Pen & Ink Lesson 1: Limbering Up

Just to limber up, try copying the logo above freehand using any pen on any old scrap of paper. Use a pencil first if you like, then overwrite with the pen.

Keep it as smooth and free-flowing as possible. This is probably more difficult than you think.

You might then like to have a go at the logo turned upside-down. If that’s not enough sideways too.

Another thing you might like to try is copying your own signature, but upside down. Sign as usual then flip the paper upside down and copy. Turn it back the right way round to view the result.

It’s all to get you observing and drawing what you see. Get that pen moving and remember – it knows when you are scared of it!

It isn’t essential to have specialist paper and pens, however if and when you buy I would recommend ‘Staedtler pigment liner’ or ‘Unipin fine liner’. They come in sets (usually 4 pens) of varying thicknesses. The ink won’t fade and is waterproof. If you google the names you’ll find them online or go to any art shop. Any good quality drawing or cartridge paper will do. You might like to get a sketchbook.

If you are a traditionalist you might like a dip-in drawing pen and a bottle of ink. These give a more characterful line of varying thickness depending on the pressure applied.

Have a go with a fountain pen if you’ve got one.

Have fun!

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