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Thread: Sketching: Pencil then ink?

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    Default Re: Sketching: Pencil then ink?

    I was lucky to get one decent photo per roll back when i was doing that. Although sometimes inspiration hit and I got a few more.

    Anyway glad you are looking to pick up pen & ink sketching, Wuddus.

    Me too and I have a lot to learn and I believe that means I have a lot more mistakes coming. I will try to share most of them on the forum in case it is of interest.

    Lots of great advice from many talented folks. I have been lurking and will continue to do so and absorb all I can

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    Default Re: Sketching: Pencil then ink?

    Quote Originally Posted by penwash View Post
    Why fountain pen? Because it feels precise (unlike ballpoint) and because I can't erase my mistakes. Sometimes I can cover-up my mistakes, sometimes the mistake became a "happy-accident" but most of the time, the mistake just sit there, glaring at me, forcing me not only to acknowledge it, but also to finally see what's wrong and what not to do next time.
    I'm not sure I'll ever make it to that level. One thing I struggle with is the visualisation. Always have, always will. By this I mean visualising the image on the page, and putting the lines where they need to be, effectively tracing over the visual image. I'm not suggesting that anyone else literally sees the image on the page, but I struggle to pre-empt where the lines/shapes should be in relation to each other, until they're both on the page. This is really not easy to describe... some people are visually oriented, some are auditary, some are movement, whatever I am it's not visually oriented.

    So the only way I can "build" the imagery, is put a line down, and then work out how it needs moving, increasing, rotating, or whatever, to form the relationship with the other stuff on the page. I don't know if this is making any sense. If I do it that way, I can sometimes end up with a fair representation on the page - not necessarily artistic, or talented, just my basic acceptable level of competence. Sometimes I fail completely, and have to start all over again looking for other key shapes, angles or relationship to try to build the image from a different foundation.

    This might all sound totally bonkers to you all, but I hope you can get a grasp of the steps I have to take in order to not just set fire to it and walk away
    Last edited by Wuddus; May 25th, 2018 at 05:20 PM.

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    Default Re: Sketching: Pencil then ink?

    Hmm....when I did a pencil-sketch before inking, I often used Prismacolor Verithin, in Peacock (green-blue) or ochre. But those pencils are a little waxy and would sometimes repel the ink. If I was penciling in lines now, I might use a very hard, light pencil, with little pressure.

    I used to know all the names and terms, too. Where did my brain go?

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    Default Re: Sketching: Pencil then ink?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sailor Kenshin View Post
    Hmm....when I did a pencil-sketch before inking, I often used Prismacolor Verithin, in Peacock (green-blue) or ochre. But those pencils are a little waxy and would sometimes repel the ink. If I was penciling in lines now, I might use a very hard, light pencil, with little pressure.

    I used to know all the names and terms, too. Where did my brain go?
    I think I have some 2H leads somewhere, so I might give that a try and see how it compares.

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    Default Re: Sketching: Pencil then ink?

    Quote Originally Posted by azkid View Post
    I was lucky to get one decent photo per roll back when i was doing that. Although sometimes inspiration hit and I got a few more.

    Anyway glad you are looking to pick up pen & ink sketching, Wuddus.

    Me too and I have a lot to learn and I believe that means I have a lot more mistakes coming. I will try to share most of them on the forum in case it is of interest.

    Lots of great advice from many talented folks. I have been lurking and will continue to do so and absorb all I can
    I found photography so much easier. Photography is just capturing what's already there, framing it, choosing what can fall out of focus and what can't, a bit of an exposure tweak, and "click". Then repeat it with a few adjustments in case your calculations were off. So much easier to get a half decent piccie that way.

    Creating something on a page, piece by piece, gradually bringing in the tone and form, and keeping all the elements relative, is a whole different challenge for me. To me, a large part of the challenge is not the what, but the how. Studying the subject, trying to see what artists see. Capturing the various elements in my mind, is just as difficult for me as trying to recreate them on the paper.

    One thing I have learned which has made my acceptance of what I create easier, is that I'm NOT trying to capture the image on the page. I'm just trying to make a nice picture. Yes, I'd like to capture a little of the mood, or the form or whatever, if at all possible, but not recreate it. If that was the case, I should have brought my camera not my sketchpad. If I can create an image that I'm happy to look at, it doesn't need to be be true to what I've been looking at. This has helped me eliminate the "but it doesn't look like that" hurdle that I always used to faceplant on in the past.

