Line and Wash: Two Approaches

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Lesson Description

The two approaches that you can take to creating a line and wash image. In this lesson, we discuss the order in which watercolor can be combined with pen and ink to create a line and wash drawing.

Lesson Materials

140 lb hot press watercolor paper, masking tape, soft graphite pencil, sharpened pencil or pen, technical drawing pen, kneaded eraser, watercolor paints, nylon or sable brush, water.

Lesson Resources

Download eBook

Contour Line Drawing (to transfer)

Reference Image

Lesson Discussion

  1. Wonderful. 😊 I almost went into a trance watching the drawing and painting. It almost (almost) made me want to get some watercolors. I need to stick with just a few mediums. LOL! I can’t do it all… The video is great, but at the end the music sort of overwhelms your voice. I love the music, it is just a little too obvious. Thank you for your wonderful work. I love all the changes in the site. I know how hard it is to do and how time consuming. Will there be a form of community? A new type of forum? I hope so. 😃

      • Hi Patricia,

        This course is presented in 4K. You may scroll over the video and click on the gear icon on the player. Switch to a lesser quality to stream without issue. This is called buffering and happens when your internet connection cannot keep up with the file size of the video.

  2. Beautifully done, Matt. Not to refute Virginia’s statement about the music but I didn’t find it to be overpowering at all. Love the new course. Thank you

  3. Easy to grasp the concepts. Looking further into my work, it now challenges me to adopt an approach. It makes a lot of sense to some to use the pen before the color. You just added an idea to “keep within the lines”. I apply that to driving my car. Great tutorial Matt.

  4. Matts video quality is so clear that I could easily identify even subtle, but important, excess in my application of layers. My leaf looked flat still after application of shadow and I was able to identify value distinctions clearly that I can apply in Approach #2. I love it when I can see how much I am learning !!

  5. Just fyi…. I found my 24 weight copy paper too heavy for design transfer. I used tracing paper as an alternative to copy paper for the design transfer. Copied the design onto the translucent tracing paper with ink (ink is visable over the 4B graphite backing) and traced as Matt did to the 140 hp paper. Worked well without impressing paper surface. At first I tried the alternative of Saran wax free graphite paper but the pressure required was too much and the graphite too light even then, even with the tracing paper. So Matts method of using soft graphite pencil for coating back of image to transfer was better… especially after I switched to the translucent tracing paper. Being a bit oblivious to my 24 wt. copy paper as the actual problem cost me time. But now I also know the limitations of the Saran wax free graphite sheets. Managing design transfer without making impressions on the paper, I have discovered thru recent colored pencil studies, is especially important. The second transfer from copy to tracing paper for transfer may be eliminated with lighter copy paper. But I think in colored pencil work I may continue with the thinner tracing paper but use the graphite pencil backing as Matt has here as it is more visible and very easy to lighten as desired.

  6. Matt great video as always. I noticed the Cherries behind you. I did a tutorial from the frugal crafter with those exact cherries. Did you also? Or vice versa.
    Loving the line and wash tutorials.

  7. Can’t say thank you enough. I have been exploring around starting with acrylic, then I took a course in colored pencil that cost more than all of your courses combined. Then I found your site and tried graphic pencil which I really enjoyed. Then I tried pen and ink which I loved doing, was not really interested in watercolor at all! Then I received a gift certificate to buy art supplies. What to buy? I had everything already so I happened to find watercolor paints, and then I saw this course. Well guess what, I think I have finally found which appeals to me since I love the precise work of ink and the ease of watercolor. I love to draw and have tried almost all of the courses in all the above mediums. Even tried portrait drawing and was pleased with the results. Never started any art before until I was in my late 60’s so it’s never too late! Thanks
    Matt so much and Happy New Year.

    • Hot press watercolor paper has a weaker tooth compared to cold press paper. This allows us to create cleaner lines with a pen. Cold press paper usually results in broken or less clean lines.

  8. I just started this online course today and this is the second video I’ve watched. I didn’t think that I would like it this much but after watching this video I feel like I’ve already learned so much. I also like how your not just telling us how to do it (as in the line and wash, Two approaches), but your showing us while giving multiple options and describing everything your doing while thinking ahead. It’s easier to relate and understand how your doing it than just knowing how to do it. I don’t know if that made any sense, lol, but I really enjoyed the video.

  9. I’ve been working through the free pen and ink projects, for the past month or so, and have thoroughly enjoyed them. I didn’t think I would ever be able to complete one, nor that I would get so much pleasure from doing them. They were what prompted me to join as a member, that and the chance of learning how to use watercolours. Now, watercolour is a whole new medium for me (I’ve never done any real art work before the pen and ink drawings), and I have been blown away with the two video’s I’ve watched so far on this course. I’ve dabbled a bit with trying out watercolour painting over the past few weeks, but something has always been missing for me. I do believe I have found my medium with these two, and I’m looking forward to learning more about how to use them together.
    Your courses are informational, interesting and inspiring.
    Thank you so much, Ruth

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