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Some of my pen and ink wash demos

November 9, 2013

Silver teapot   pen, brush and ink

Silver teapot         pen, brush and ink

It seems like some of my best drawings happen during demonstrations for my ‘Creative Drawing’ class. We worked on reflections recently. I wanted them to get a feel for ink line combined with wash tones; and silver shiny objects seemed to lend themselves to this. It was a complex assignment, but they did really well. Unfortunately I forgot to take pictures of their work this time.

The next week, to continue with the technique and work on perspective as well, we worked from old IKEA catalogues. They chose an interior or part of one, to draw, then work with in pen and ink and wash.

Cozy chair    pen, brush and ink

Cozy chair         pen, brush and ink

This chair was a nice challenge, and since in the first lesson I emphasised loose, rather non-chalant application of strokes and wash, I wanted to demonstrate with the chair that pen and ink wash work can get detailed and precise if wished.  The teapot was done quite quickly and directly. The chair was built up out of light, then subsequently darker layers of wash which were left to dry between layers. It took the better part of an hour.

If you keep a sketch book or are interested in trying these for yourself, they are nice exercises. In this first demo below, I let the wash bleed as I added subsequent layers.

Camping cup     pen, ink and wash

Camping cup        pen, ink and wash

You might find that the tendency with this technique is to blend too much or begin ‘scrubbing’ the paper. Try to avoid this and work staccato, leaving out too much detail and applying cleanly separated areas of grey. Where there is a subtle gradation from light to dark, you could add some wash while the first layer is wet. But for the velvety sharp darks which define the silvery surface, it is better to let previous layers dry before adding the darkest tones.

Have an extra clean damp brush at hand to soak up unwanted sharp edges if necessary.
I used India ink, but Pelikan fount india is also nice, and normal fountain pen ink can give some unexpected effects by breaking up into blue or green tints when water is added.

I briefly worked into the bottom cup drawing with coloured pencil. This technique forms a great base for multi-media work.

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7 Responses to “Some of my pen and ink wash demos”


  1. Always something new with you and your artwork, Sarah! You weave a tapestry of your world with your artistry. It is a wonderment!


  2. I love these pen and ink studies – wonderful! 🙂

    marion


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