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    Senior Member azkid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sketching: Pencil then ink?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wuddus View Post
    ... This is really not easy to describe... some people are visually oriented, some are auditary, some are movement, whatever I am it's not visually oriented.

    ...

    This might all sound totally bonkers to you all, but I hope you can get a grasp of the steps I have to take in order to not just set fire to it and walk away
    I totally get that. I am visually oriented but I can't just immediately figure out where to put all the lines. Even after sketching with pencil.

    I like to feel it out on paper rather than plan everything ahead. Because, frankly, I can't.

    Photography can be helpful... I want to try post processing some photos to help me abstract the values and forms and try to draw that.

    The other thing is that photography gives you a leg up on composition, form, texture, etc.... So that's good.

    I figure break it down into simple stuff first. Not a full picture but a tiny detail in a picture. Like a cup. Nothing else. Then work up to more objects and more detailed objects... We'll see how that goes for me...
    Last edited by azkid; May 25th, 2018 at 07:04 PM.

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    Default Re: Sketching: Pencil then ink?

    A li'l backstory.

    I love stray lines, because they make the work look loose and free. My drawings tend to be shaky, tight and cramped. And flat.

    This is probably why loose 'n' free seems admirable to me. I'm reading a children's book now with line drawings that seem decisive, yet the artist leaves in some corrected lines. Freedom.

    Rgperedo has some very detailed work, but it still gives the impression of freedom. Penwash has a different type of line, bold and rounded, and I love that look too. Neither artist has a shaky, tight or cramped hand.

    In the end, your drawing has to please you, and above all, it should be fun and relaxing.

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    Default Re: Sketching: Pencil then ink?

    For those who think they are one thing and cannot change: you are wrong!

    Picking out angles, lines, curves, shading and so on in a subject that you are drawing is a learned skill and not an innate one. Sure, some people progress more quickly than others, but that's true in all walks of life. There are many treaties that discuss the need to stop interpreting what you see (when you are drawing or sketching) and simply draw what you see (and not the interpreted object). Practice helps to stop the mind from constantly interpreting what you expect to see as opposed to what is actually there.

    For example, drawing a simple line box in perspective. Our minds think of the 3-dimensional box, but on the page there are only straight lines in a horizontal plane. If you draw just one line then it is just a line. Add another and perspective may arise.


    tl:dr - just practice more. It will come. [advice from a guy who rarely practices anything! Take it in the spirit intended).

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    Default Re: Sketching: Pencil then ink?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sailor Kenshin View Post
    A li'l backstory.

    I love stray lines, because they make the work look loose and free. My drawings tend to be shaky, tight and cramped. And flat.
    SK, I've seen your sketches. And I don't think it's shaky, tight or cramped.

    I believe that everyone has a unique style that can be developed. The hardest thing to get to is that point where you know that you're having fun, and you look forward to another drawing or sketch.
    - Will
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    Default Re: Sketching: Pencil then ink?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wuddus View Post
    At this stage, I still have to relearn what I should be seeing in the subject, such as component shapes within the whole, and developing some basic ability. I can understand going without pencil being more fun as you advance, but I'm a long long way off that.
    My coworker had some great success at going from zero skills to feeling much more confident by following this draw a box website :

    http://drawabox.com

    Seems like the sort of thing I really need to do myself too but have no patience for 🤣



    Sent from my SM-N950F using Tapatalk

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    Default Re: Sketching: Pencil then ink?

    Quote Originally Posted by calamus View Post
    I'm now using a fine nibbed fountain pen for drawing. I saw on another thread on this forum an example of a very cool technique. Heres a link to it: https://fpgeeks.com/forum/showthread...y-Ink-17/page4. It's the post by suzy01 near the middle of the page. She first did a drawing in pen and ink, then went over it here and there lightly with a water brush (Japanese invention, hollow handle holds water) and the cross-hatching blended together and made a nice gradient. Changes the character of the piece completely. Very nice effect. I'm ordering some Pentel water brushes and will be playing with that technique.
    Thank you. A normal brush with clean water would achieve the same as Wuddus observed. The reason I bought aqua brushes in the first place was to fill them with a diluted mix of ink and water to make a brushpen (which is OK but you need to add orings to avoid inky fingers), I never draw at home so a dip pen, ink bottle and traditional brush was not practical on the train. My next experiment is to use my aqua brush with a watercolour set to see how well that works on the go now that I have found a good waterproof ink (de atramentis black document ink on case you're wondering). I've read that it's doable by wiping the brush on a small sponge when you want to change colours.

