|"Jack" - pen & ink rendering done in a tight style.|
Many people have asked me over the years how I can work in a medium that really is quite unforgiving. Although there are ways to make corrections, by and large, pen and ink is a not an-easily-correctable medium. So how do I keep my stress levels down while working with it? Practice with a pen, first and foremost. Planning with a pencil before applying ink. Finally, a determined mindset that doesn’t allow space to think about my lines being wrong. If they are, well then, I correct them. If a piece goes too disastrously wrong, I start again. In that way it’s similar to watercolor. Planning can make a big difference in any medium that isn’t easy to correct.
For pen and ink work practicing “your hand” is very important. In other words training your hand and arm motions to be consistent. Having been trained as a draughtsman in the old school (pre-AutoCAD) I learned how to make pretty straight lines without a ruler and to make all sorts of other consistent and repeatable marks as well. This is so true today that my scrawly signature looks the same EVERY time. This is because I can copy the same hand and arm motions each time. Piece of cake really! I continue to practice making marks whenever I think of it. Buying my new Noodler's pen was a wonderful opportunity to catch up on my practicing last night.
|Pen & ink practice exercises|
As an example here are two pen and ink drawings by well-known artists. The first one is by Henry Pitz from the mid-20th Century and the second is by Claudia Nice from the late 20th. Similar subjects but handled quite differently. Which do you like best?
|By Henry Pitz|
|By Claudia Nice|