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An Expressive Pen Drawing Technique

 

Pen, Ink and Wash Drawing Of Lindisfarne Priory

Pen, Ink and Wash Drawing Of Lindisfarne Priory
Click to view a large version of this drawing.

Our pen, ink and wash lesson illustrates and explains the various stages in creating our color drawing of Lindisfarne Priory. This is a less detailed, quicker and more expressive drawing technique than our previous view of Whitby. It is done on an A4 sheet of cartridge paper using black and color Indian inks applied with a pen and brush.

The subject is a view of the Rainbow Arch at Lindisfarne Priory, a monastery founded by St. Aidan in AD 635, in North Northumberland, England. Old architectural ruins of this type are an ideal subject for pen and wash drawings as bold, expressive pen and brush techniques are naturally suited to suggesting the rough textures of bricks and crumbling stonework.

 

Start with a line drawing in pencil

Start with a line drawing in pencil
(mouse-over to view)

Our drawing was started in pencil to establish the basic shapes and proportions of the architecture. It was important to be aware of the perspective drawing of these ruins (mouse over the image to view) to accurately create the proportions of their receding forms.

Many artists start their ink drawings on top of a pencil study as it is easier to erase mistakes and make adjustments to pencil. The support of an underlying pencil study also lends confidence to the expressive qualities of their ink drawing. Remember to draw your pencil image lightly as you will be erasing it after inking.

 

Draw over your Pencil Lines with Ink.

Draw over your Pencil Lines with Ink.

After completing your pencil study start to draw over the lines with ink. Do not become too preoccupied with detail and try to work with a speed and energy that gives your drawing an expressive vitality.

As always, it is advisable to plan your approach to an ink drawing. If you are right-handed, start inking from the left hand side and work towards the right. This way you will avoid smudging sections that you have previously drawn which may still be wet. If you are left-handed, reverse these instructions.

 

Add Pattern and Texture to your Ink Drawing.

Add Pattern and Texture to your Ink Drawing.

Finally, you can suggest the pattern and texture of the brickwork and stone with lines, stippling and scribbles. Remember that the lines of the brickwork should roughly follow the rules of perspective drawing.

 

Pattern and Texture Details

Pattern and Texture Details

When drawing expressively, you do not need to draw every line and detail with great accuracy. It is enough to suggest the occasional corner of a brick or section of a line to communicate an impression of the scene. Most spectators enjoy the economy of expressive drawing and are engaged by the interaction of completing the work in their own minds.

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