along ink over preliminary indentation with the Drum we see an equally prothe Beach,

digious talent also deployGibson Girls are amusingly Collection Ashmolean Museum of Art and ing a fast and sure line to presented instead of the Archaeology,


illustrate a highly readable expected landscape of the England

pen and ink drawing techniques

And yet we sense immeby David Beynon Pena,

work is European top right and attached to Study After Charles the great tradiDana Gibson by David Beynon Pena,

The principal technical difference between the two works—apart from the inclusion of a wash in the Daumier—is that the Gibson drawing runs nearly all the pen strokes in one direction along each form

You can see this very clearly in the extended legs of the nearest girl in Picturesque America,

where the lines all run down the leg

The Daumier,

runs pen lines both along and around the forms

In European drawing,

going back to the Renaissance,

the idea was to use hatching to both build tone and to display the contour top left

Subway Commuter

A drawing by Raphael,

Hercules Overpowering a Lion,

shows typical freehand hatching running both ways around the form,

particularly in the legs and in the back of the figure

We can see in the Gibson drawing that the artist abandoned the attempt to fully describe the form

By simply running the line one way along the form he stated only the tonal position and thereby created a much more lively appearance in the image as a whole

This effort is combined with a greater simplification of contour than Daumier attempted

While nearly all drawing involves editing and selection,

Gibson seems to have taken an extra step,

and space to a concise repertoire of highly readable shapes

For the viewer it is like eating ice cream—and the American public really did lap it up

Gibson commanded an income of more than $50,000 a

year in the late 19th century,

a colossal fortune in today’s dollars

He owned an island off the coast of Maine and,

when one of his principal publishers—Life magazine—got into financial difficulties he simply bought the whole thing

He married into the Astor family,

and even had the Gibson martini named after him

Gibson’s stylistic adventures influenced the next generation of illustrators,

particularly the work of James Montgomery Flagg (1877–1960)

Most famous for his work in color,

which included the legendary recruitment poster of Uncle Sam,

Flagg did many pen-and-ink drawings that clearly owe a considerable debt to Gibson

Flagg worked directly in ink,

without any preparatory graphite,

to achieve a powerfully decisive finish

The illustrator and portraitist Everett Raymond Kinstler (1926–) continued the tradition

pen and ink drawing techniques

Clown With Drum by Honoré Daumier,

Collection The British Museum,



pen and ink drawing techniques

Vanessa Redgrave by David Beynon Pena,

Amy Brown and Gavin Lee in Mary Poppins by David Beynon Pena,

David Beynon Pena first came into contact with the tradition of American illustration when,

he watched Everett Raymond Kinstler do a demonstration portrait of Mario Cooper

He was captivated

After studying at New York’s High School of Art & Design,

he enrolled at the Phoenix School of Art just as it was taken over by the Pratt Institute

There he found himself working under Clifford Young,

a brilliant illustrator who had also been a mentor to Kinstler many years before at the Dunn School of Illustration,

New Jersey

Pena’s talent and enthusiasm were quickly recognized by the group of mature artists who gathered at The National Arts Club and the Salmagundi Art Club

Eventually Pena would find himself working as an assistant to Kinstler and talks appreciatively of the older artist’s mentoring and help over a number of years

Today Pena keeps a studio on Union Square in Manhattan and plies the trade of a portrait painter with great success

Neil McMillan grew up in South Carolina and was an avid artist as a child

When it came time for college,

South Carolina,

intending to take up a career in medicine

Shortly after graduating,

a bout of frostbite in his fingers during a hike on the Appalachian Trail alerted him to how much he valued his hands and his ability to draw

Nudged by this experience he began to study at the Art Students League of New York and the New York Academy of Art

He has particular praise for the teaching of Frank Porcu,

Andrew Reiss,

Ephraim Rubenstein,

pen and ink drawing techniques

Left Jab at the Garden

The work of two contemporary New York artists demonby David Beynon strates that both the Renaissance Pena,

tradition of hatching both ways around a form and the American illustrative tradition of carrying the hatching only one way along a form remain very much alive

