Share your favorite pen & ink drawings

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Viewing 14 posts - 91 through 104 (of 104 total)
  • Wonderful drawings!


    I have a Zebra, but I didn’t realize they came in colors.  I love the pen, but often find that the ink balls up as I am drawing and then leaves the ball on the paper if I don’t notice it in time to wipe it from the pen.  Thanks for sharing!  I am particularly into drawing pets myself.

    Crystal, Zebra pen has an amazing range of pens of all kinds (and I’ll tell you that I’m an official Zebra Pen Artist Ambassador, but I try not to let that influence my opinion).

    I’m not sure which type of pen you have, but I’m suspecting it’s a Z-Grip or one of the other ballpoint style pens.  The ink balling up happens with almost any ball point pen.  The ink flows faster than it is laid down on the paper, and dries on the tip.  Eventually enough builds up.  It doesn’t happen as much when you are writing, because you aren’t using as much ink.

    Gel pens don’t tend to do this as much because of the formulation of the ink, but there is a different quality to the color. I like both, but prefer ballpoint for drawing.  Unfortunately, gel pens seem more popular and it is harder to find a ballpoint anymore.

    Zebra Pen has changed the formulation of ink in the Z-Grip.  I haven’t had the chance to try the new ones.  I’m hoping it hasn’t changed too much.


    des "Je t'aime"

    What beautiful shoes! Beautifully drawn and they look like something I’d love to wear!

    Hi! I am quite new in this community. In fact, I found it thanks to the Worldwatercolormonth and posted sketches and paintings for 18 days. Then I went on holiday and made a travel sketchbook, but no posting. I may post some time about that.

    Anyway, since mid-June, I have been starting to draw on a regular basis. Before, I mostly used watercolours and watercolour blocks (Artgraf, a Portuguese product) to make abstract paintings. I am enjoying this playing & learning process so much!!!! Just writing that is an euphemism. I prefer using a pen or an ink pen. I often add watercolours, but I can see that I need to sketch with “just” a pen too, no pencil or eraser. To be totally honest, I do make a couple of lines or dots with a pencil now and then…but it is just for the structure.

    I would like your input about this drawing. I made it this morning and I had thought about adding watercolours, but there were so many things to think about that I left that part out. I made up this framing at home this morning. It is at the Law Courts and it is also a place where many buses stop and cars park. I saw the lady in the middle park her car to the right, go back and forth to the Law Courts.

    The photo is blunt, but I guess that you will see where I would need to improve things better…? When doing abstract paintings, I was always doing circles and curves and now I am so much enjoying straight lines and it was interesting to make so many lines. I am sure that there are places where there are too many of them and others where they would have needed to be less dominant.

    I admit that I may go back or make another sketch adding the red of the car, the yellow of the bus, the green of the grass in front of me and of the huge buses in front of the buildings that you may not see too well…? Any input is welcome? I am practising strokes and using Alphonse Dunn’s book Pen & Ink drawing to play & learn.

    Waiting for your comments:)

    Ink pen in sketchbook

    Anneli, I don’t think you have too many lines – just the right amount to get a sense of detail without confusion.  You mention that some might be too dominant, and I agree with that.

    Contrast  draws the eye – the dark square above the woman is the darkest area on the page, but it doesn’t give much information about the subject or theme of the drawing, and comes forward, when it should be farther back.  The lines of the bus stop are the same value as the fence, so they seem to be on top of each other.

    Details and darkness fade the farther away they are from the viewer.  Even if the objects in the distance are darker than those in front, they seem lighter.

    You have quite a bit of white space at the bottom.  Even if it isn’t true to life, you could have brought the fence down a bit, and had white space between it and the other side of the street.  With that and with lightening the values of the bus stop, sign and building you would increase the feeling of distance.

    You chose a difficult subject, a view with a lot going on, and similar details throughout.  You did a fabulous job choosing the details to represent and the textures to use.

    1. Urban Sketching is fun, and I can tell you enjoyed creating this piece.  Every urban sketcher I follow would give you this advice: keep making sketches as often as possible!  Sketching is about volume, and your skills will get closer to your vision every time you draw.
    2. I would also encourage you to look online and find an urban sketcher who’s work you like.  How have they drawn fences, or people, or bus stops, or cars?  Everyone has their own sketching shorthand.  Use a sketcher who inspires you to get ideas for creating your own shorthand, but not as a template.
    3. Thanks for sharing this piece.  I look forward to seeing more of your work!

    Lovely sketch, Anneli! I agree with what everyone else has stated well.. contrast is king! You did a wonderful job! Also, adding a bit of color with watercolor can help pull up contrast and create dimension. If it’s sketch only, try to balance the darks a bit more so the eye is never drawn to a single spot for too long.

    Sandra, thank you so much for your comments and precious input! The darkest part is in fact the open door of the Law Courts. I wanted it to be “visible” so to say, but I can understand that when you see the drawing, you cannot guess that. I would have needed to show the wooden door to its left a little better, I guess…? I see what you mean about giving some space between the fence and the other side of the street. My huge mistake was to fill in the “frame” of the bus stop at home and not think about making it lighter than the fence in the front.

    Bekki, thank you for your input! In fact, as I have just started to do sketches (in June!), I don’t know many urban sketchers. Do you have any special names in mind? I really like Alphonse Dunn and I think that I will continue to watch some of his Youtube videos while working through his book.

    Charlie, thank you for your comments! “Contrast is king”, I will copy that one in my little “learning” book where I also have the Doodlewash manifesto:) Thank you for confirming that it is “ok” to have some watercolour in a drawing. I do need to learn how to give nuances with the ink. I use Uni pin fine liner 0.3, 0.5 and 0.8. I think that I could need a 0.1 too.


    I personally love Alphonso Dunn and learned most of my inkwork from him.  He does a great job of integrating art principles into his subject matter.  I know he has at least a few urban sketches on his YouTube feed where he shares some of his shortcuts.

    Another urban/architectural sketcher that’s very accessible to new urban sketchers is Stephanie Bowker.  She doesn’t have much free info available, but she has a nice Instagram feed, a couple of Craftsy classes (free to watch on some US Holiday weekends or go on sale for around $20 USD a couple of times a year), and a book.  She gives lots of individual feedback in her Craftsy classes, even importing your drawing and drawing and annotating over the top to show you where to improve.  I’ve never seen her use pen — she’s a pencil and watercolor artist.  She has a light touch with watercolor that I appreciate.

    Liz Steele, Teoh Yi Chi, and Marc Taro Holmes all have a loose ink and watercolor style and are excellent teachers.  I prefer the crisper look of Alphonso Dunn and Stephanie Bowker personally, but I’ve learned quite a lot from watching and reading those three as well.

    All that said, it’s miles on the pen that make the biggest difference 🙂

    Happy drawing!

    Bekki, thank you for your reply! I haven’t been very eager to watch tutorials etc, and I am thankful for these names. I will check out what they do. Of course, playing & learning (my motto) will be the best personal lesson! Depending on my schedule as work starts, I may participate in a group that go out and paint along the Loire River during this next year.

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