How to Ink a Drawing

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Doing so made me realize that there was a lot more value in doing something the wrong way than not doing it at all, and having to face all those mistakes staring back at me made them a lot less terrifying.

Explore ink pens for drawing

More than anything, I learned that failure isn't a bad thing. Where success shows us where we are currently, failure shows us what our next steps might be. This is what makes ink so difficult, and is exactly why I insist students work with fineliners rather than ballpoints. Every time your pen touches the page, it leaves a noticeable mark.

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Drawing more lightly isn't going to make that mark fainter - only thinner. When you put down a mark, it sits there on the page, stark, bold and black, in a sea of the white of your page. Working with this medium makes things simpler - not easier, because we often try to fall back to sketching lightly - but it reduces the number of challenges we face simultaneously, so we can tackle one thing at a time.

This restriction allows us to focus purely on line. Now, many people stress the notion that line does not exist in the world around us - and this is certainly true. This doesn't mean however that it's not intensely valuable in understanding how space can be divided into forms and masses, delineated and described by these simple strokes. More than that, while line may not exist, the silhouettes of forms certainly do - something that students tend to forget when getting preoccupied with all of the internal shading and detail.

Different Types of Markers

Furthermore, the inability to control the opacity of a stroke forces students to develop a much finer sense of pressure control. When we start out with these tools, our lines are generally clunky and awkward, with no fine tapering on either end, and no character or liveliness to them. As we learn to control how we apply pressure, we discover ways to vary the pressure we apply through the length of a stroke, imbuing it with a sense of dynamism and bringing them to life.

Let me preface this by pointing out one thing again - I am a digital artist. All of the work I do professionally is digital. What I am saying here by no means suggests that you should stay away from digital media. I'm saying that digital tools are not the best way to go through these lessons. Here's why. Drivers can give you hell when it comes to the brush jittering at small movements.

Really, any kind of technical glitch will add an extra layer of confusion between you and what you're learning - after all, that early on it's difficult to say whether or not the mistake you're making really is your fault, your device's fault, or the most likely option of a mix of the two. That is why I always insist people first do the exercises traditionally, where there is no extra layer of abstraction. Fully understand what you're meant to be aiming for and how it feels, then try it digitally.

You'll be able to identify whether there is an added issue with the calibration of the device you're using, and you'll be able to move forward from there. We live in a world of immediacy. You want cat pictures, bam. You've got cat pictures.

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How to Draw With Pen and Ink

Every single interaction with technology provides us with a response that is immediate, and if it fails to do so, we immediately get frustrated. We'll get disgruntled if a web page doesn't load in under a second. We don't have time to read, we want to watch and be told. And when we want to draw, we want to explode onto the canvas, sketching and painting furiously to have something presentable as quickly as possible.

On top of this, the all-too-common trend of "speed painting", made popular on YouTube over the last decade has exacerbated this problem, making a lot of peoples' first exposure to concept art and illustration one of glamour and style. This is the world we live in, and how we experience it. There's no room for patience, and unfortunately, patience is exactly what you're going to need in order to learn how to draw. It's not going to happen immediately, it's not going to be easy, and by the box it is going to be frustrating.

Even when you're conscious of all of this, it's difficult to force ourselves to stop and think.

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Not impossible by any stretch, and really that's one of the main things this course is meant to teach, but when one has trouble even noticing how the problem manifests in the first place, working around it is a complication that only gets in the way. One of the core principles of Drawabox is that every difficulty you face must serve a purpose. Every challenge must help you develop your skills more efficiently and more effectively. If it doesn't, it's just dead weight slowing you down. That's what digital tools are in this situation, in the context of someone just looking to learn how to draw.

I've witnessed countless students who fought to use their tablets and their software initially, develop a deep respect for every line and stroke that simply had not been there before, despite drawing digitally for months or years prior to that. Hell - I noticed that change in myself. With the physical ink in front of you, there comes an appreciation that feels so much less tangible when represented in pixels. I am in no way suggesting that ink is king, and is the only medium one should ever use. To put it simply, ink - and specifically fineliners - are the tool that pair best with these lessons and the principles upheld here.

Can you do the exercises with a pencil, or a tablet, or on your iPad? Will you miss out on elements of the lessons? Pen and ink drawings often use hatching — groups of parallel lines. Broken hatching, or lines with intermittent breaks, form lighter tones — and controlling the density of the breaks achieves a gradation of tone. Stippling uses dots to produce tone, texture and shade.

Best Cross Hatching Tip Ever (WORKS INSTANTLY!)

Different textures can be achieved depending on the method used to build tone. Drawings in dry media often use similar techniques, though pencils and drawing sticks can achieve continuous variations in tone. Typically a drawing is filled in based on which hand the artist favors. A right-handed artist draws from left to right to avoid smearing the image. Erasers can remove unwanted lines, lighten tones, and clean up stray marks. In a sketch or outline drawing, lines drawn often follow the contour of the subject, creating depth by looking like shadows cast from a light in the artist's position.

Sometimes the artist leaves a section of the image untouched while filling in the remainder. The shape of the area to preserve can be painted with masking fluid or cut out of a frisket and applied to the drawing surface, protecting the surface from stray marks until the mask is removed.

How do you properly ink a pencil drawing?

Another method to preserve a section of the image is to apply a spray-on fixative to the surface. This holds loose material more firmly to the sheet and prevents it from smearing. However the fixative spray typically uses chemicals that can harm the respiratory system, so it should be employed in a well-ventilated area such as outdoors.

Another technique is subtractive drawing in which the drawing surface is covered with graphite or charcoal and then erased to make the image. Shading is the technique of varying the tonal values on the paper to represent the shade of the material as well as the placement of the shadows.

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Careful attention to reflected light, shadows and highlights can result in a very realistic rendition of the image. Blending uses an implement to soften or spread the original drawing strokes. Blending is most easily done with a medium that does not immediately fix itself, such as graphite, chalk, or charcoal, although freshly applied ink can be smudged, wet or dry, for some effects. For shading and blending, the artist can use a blending stump , tissue , a kneaded eraser , a fingertip, or any combination of them.

A piece of chamois is useful for creating smooth textures, and for removing material to lighten the tone. Continuous tone can be achieved with graphite on a smooth surface without blending, but the technique is laborious, involving small circular or oval strokes with a somewhat blunt point. Shading techniques that also introduce texture to the drawing include hatching and stippling. A number of other methods produce texture.

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In addition to the choice of paper, drawing material and technique affect texture. Texture can be made to appear more realistic when it is drawn next to a contrasting texture; a coarse texture is more obvious when placed next to a smoothly blended area. A similar effect can be achieved by drawing different tones close together.