Start with a Pencil Sketch
Begin your ink drawing with a pencil sketch.
The first step in this drawing is to sketch the scene in pencil. Draw the image lightly in line and avoid shading any areas. It is important to keep the paper clean because you will be applying transparent watercolor paint at the final stage.
This is the time to make any the big decisions about your composition: what to include and what to leave out. At this stage you can change your mind and erase or simplify details, but you don’t get a second chance when you start inking. Once you are satisfied with your composition you are ready to start drawing in ink.
Draw over your lines with ink.
Using a nibbed pen and waterproof Indian ink, carefully draw over your pencil lines. As the ink can often take some time to dry, it is advisable to plan your approach to an ink drawing. If you are right-handed, start at the left hand side of the paper and work towards the right. This way you will avoid smudging sections that you have previously drawn which may still be damp. If you are left-handed, reverse these instructions. Once the ink is dry you can start to pencil in the patterns and textures of the tiles, slates, brickwork and bushes.
Add pattern and texture.
In a detailed landscape like this, it is advisable for the inexperienced to lightly pencil in the tiles, slates, and brickwork. Without the guidance of a pencil line, you could get into some difficulty when inking these small, complicated areas. However, some artists prefer not to use an underlying pencil line as they like the spontaneity of their marks and accept their ‘mistakes’ or lapses of concentration as part of the natural drawing process.
Some of the walls in our drawing have been patterned with brickwork, while others have been stippled with dots to suggest a pebble dash texture. (Stippling is an ink drawing technique where you apply tone and texture in small dots.) A few have been left plain to evoke a stucco finish. The bushes have also been stippled in graduated tones to convey their texture and form.
Slates that are too small to draw individually have been suggested by hatched lines. (Hatching is an ink drawing technique where you apply tone and texture in rows of parallel lines.)
We mentioned on the previous page, when talking about shapes and colours, that a landscape drawing or painting does not have to be an identical copy of what the artist can see, but that it may have some of its elements adjusted to create a better composition. The same applies to patterns and textures. You can change, simplify or enhance these for creative effect.