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    Default Re: Sketching: Pencil then ink?

    Quote Originally Posted by suzy01 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Wuddus View Post
    At this stage, I still have to relearn what I should be seeing in the subject, such as component shapes within the whole, and developing some basic ability. I can understand going without pencil being more fun as you advance, but I'm a long long way off that.
    My coworker had some great success at going from zero skills to feeling much more confident by following this draw a box website :

    http://drawabox.com

    Seems like the sort of thing I really need to do myself too but have no patience for 🤣



    Sent from my SM-N950F using Tapatalk
    But you sketch 'in the wild,' right? Which is really cool.

    My only true waterproof ink is Noodler's Bad Green Gator. Which is green, not black. And will leave lacquer-like particles in your pen.

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    Default Re: Sketching: Pencil then ink?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sailor Kenshin View Post

    But you sketch 'in the wild,' right? Which is really cool.

    My only true waterproof ink is Noodler's Bad Green Gator. Which is green, not black. And will leave lacquer-like particles in your pen.
    Hahaha, I'd prefer to be in the comfort of my own home than on a shakey train, except my toddler rules the house so when I'm there I'm quite rightly expected to play with her.

    I tried noodlers heart of darkness as people said it was waterproof, which I'm sure it is for large quantities of water (I saw one demo with a bucket of water then a bucket of bleach and it was still there) but a subtle wash smudges the top layer off in a grimey sort of splodge so no good for watercolour drawings.

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    Default Re: Sketching: Pencil then ink?

    Quote Originally Posted by azkid View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Wuddus View Post
    ... This is really not easy to describe... some people are visually oriented, some are auditary, some are movement, whatever I am it's not visually oriented.

    ...

    This might all sound totally bonkers to you all, but I hope you can get a grasp of the steps I have to take in order to not just set fire to it and walk away
    I totally get that. I am visually oriented but I can't just immediately figure out where to put all the lines. Even after sketching with pencil.

    I like to feel it out on paper rather than plan everything ahead. Because, frankly, I can't.

    Photography can be helpful... I want to try post processing some photos to help me abstract the values and forms and try to draw that.

    The other thing is that photography gives you a leg up on composition, form, texture, etc.... So that's good.

    I figure break it down into simple stuff first. Not a full picture but a tiny detail in a picture. Like a cup. Nothing else. Then work up to more objects and more detailed objects... We'll see how that goes for me...
    You're one step ahead of me Photography first is immensely helpful in my opinion. It's already composed, no distractions from movements or changing light conditions, and you can do a bit and then come back to it later.

    Judging from your sketch of the pears, you're well ahead of me in terms of ability too.

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    Default Re: Sketching: Pencil then ink?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sailor Kenshin View Post
    A li'l backstory.

    I love stray lines, because they make the work look loose and free. My drawings tend to be shaky, tight and cramped. And flat.

    This is probably why loose 'n' free seems admirable to me. I'm reading a children's book now with line drawings that seem decisive, yet the artist leaves in some corrected lines. Freedom.

    Rgperedo has some very detailed work, but it still gives the impression of freedom. Penwash has a different type of line, bold and rounded, and I love that look too. Neither artist has a shaky, tight or cramped hand.

    In the end, your drawing has to please you, and above all, it should be fun and relaxing.
    While I have said that I don't like stray lines, my drawing were never clean or precise, it's just that there were often more construction lines than finished ones, so unless I keep up with the eraser, it's not clear which lines should be looked at. I don't even know if I have a particular style. I just keep fiddling till it looks acceptable to me, or abort and start again. I just find it fun to do, so long as I don't get too frustrated in the process. The end result is somewhat disposable, as it's the doing and not the end product that I enjoy.

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    Default Re: Sketching: Pencil then ink?

    Quote Originally Posted by Empty_of_Clouds View Post
    For those who think they are one thing and cannot change: you are wrong!