David Beynon Pena and Neil McMillan are both avid practitioners of the art of pen-and-ink,

but each has adopted a different approach

“I carry my sketchbook everywhere,” says Pena

“I draw wherever I happen to be—on the subway,

waiting on line at the pharmacy,

” Pena works with both fountain pens and Bic ballpoint Clic Stic pens

“Ballpoint is very convenient,” he points out

“If you lose one you can always find another one close by—some stores such as Kinkos or FedEx even give them away

” The artist also finds that pulling out a ballpoint pen is less threatening or unusual to most people since it is a tool that everybody uses

In the studio he is more inclined to work with a traditional nib

“I love working with an assortment of Sheaffer,

Mont Blanc,



Platignum Silverline,

and Waterman fountain pens,” he says

“Although nothing can compare with the sharp contrast and efficacy of the Crow Quill nib

” Pena relishes the strengths of pen-and-ink,

in particular its portability,

and its demand for sureness of hand

“There are no excuses with pen-and-ink,” he states

“Ink is permanent and—as with golf—every stroke counts,

” Primarily a portrait artist with an avid following,

Pena uses pen-and-ink as a means of honing his skills and as a tool to refine his ideas for individual paintings

A trip on the subway usually finds him sketching fellow passengers

“I’m careful not to stare too much at any one person,” he says,

“although sometimes the person sitting next to you can give you away by staring from your sketchbook to the subject and back again

” The artist will also use his traveling time to think through a painting he is planning in the studio

“Pen-and-ink is a good medium to refine ideas about how things are going to be placed or just how you are going to show an arm or a hand,” he explains

Pena will

pen and ink drawing techniques

tuck working photographs into his sketchbook to make this possible


the artist has found himself spending an hour once a week traveling out to teach a class at the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey,

He uses the time to prepare the forthcoming lesson in his sketchbook,

demonstrating his approach to drawing the world

“I always tell my students that I don’t have a magic pill that can turn them into artists,” he says

“What I can teach them is principles

Pena uses a drawing style in which the line runs along the form,

“When the line is running just one way it is really just a tonal statement,” he explains

In general,

Pena propounds a very clear idea about the way in which a work is constructed

“I think of it as a fivestep process,” the artist says

This is usually a fairly linear thing

Second comes the construction,

which deals with everything that we see

We can think of seeing all forms from three sides: front,

and then either the top or the bottom

Having broken the forms down,

third is dividing the subject into areas of light and shadow

Once we have achieved this,

fourth we can observe that every area has a contour and those contours have to be refined,

which is where the halftones come in

We have to look at the areas where light and shadow meet,

we have to make sure that everything is consistent

” This breakdown of the pictorial process yields drawings that have a kind of angular jauntiness

A sketch of Vanessa Redgrave finds the artist rendering the jaw and chin in a series of almost straight lines,

an approach that is also particularly evident in the drawing of the eyebrows

The form emerges as a kind of construction framework reinforced by areas of tone established in quick strokes running along the form

In the deep darks of nostril holes and eyelids the line and tone coalesce into rich,

dark accents that nicely anchor the illusion

‘A’ Train by Neil McMillan,

51⁄2 x 7

‘A’ Train by Neil McMillan,

51⁄2 x 7

pen and ink drawing techniques

Studies in Expression—An Imitation of the Lady of the House

Neil McMillan is also a passionate devotee of by Charles Dana Gibson,

Like pen-and-ink

McMillan takes a sketchbook everywhere,

a habit he began when studying under Ephraim Rubenstein at the Art Students League of New York,

“The first day that I met him,

he suggested that everyone carry a small sketchbook,” says McMillan

but it immediately became an addiction

The bulk of my sketches were first done in graphite

As I began to adjust to the medium and approach,

I found that some limitations of graphite were less suited for doing candid sketches

