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Using Pen and Ink in Watercolour Paintings

Drawing of Willoughby Shaft

As you look through my website you will see that I enjoy using Pen and Ink in Watercolour Paintings.

sleeping beauty drawing

This started when I was at school where I created drawings using a very slow technique of drawing little dots in pen to draw my image.

menorca door

I had never really thought about using pen and ink in my watercolours but my art tutor held several classes to teach us this technique. I enjoyed getting out my old nibs and ink but rather than using my dotted technique she encouraged me to draw in one movement, as this gives a looser feel.


Initially you sketch in pencil, before then drawing in the lines in a freehand style.

Once all the drawing is complete, the pencil is erased and you can start painting. The painting then doesn’t need to fall within the lines, this keeps the loose feeling and to me gives it a greater vibrancy.

Wheal Coates drawing

I do love this technique and I now use it when I am painting architecture, it enables me to ensure I have the accuracy for the buildings. I also use it for sketching whilst out and about, although then I use drawing pens. When I am out and about quite often time is limited and by doing a quick drawing I can capture the scene, and then I can quickly add colour to give it life.

Venice drawing
However I have also gone back to drawing with dots!

venice drawing

I found it very relaxing to draw using this dotted technique and find it works very well for tiny images that I then convert into greeting cards.

venice gets some colour

Generally I tend to be sat watching TV and I can do these little drawings, put them to one side and then later on, I can sit and relax in my studio and add the colour!

Storm clouds over Venice
Venice

They seem popular and I hope you like them.