*This post contains affiliate links. I receive small commissions for purchases made through these links at no extra cost to you.
These commissions help me keep this site up and running, in order for me to keep providing helpful and inspiring art content. :)
Do you love the look of pen and ink drawings that demonstrate hatching, crosshatching, and other mark-making techniques, and need a bit of guidance to start putting them to use in your own work? How does one go about using the visual information taken in from a reference photograph and translate it into a pen and ink sketch that demonstrates three-dimensionality?
In order to start adding a sense of believable form to a sketch, it's essential to understand how to create a variety in values using the art medium at hand. It's also very important that we practice taking in the visual information presented to us through either photographs or real-life subjects, so that we're able to describe form effectively through drawing.
Using pen and ink can be intimidating at first due to the fact that it's permanent and we need to use mark-making techniques to create different values. There is a large variety of mark-making methods and they all lead to very different results.
In today's post, I will be sharing the process that I go through when creating pen and ink sketches of objects using photographic references. I will be walking you through each step, from the selection of a great photograph, to preparing an initial pencil sketch, to actually filling that sketch in with ink marks. I will be exploring six different mark-making techniques so that you're able to see how the outcomes compare to each other.
In my previous blog post titled Pen and Ink Sketching: 6 Shading Techniques, I gave a thorough explanation of each of the six techniques I'll be using here today. I focused on how to go about creating marks successfully using each, and provided essential exercises for beginners to start off with, including how to actually use them to start adding shading and form to an outline drawing of a cube.
If you're a beginner just starting out with pen and ink, I HIGHLY recommend checking my previous post out. Both that post AND this one include free downloadable PDF's that you can print out at home and practice with. *Find these free downloadables at the end!
My Process When Creating Pen and Ink Studies Using Photographic References
1. Preparation of supplies
To create the kind of pen and ink studies we're going to be exploring today, I usually like having the following supplies on hand:
-Pencil (preferably H or HB)
-Drawing/sketching paper or Bristol board
-Drawing pens (.3 and .5 points) *Two of my favorite brands are LePen and Micron!
In my blog you'll find information and resources to help you improve your art skills. I also share tips that will help you stay happy and productive as your journey progresses.
Feel free to send me an
email, leave a comment on the site and/or reach out on social media. I'd love to connect!
Hope you enjoy
and find this useful!
is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites
to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.