Subjects with Pen and Ink: People

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This course features:
Over 8 Hours of Instruction
32 Videos
6 eBooks
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Lesson Description

In this lesson series, we’ll draw several different subjects that deal with people with pen and ink.

Lesson 27 - Hand

In lesson twenty-seven, we use technical drawing pens and hatching to create a drawing of a hand on smooth Bristol paper.

Lesson 28 - Skull

In lesson twenty-eight, we use nib pens and hatching to create a drawing of a skull.

Lesson 29 - Eye

In lesson twenty-nine, we use technical drawing pens and cross hatching to create a drawing of an eye.

Lesson 30 - Figure

In lesson thirty, we use ink wash and nib pens to create a drawing of a figure.

Lesson 31 - Portrait

In lesson thirty-one, we use nib pens and cross hatching to create a portrait drawing.

Lesson Materials

  • Technical Drawing Pens
  • Dip or Nib Pens
  • Bottled Ink (Carbon Black)
  • Smooth Bristol Paper
  • Hot Press Watercolor Paper
  • Nylon Brushes
  • 2H, H, HB, and 6B Graphite Pencil
  • Kneaded Eraser

Lesson Resources


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Reference Images

Finished Drawing

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Lesson Discussion

  1. Matt, thank you for doing this series. I just became a member at the end of August and knew very little about drawing or paper or mediums. It is remarkable how much you taught me throughout this series. My ability to draw has improved rapidly from your comments as you drew and the incredible variety of items we drew. Comparing the drawings from first to last really lets me see how much you have taught me. Not only have I learned a lot about drawing, I’ve learned lessons on including value, proper shading, and creating texture. I also developed the habit of drawing every day. Interestingly, I had no interest in pen and ink when I became a member a couple months ago but thought I would give this course a whirl. I am so glad I did. Not sure which course I will take next, but I know it will be outstanding. Thanks again Matt.

  2. I thank you Matt very much, I had being following your series for the last 10 months, and since then my afiction to draw has increased quite a lot. Also, I discover the wonder of water color painting.
    The pen and ink series are splendid, I would find very useful to have some suggestions to combine ink with water color
    Thanks a lot.

    • fernando, have you had a look at Matt’s Line and Wash Course? It is not only informative but a beautifully produced video series and also Matt’s love for the art form shines throughout. I am definite loving on to ghat when I complete this intriguing final Pen and Ink Lesson. See you overthere?

  3. Well it took me a little longer than October, but I loved every minute of this working on this course and also the visible improvement in my technique as I progressed through every lesson ( except the lovely, sad house which I couldn’t get a complete photo of). I am now working on your Pen and Ink Experience projects. Any suggestions about what to do after that to broaden my pen and ink slkills gratefully received. I have put Alphonso Dunn’s Book and Workbook on my Christmas wish list, but meantime…… ?

  4. Hi Matt! I didn’t know where to post this question. Do you have a video of how you drew that Hedgehog image on the “How to repair mistakes in Ink drawings” article? It’s a beautiful image! Do you mind if I try drawing it if you don’t have a video on the subject?
    If I asked this question in the wrong place I apologize in advance.

  5. Hi Matt,

    You have a very nice web site with a variety of techniques and mediums. Why do you use transfers on your portraits?

    Also what are the best sized nibs for drawing fine pen and ink lines? Thanks.

  6. Hi Matt,

    You have a very nice web site with a variety of art techniques and mediums.

    I was wondering why do you use transfers on your portraits? Also what are the best sized nibs for drawing fine pen and ink lines? Thanks.

    • Hi Tina,

      I often transfer the contour lines for portraits to save time and ensure accuracy. As far as the nib pens, I would experiment with the nibs that you have. Sometimes, the larger nibs can produce smaller lines.

  7. I’m drawing a portrait at the moment it’s a Elvis Presley drawing in pen and ink, I volunteered to do this for a elvis quiz in a elvis fan club and I tell you it’s been harder than I thought, I’m on number 4 ha ha lol.
    I think I’m happy with this one, ink isn’t a very forgiving medium as well.
    I haven’t done it with hatching, cross hatching don’t know why ?
    I’ve been trying to shade like pencils with a variety of ink greys and whites.
    Do you think I’m doing it wrong or can I do the shading I’m doing, I’ve also decided to use some pencil for some of the shading.
    I just didn’t want to do that technique, I don’t know why to be honest.
    Its been very challenging and I should of done it in pencils as I thought I could do some prints but some of it didn’t come out very well, I tried to see if it did.

    I’ve still not been around much on here, I have a couple of dog portraits to do and once they done I’m devoting some time to learn more from you, 1st I’ll do is finally finish your pen and ink course.

    Thanks so much Matt for all you do and hope you and your family are doing well. T.c Christine xxz

    • Hi Christine,

      It’s hard to say that you’re doing anything wrong. Sometimes, unique approaches result in wonderful works. If you don’t want to draw Elvis with pen and ink and use a hatching/cross hatching approach, then why not use a different medium that you’re more comfortable with? Perhaps, a hunka hunka graphite.:)

  8. Thanks for your reply Matt, yeah I’m just going through it my own way and yes I should of done it in Hunka Hunka graphite ha ha that’s funny.
    I know I can’t send it for members minute cos of copyright issues but if I send you and ya can let me know what ya think.
    Cheers Chris xx

  9. Matt. I’m a new member here. Thank you for the pen and ink courses.
    I’ve noticed on a lot videos (specifically those with dip pens) that you use two different size nibs. But I can’t find anywhere that the specific nibs are listed.

    I’m going to buy some nibs and was wondering if you could tell me what you generally are using. I’m thinking maybe something like a Hunt 102 for fine line work. But what about the bigger one?


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