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A Little Lesson in Pen and Ink

The lily in pen and ink is now complete. Even though I love color, I do think

that this flower is interesting. As you can see I have chosen stippling or

small dots to complete the entire flower. I started stippling with a pen that

had a larger nib and after working with this pen in the shadowed areas I

changed to a smaller nib and finished the lily with smaller dots. This gave

the petals a more finesse approach.

There are 7 different strokes used in pen and ink to complete a drawing.

Most sources tell you to choose one and complete the entire piece of work

with that one technique. However I have seen some art work that was

finished using 2 or more. The applications of ink include contour lines,

parallel lines, crosshatching, dots or stippling, scribble lines, wavy lines,

and crisscross lines.

My first step in working with pen and ink was to choose a subject. After that

I had to decide which application of ink would work best for the subject I

had chosen. For example crisscross lines work well for an animal with fur

because they flow with the contour of the animal’s body. However the

technique is completely up to the artist.

For the lily I chose the dots or stippling. I have also found that the sessions

spent stippling need to be broken up because the repetitive movement can

work on the muscles in your arm and hand.

I plan to begin another piece using this same method and I’m hoping to

begin a portrait of a cat. We have several barn cats that I think may make a

nice portrait. So off to the barn I go and hopefully I will return with an image

that will look great in pen and ink!

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