The Pen and Ink Experience – Portrait Drawing

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Pen and Ink Portrait Drawing

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"The Pen and Ink Experience" is designed to provide beginner and intermediate artists with a complete learning experience on drawing with pen and ink through "easy to digest" modules consisting of video demonstrations and accompanying ebooks.


Description: A look at portrait drawing with pen and ink. Cross hatching and the use of cross contour lines play a vital role in communicating the value range and the form of the subject.

Suggested Materials: Dip or nib pens, Carbon Black liquid ink, soft graphite pencil, hard graphite pencil, kneaded eraser

Photo Reference

Next Module: Ink Wash


Every demo above is included.


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The Pen and Ink Experience – Portrait Drawing — 7 Comments

  1. That’s incredible. Quick question, if I use a Micron pen (or something similar) instead of the nib pen would I want to switch between sizes as I drew in the cross hatching lines?

  2. Brandy, You could do that, but I achieve much variation WITHIN a few, especially contour, lines (as opposed to two sets of lines with different sizes) by using a nib pen(s), rather than micron pens. I just find this presentation much more interesting.

  3. What you have done here is remarkable. I’ve watched it over and over. It cannot be overstated just how absolute the line is when made with a dip pen. Its almost like you are drawing the portrait with the white of the paper and using the ink to cover up the bits you don’t want showing. Its so so hard to do. I’ve tried to dumb it down by drawing the contour lines as you describe but it’s not as simple as it looks. The spacing between the lines can make the whole thing look a mess or make it dark and clumpy. Also each time you dip the pen you can’t be certain that the first stroke will be thin. It seems to me that there is a world of info regarding how to choose what to leave out! A problem you don’t face in the same way with graphite because you can always lift lines or value later. I wish you could make a small addendum explaining HOW you chose to leave out lines. You do mention transitions from light to dark and breaking the line. I’m missing something. Eish, well done.

Lesson Discussion