Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Pen and Ink Part III Techniques

Up until now, we've been talking about pen supplies. Now let's talk about techniques. At the end of the article you can also explore my two new videos on the subject.

When working in pen and ink, one has to master marks to indicate form (light and shadow). There are literally hundreds of marks you can make, but I am going to narrow it down to five: the hatch, cross-hatch, scribble, stippling and open C.

The hatch mark:
A technique that has its origins in the Middle Ages, the hatch mark is simple parallel lines that create value. There are several types of hatch marks as well.

Notice that you can create vertical, horizontal or diagonal hatch marks. But that's not all, there is also the curved hatch mark.

Here is a perfect example from Van Gogh's Starry Night drawing done in pen:

Notice how he used hatch marks throughout this drawing, modifying the hatch mark to create his form.

Another modified hatch mark is the angled or zig-zag: 

Below, Rembrandt used these lines in his famous drawing, The Card Player. Here the values increase as the lines get closer together.

Just as the name indicates, the cross-hatch is when you place one hatch line over the other. The closer the hatch and the most crossing of the marks, the more value. You can see how Rembrandt increased the value in the background by placing more cross-hatch marks upon each other.

Here's a value scale made with cross-hatch marks (the numbers below indicate how many crossings are made):

I recently drew some birds heavily using the cross-hatch.

Here is another example of cross-hatch.

Here's a closer look at the cross-hatch and building up values.

The scribble is just what it sounds like. It's sort of fun to use this line. 

Below is a good example of what you can do with the scribble.Look closely at the "leaves" of the tree. It's created totally with scribbling. I scribbled closer when I wanted more value.

Here are the leaf scribbles blown up. I also added some hatch marks here and there.

I just love stippling. It's one of the most meditative marks in drawing. As people learned in my stippling workshop this past fall, it is not only lots of fun, but is also a great way to create subtle value,
You can also use a modified stippling mark (right) that includes a circle and/or other markings. Here are a couple of examples:

Traditional stippling method
Stippling using modified methods

Open C Mark
I really didn't start using this type of mark until I was asked to do a drawing demonstration at the Tualatin Wildlife Refuge several years ago. I was asked to draw a delicate flower, a weed really. I can draw a lot of things, but this was a challenge. How was I going to create such delicacy and still make it look like a flower without getting too dense. Then, I played around with the open C mark. I don't know the official name for this mark; it's what I call it. The Open C is also great for trees, surf and clouds. Play around with it.
Here's an example:
Quick sketch using open C mark and
light watercolor wash.
Well that should cover things for pen and ink. Check back next month on other drawing or painting techniques.

Want more information on dip pen? Free videos!
View my two new videos on my YouTube Channel:

For information on Glastonbury Studios classes and workshops, 
please go to my website: www.jillgoodell.com