I was doing a lot of figure drawing in the stu-

dio and classroom at the time,

and I was most comfortable with subjects who were perfectly still

My initial sketches were people sleeping on the subway,

Over time,

I became bolder with the approach

I began to draw people who were animated,

I find that the movement and risk of ruining the drawing or of getting caught adds a whole new level of excitement to the experience

I would often get caught drawing because the sound of the pencil scratching,

or pulling out the blade to sharpen would attract too much attention

I began doing the sketches in pen-and-ink because it’s better suited for sneaking up on people

” Although McMillan’s drawings

enjoy the same speedy attack as those of Pena,

his line is more searching and less graphic in feel

Often the main construction lines are “felt for” and restated once or twice before being laid down more decisively

And then lines,

are often modified by hatched contours moving around and away from them

While his approach is less studied than wholly academic drawing,

McMillan will freely draw contour lines both around and along the form

The result is something of a hybrid that harks back to earlier approaches to penand-ink and is reflected in the curious mixture of artists that McMillan most admires: Leonardo da Vinci,



McMillan seems more comfortable than any of

pen and ink drawing techniques

these artists in leaving sections of his drawings unresolved,

and it is sometimes the case that his abilities as a draftsman are considerably challenged by the complexities of a subject

To his credit,

the artist bravely leaves us to consider the results of his battle with the subject matter

Throughout all the work there is an obvious delight in the sheer presence of pen-and-ink as a medium

“Its winning qualities are contrast,

and elegance,” says McMillan

Talking of its powers of contrast he says,

“Ballpoint pens may respond to pressure,

offering a slight range of line values,

But I find the limitations of felt-tip pens to be a wonderful transition

When drawing,

This characteristic forces one to problem-solve in order to achieve value gradations

It has forced me to become more aware of hatching direction,

and individual line thickness and variation

” McMillan finds the permanence of ink is most desirable in a sketchbook where continued handling and abrasion can degrade a graphite drawing but leave a pen line as fresh as the moment it was done

As for elegance,

the artist feels that much of the quality of pen-and-ink arises from the inability to erase it

“This limitation forces one’s mindset and mark-making to adapt,” he says

“When I switched to pen-and-ink,

I found that my lines had to become looser and more sensitive in the beginning

As a whole,

the liquid medium is just more sensitive than graphite or other dry media

The lines tend to be more elegant

Pigeon on my Window Ledge

McMillan also finds that pen-andby David Beynon Pena,

ably with his work as a painter

“When I began doing pen-and-ink sketches,

I was also beginning to learn how to paint in oil,” the artist explains

“I was doing a lot of painting and found that I was having difficulty thinking in terms of paint— that is,

thinking in terms of pigment on top of surface

I’m not certain that pen-and-ink fits the bill,

but there is something about it that I find more akin to oil painting than graphite

” The artist also finds that he uses his sketches to explore composition ideas that apply to later studio work

“Some of my favorite paintings were derived from compositional ideas that I explored on the subway and streets of New York,” he says

I will never forget the exhibition of his work at MoMA this past year

It was amazing

to see his sketchbooks from the parks and streets

They were all studies for the figures in his paintings

It was wonderful to see his raw choice of subjects

” For the future McMillan sees himself expanding his pen-and-ink work

“I’d like to try a greater variety of materials—maybe brush or nib work,” he says

“I am still trying to get more variation out of my lines

In general,

I think that ‘less is more’ with pen-and-ink

This isn’t always true

But I would like to simplify my use of line

” Although both Pena and McMillan continue to enjoy the lively rendering possibilities offered by pen-and-ink,

neither of them has taken up the task of social commentator in the manner of Charles Dana Gibson or Honoré Daumier

Instead they give us a sense of immediate encounter with the modern world,

made all the more dramatic by the boldness and riskiness of pen-and-ink




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Eight Falling on Thirty (detail) by Ian Ingram

Advice for Drawing


Keep It Together by Melissa Cooke