An Instructional Drawing Guide: Part 2 – Illustration Pens

If you have not read part 1 of this series I highly suggest that you do that. You can find it here.

The first layer of this drawing was accomplished with pencil. I left off with a few different blending options which while handy to know are not necessary for this particular drawing. By the time it is over the pencil marks will be barely visible.

I use micron pens. I really like them because they arent going to smudge with water and they come in varying sizes. Now the pencil drawing is not necessary, and I don’t always draw in pencil first. But when you want to have more precision it can be very helpful. Pencil is certainly more forgiving. I rarely erase anyway because I have grown so accustomed to pens. (Not always a good thing) but illustration pens – as long as you are okay with a “messier/sketchier” style can be just as versatile.

The lines of a pen will feel very permanent and dark and intimidating. Even with a .02 at first. But when you add the .05 those thin lines seem imsignificant and pencil like.

I always begin with a .02 or .01 (my child ran off with the lid to my .01 and it dried up so I am using .02 here).

Simply retrace your lines with more precision. A neat drawing trick is to start at the far edge or corner of a line, decide your direction and make one quick straight stroke, not completing the line.

The human mind was designed brilliantly, in that our minds can easily fill in the blanks. And we love it when we feel challenged to see something that is an illusion of sorts. The way that we bring dimensionality to a two dimensional surface is an illusion of light. You are being an illusionist when you draw.

Yes I am purposely ignoring softer and natural details such as foliage and stone texture. That will be covered in part 3.

So this was my first layer with a .02 pen. Now I am going to go over my darkest darks with a .04.

Important! Avoid the temptation to “fill” with the pen. Only straight lines and hatching. I am switching back to light and medium pens now to add more shadows with using directional lines.

This is part 2/3 of an instructional drawing series. Stay tuned for part 3 where we dive into adding ink or water color medium.

As you might have noticed, I made plenty of “mistakes” and I myself am forever learning. By diversifying my mediums I collectively get better at all of them slowly vs focusing all of my energy on perfecting only one. Just remember you aren’t a camera and that is not the purpose of art.

Thanks for reading, please like, share, follow and comment! I would love to hear your feedback.


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