Expanding Value Technique Wash Pen Pencil

ffWe must. . . give the image of what we actually see, forgetting everything that has been seen before. "


It's so satisfying to expand drawing technique with the addition of just one new ingredient: wash. You can use wash to accent a drawing, create a wider range of values, and add a graceful, fluid look to your work.

What is a wash? Essentially, it's tinted water, made by mixing a small amount of paint with a larger amount of water. A wash is transparent; you can see the texture of your drawing surface through it. Washes are the basis of the painting technique used by watercolorists.

When applying a wash, jour brush should glide over the paper surface. If it pulls onjou,jour brush is too dry, give it more water.

You'll create and apply washes with your brush. It can be an inexpensive watercolor or acrylic brush; just make sure it comes to a crisp point. Although I specify a "round" brush (in "Supplies," page 11), be aware that some brushes classified as rounds will not make the crisp point that you'll need to get into nooks and crannies with good control, so shop carefully.

Once you've made your choice, be nice to your brush; it will last longer with some basic tender care. Never leave it full of paint or wash. Keep it in water, hairs down, while working-but don't leave it that way for a prolonged period, or the hairs will curve. (If you forget and that does happen, dip the end in boiling water for a second or two to reshape hairs.) Wash brushes after each use with warm water and mild soap, then leave them lying flat or in a jar to dry, hairs up.


drawing by student jane wolansky


2B and 2H pencil 2 drawing pens, fine and micro nibs black watercolor paint 6"-x-8" drawing pad 14"-x-1 7" drawing pad Pink Pearl eraser or writing-pencil eraser disposable palette water jar #6 brush facial tissues tape Q-Tips

"I'd been taking a watercolor class and was frustrated because I didn 't draw, and I needed to remedy that."

-student reg1na brauer

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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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