    Picking out angles, lines, curves, shading and so on in a subject that you are drawing is a learned skill and not an innate one. Sure, some people progress more quickly than others, but that's true in all walks of life. There are many treaties that discuss the need to stop interpreting what you see (when you are drawing or sketching) and simply draw what you see (and not the interpreted object). Practice helps to stop the mind from constantly interpreting what you expect to see as opposed to what is actually there.

    For example, drawing a simple line box in perspective. Our minds think of the 3-dimensional box, but on the page there are only straight lines in a horizontal plane. If you draw just one line then it is just a line. Add another and perspective may arise.


    tl:dr - just practice more. It will come. [advice from a guy who rarely practices anything! Take it in the spirit intended).
    I agree - in part. I sort of acknowledged this in an earlier post.

    I do need more practice, lots more, and I do take your comments in good spirit. I need practice in seeing things from a sketch perspective, and how the shapes, lines and forms interract. I need practice in seeing what it looks like in 2D without "correcting" dimensions and shadows. In my mental interpretation. I need practice in both creating the forms, but also the contours, lighting and textures, and how to give the illusion on page.

    Tl:dr i'm starting from scratch again, and there's a long road ahead of me

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    Default Re: Sketching: Pencil then ink?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wuddus View Post
    While I have said that I don't like stray lines, my drawing were never clean or precise, it's just that there were often more construction lines than finished ones, so unless I keep up with the eraser, it's not clear which lines should be looked at. I don't even know if I have a particular style. I just keep fiddling till it looks acceptable to me, or abort and start again. I just find it fun to do, so long as I don't get too frustrated in the process. The end result is somewhat disposable, as it's the doing and not the end product that I enjoy.
    One very beneficial habit to develop (at least it didn't come naturally for me) is to look back at my "mistakes". I periodically go through my sketches and examine what could be improved.
    Sometimes it's difficult to push myself to do it, but every time I managed to do it, I see new things that I hadn't noticed before.
    - Will
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    Default Re: Sketching: Pencil then ink?

    Following the advice from this thread, I've now switched to using 2H leads for the initial sketch, and the page does look a lot cleaner. It also means it will be less distracting should any of the remnants remain once the ink hits the page.

    It's certainly harder work for my failing eyesight, but it may prove to be worth the extra effort in that regard. Thanks folks.

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    Default Re: Sketching: Pencil then ink?

    Quote Originally Posted by penwash View Post

    One very beneficial habit to develop (at least it didn't come naturally for me) is to look back at my "mistakes". I periodically go through my sketches and examine what could be improved.
    Sometimes it's difficult to push myself to do it, but every time I managed to do it, I see new things that I hadn't noticed before.
    I think seeing the mistakes will be pretty easy I think understanding them, and learning new techniques to improve in future, will take longer.

    As a random example, i've started having a go at sketching a scene in an old photo, and there's a large bush in there. I suddenly hit a blank as to creating the texture, and giving the impression of the texture of the bush without it being a mass of scribble. Not that it's a big issue. As I've said, I'm at the start of a long learning curve, so there's a lot to learn in terms of techniques and researching different methods.

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    Default Re: Sketching: Pencil then ink?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wuddus View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by penwash View Post

    One very beneficial habit to develop (at least it didn't come naturally for me) is to look back at my "mistakes". I periodically go through my sketches and examine what could be improved.
    Sometimes it's difficult to push myself to do it, but every time I managed to do it, I see new things that I hadn't noticed before.
    I think seeing the mistakes will be pretty easy I think understanding them, and learning new techniques to improve in future, will take longer.

    As a random example, i've started having a go at sketching a scene in an old photo, and there's a large bush in there. I suddenly hit a blank as to creating the texture, and giving the impression of the texture of the bush without it being a mass of scribble. Not that it's a big issue. As I've said, I'm at the start of a long learning curve, so there's a lot to learn in terms of techniques and researching different methods.
    Let's use that particular situation that you used as an example, not knowing how to draw the bush, I would draw it as a mass of scribble. Then I would draw an arrow pointing to it and write "Not happy with this at all!".

    Then, fast forward to the (hopefully near) future, where I review my past sketches and came across this one, I would see that arrow with that comment, and maybe at that point, I've gotten an insight or a technique that I saw somewhere, and was able to give drawing the bush a second try.

    My point is that reviewing your past sketches helps to understand what needs to be fixed and keep on improving.
    - Will
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