Pen Drawing Techniques: Create Textures in Ink

Pen and Ink Drawings

Claudia Nice adds contrast to onions using pen drawing techniques.

I often think of drawing and painting as two separate things, but in the reality of an artist, they overlap quite a bit. There are plenty of painters who will tell you that drawing is integral to their process. A painting starts life in sketches to determine composition, then a line drawing to act as blueprint for the first layer of paint.

That’s the beauty of pen and ink: it straddles both worlds in a way few mediums can manage. You can use pen drawing techniques to create a variety of textures and effects that will make your compositions stronger and more powerful, regardless if they remain drawings or turn into paintings. Start off with a pen drawing and leave it in black and white, letting hatching do the work to create contrast, or add in some watercolor washes to enhance the beauty of your lines for a looser, illustrated look. But why not also layer pen and ink on top of your watercolor art?

Pen & Ink and Watercolor Seascape

Add pen and ink to your watercolor landscape paintings.

In Creating Textures in Pen & Ink, Part 1, Claudia Nice demonstrates the pen drawing techniques you need to do just that, from exercises that show how to use parallel lines, crosshatching, dots and contour drawing, to a full demonstration of a seascape in watercolor with ink on top, adding texture and dimension to the rock outcroppings and waves.

The results speak for themselves: beautiful, loose watercolor paintings that still retain the crisp edges of a drawing. Talk about the best of both worlds!

Preview Creating Textures in Pen & Ink, Part 1 now to learn how you can integrate parallel lines in ink to your own drawings and watercolor paintings. Then, head over to to watch the full-length video, and see what so many people are leaving 5-star reviews.

And, if you want more drawing lessons, you’ll love our FREE demonstrations!

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