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Choosing Your Subject

 

A Detailed Pen, Ink and Wash Drawing of Whitby

A Detailed Pen, Ink and Wash Drawing of Whitby

This pen and ink drawing lesson takes you through the various stages in the development of our illustration above. This is a view of houses on the River Esk valley in Whitby, North Yorkshire, England. It is a mixed media work on an A3 sheet of cartridge paper, using pencil, Indian ink and watercolor. This tutorial will help you to develop some basic drawing skills in pencil, show you how to use of cross-hatching and stippling techniques to create tone and texture with Indian ink, and also improve your watercolor painting skills.

 

Choosing a view to draw.

Choosing a view to draw.

Buildings are a very suitable subject for ink drawing as the flat planes of their walls and roofs lend themselves naturally to ink drawing techniques such as cross hatching and stippling.

For our illustration we chose a location with a flat frontal view. The way that the buildings stack up helps us to convey a sense of depth without the complications of perspective drawing. Buildings viewed from a high eye level, like this view of Whitby provide good subjects of this type.

 

Selecting an area to draw.

Selecting an area to draw.

If you feel the overall view is too complicated, zoom into a smaller area of the scene which you may find easier to develop. Choose a section where the composition of the shapes, colors or textures of the buildings appeal to you.

 

This section was chosen for its pattern and shapes.

This section was chosen for its pattern and shapes.

A landscape drawing or painting does not have to be an identical copy of what the artist can see, but may have some of its elements adjusted to create a better composition. The section above was chosen for the unity and pattern of its larger shapes. It has an even distribution of flat rectangular walls with angular gables and roofs. The smaller shapes of the chimneys and windows create an interesting counterpoint to these larger elements. Although the colors are quite similar throughout the image they can be changed in favour of a more interesting composition. Tiles, slates, brickwork and bushes provide a range of patterns and textures that can also be adjusted to contrast and harmonise different surfaces.

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