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The problem with drawing in colour in pen and ink is rather similar to the situation with coloured pencils. Large areas take so many G strokes of the nib to fill them that inevitably there is a large amount

T of white paper left showing through, and this tends to produce more

N of a tint than a solid colour. Other problems are building up tones

S sufficiently densely to hold the form and taking care that marks

R aren't so strong they dominate. Pen and ink drawings are never quick

T to produce although this does have the advantage of allowing you to

® be more careful in building up your picture. Some people love the medium while others try it only once. See how you get on.

In these two drawings - one in pencil and the other in paint - I have used David Hockney as my inspiration. Here, the multitude of overlaid reddish tones give some idea of the man's strong rubicund complexion. The hair and the shirt are not too difficult, although the shirt in the original is much stronger in colour. Hundreds of pen strokes are needed to build the colour, so you will need patience. You will also need a fair amount of confidence, because it is impossible to remove the pen strokes once they have been made.

The face of the girl was harder to get right tonally because the pink complexion of the original was quite delicate. This version looks both stronger and deeper in tone. The small broken strokes are better for reproducing a less intense colour but even then, as you can see, it remains quite strong.

In this study of Florence, based on a work by Oskar Kokoschka, the tones and colours are built up by a mixture of small and large strokes, many of them packed quite closely to give an effect of solid roofs and walls. You will have to overlay your marks several times in order to get the tonal qualities you need, and each time you do that, try to vary the direction of your strokes.

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Freehand Sketching An Introduction

Freehand Sketching An Introduction

Learn to sketch by working through these quick, simple lessons. This Learn to Sketch course will help you learn to draw what you see and develop your skills.

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