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Pen and Drawing Techniques:

Pen and ink drawing describes the process of using pens to apply ink to a surface. There is an endless amount of pen and ink techniques. Drawing with pen and ink allows the artist to create strong areas of contrast.

Let's take a look at each technique in detail...

Hatching: Hatching is a technique used to add value in a linear fashion. The lines used in hatching mostly go in the same direction for a defined area. When hatching is used, the lines do not cross over each other. (Although cross hatching can be used in combination with hatching) Hatching lines can be parallel or they can be used as cross contour lines to help define the form of the object. The closer the lines are to each other, the darker the value. The more space between the lines, the lighter the value.

Lines flow in unified direction.

Lines do not cross over.

Value is adjusted y spacing of lines.

Cross Hatching:

Cross hatching is just like hatching except that the lines cross over each other. The more that the lines cross, the darker the value. Cross hatching can be used with rigid straight lines or as cross contour lines to define the form of the object.

Lines cross over each other.

Greater frequency of lines produces darker values.

Random Lines:

Lines going in various directions can also be used to create pen and ink drawings. By changing the frequency of the crossing of the lines, you can control the range of value produced. Using this method can also create a variety of different textures.

Lines cross over each other.

Greater frequency of lines producers daker values.


Stippling is adding countless dots to create the value of the drawing. The higher the concentration of dots, the darker the value. The more space between the dots, the lighter the value. Stippling may be time consuming, but it allows the artist to have complete control the application of value, which can produce highly realistic results.

Small dots are used to create a illusion of value.

Greater frequency of dots produces darker values.

Ink Wash:

Ink wash is the application of ink with a brush. Ink wash is much like painting with watercolor paint. The more water, the less intense the application of ink. Therefore, value is controlled by the amount of water added to the ink prior to it's application to the surface.