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 ink drawing techniques that allow for a slow build up of dark areas for value contrast, and if you are open to the idea of how to draw using line in varied ways.
|At the Beach by Charles Gibson, pen-and-ink drawing, 1901.|
In our latest free eBook, Pen and Ink Drawing Techniques from Artist Daily: Drawing with Ink to Create Art with Strong Contrast and Surprising Subtlety, you’ll find the ink drawing practices of artists past and present that show you how these effects are achieved.
For example, Honore Daumier and Charles Gibson both worked with ink drawings 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.
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.
|Grant’s Lion by Melissa Tubbs,
pen-and-ink drawing, 12 x 7.
Artist Melissa Tubbs create 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.
There are so many pen and ink drawing lessons to be gleaned by looking at the history of the practice and how current practitioners are adding their own influences. In Pen and Ink Drawing Techniques from Artist Daily: Drawing with Ink to Create Art with Strong Contrast and Surprising Subtlety you’ll find ink drawings from the past and present and the insights on the artists who created them. Download now!