I hope you had a chance to prepare for #InkTober because today marks the start of 31 days of drawing and sketching. Share your work on social media with the hashtag #InkTober, for all to see. Started by Jake Parker in 2009, the trend is meant to motivate artists of all skill levels around the world–including you–to practice art every day. We hope you’ll join us!
And if you’re new to sketching, you’ll appreciate the sketching lessons within Grant Fuller’s Start Drawing and Sketching Now. I’ve included a little snippet here in today’s newsletter to get you inspired and ready to draw. (Need the perfect sketchbook and pen for InkTober? Click here for a special offer!)
“Practice is important in developing good drawing skills, but professional instruction can save many hours of trial and error,” Grant says. “Think of drawing as a pleasant pastime, a process of searching and exploring. If you view the drawing process as some sort of test, you will only increase the pressure and decrease the pleasure. Learn instead to think of the drawing process as a form of freedom. Grab a sketchbook, and don’t be afraid to scribble and play.”
Beginner Sketching Tips by Grant Fuller
Many different design applications are possible with pen and ink. Once you have explored some of the possibilities, you can begin to specialize. The pen-and-ink rendering above was done with a lightfast and permanent nylon-tip pen. Many pens are labeled “permanent” but that refers to the non-smear property, meaning they dry fast and do not dissolve with moisture. This, however, does not mean they can resist fading from sunlight–those pens are labeled “lightfast.” They come in various tip sizes such as fine and ultra-fine.
Tip: Use Hatching and Crosshatching to Apply Tone With Pen and Ink. Fine art subjects such as the marine scene here can be quite successful with pen and ink, but the usual tone application as done with graphite will not work with ink. Other means must be used to suggest a value other than black. This is where hatching, a series of close parallel lines, or crosshatching, a series of crisscross lines, are used to create a three-dimensional appearance. Small dots made with the pen at varying densities will also work to make tonal values. ~Grant
You’ll find more books and resources on sketching techniques at North Light Shop, along with this sketchbook and pen that our team has combined in a special offer especially for October. It’s the perfect match; you’ll love the way the sketchbook feels in your hands, it’s small enough to carry along anywhere, and the pen is one of my favorites (a Micron .08). I can’t wait to see what you come up with for #InkTober–make sure you use the hashtag, and most importantly, get over any apprehension you may have about sharing your art. I know it can be scary at first, especially if you’re a beginner (as I consider myself to be), but just remember that we all have to start somewhere!
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