When the Drawing Is the Art
my third attempt at pen and ink with hatching
The drawing is the bones of a painting for me, and also one of the most pleasurable parts to work on. When I draw on canvas I use a brush and paint rather than a pencil. It’s easy to wipe off the drawing and start over, so there’s not a lot of pressure to get it right the first time. And the gratification comes faster than when painting, where the end result takes a lot more time.
my first drawing of this little boat, made using Tombow felt tip pens
But sometimes, I like to make a drawing that will stand on its own as a work of art. I particularly admire the drawings of Rob Adams, an English painter in several mediums who creates drawings well worthy of hanging on the wall. I have one of his paintings and one of his drawings, and in both cases I had the pleasure of watching him create them. Rob uses a pen and ink hatching technique to create different values and textures in his drawings. I decided to learn it.
a different view for my second drawing with the felt tips
I started in my comfort zone, using felt tip pens of different values and some photos I took this summer of a beautiful wooden dinghy that we saw in Bucks Harbor. I’ve often used these pens to create a value sketch, which is a monochrome drawing that shows the pattern of light dark in the scene. I made several value sketches from photos taken as the boat moved around in the current.
and yet another view drawn with the felt tips
This little boat is a real classic. It was made using the lapstrake or clinker technique, where the planks overlap each other, giving the boat strength as well as its rounded shape and characteristic striped look. The approach has been beloved since Viking days for stability and maneuverability.
my first traditional pen and ink attempt, though I went back to the felt tip for the water
From the value sketches, i chose one and tried it in pen and ink, to get a feel for the medium. The feeling of the pen on the paper is different than with the felt tip, and also this ink is permanent. I did the line drawing in pencil, went over it with the ink, and erased the pencil after the ink was dry. But I wasn’t quite satisfied with this approach, and studied Rob’s work again to try and better understand the hatching.
The drawing at the top is my third attempt at hatching this image. I tried it first (not shown) on the same sketchbook paper as the other drawings in this blogpost, and finally on some fabulous blue paper made in France that Rob recommended to me. I think I'm getting the hang of it.
1/28/2021 04:10:16 pm
It always amazes me the textures that can be created with a pen or pencil. I love the top one.
1/29/2021 06:10:32 am
Very inspiring to see your drawings. Love the top one....hope you frame and hang or sell....
1/30/2021 05:56:52 am
Hi Bobbi, I’m really enjoying your blog and your online class. I’m going to try to incorporate some hatching in my botanical sketches - I’ve actually been thinking of leaving some of them black and white only. What type of pencil do you recommend for someone who hasn’t really done much black and white sketching. Thanks so much! I love all the above sketches but I almost like your first attempt best. Love the simplicity of the little boat and the nice detail at top left. Lisa
Hi Lisa, thanks so much! For the first few I used a number 2 pencil, followed by a set of Tombow pens, numbers 45, 55, 75, and 95. 45 is the darkest. I will email a photo of them to you. At the end I used an art gum eraser to get rid of the pencil, so you can't see that in any of the photos in this post. For the one at the top I used the pencil followed by Pigma Micron pens from 02-08 and a Kuretake pen for the background hatching. I only used the pencil to get the basics of the drawing, no hatching was done with pencil.
3/12/2021 11:49:09 am
A beautiful boat. I love all of the mediums. I would love to know something about palet knives
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Bobbi - Painter. Sketcher. Teacher. Boat and Dog Lover.