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Pen and Ink — with colour or without?


I like to experiment with different techniques and I have tried adding some colour to some pen and ink drawings that I have drawn previously.

Does it look better in colour or do you prefer the black and white originals?

Wheal Francis

Wheal Francis pen and ink drawing
Marriots Shaft at Wheal Francis mine, painted in watercolour

Wheal Francis Mine Workings, on the Great Flat Lode just outside of Piece. On this one I like it as a drawing, I feel it captures more of the essence of the place, and the atmoshere of the disused mine buildings.


Frigiliana pen and ink drawing
Frigiliana alley painted using watercolour

A courtyard in Frigliana, Spain – and whilst I really enjoyed using pen and ink to draw this, I think it looks better with a little bit of colour. The colour of the plants, and subtle paving, adds a splash of colour against the white spanish buildings. Buildings definitely look better having the original drawing in ink, so that the structure of the buildings are clearly defined.


Venice pen and ink drawing
Venice pen and ink drawing, with added colour

My pen and ink drawing of Venice looks ok, especially for the buildings in the foreground. However the inclusion of colour to my painting of Venice definitely looks better in colour, especially with that dramatic sky.

I asked whether it looked better in black and white or colour on my Facebook page I have had some good feedback. It seems the general feeling is that, whilst the pen and ink drawings are good, that people prefer the ones with colour.