Mini Tutorial: Simple Ink Pen Drawing

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How It’s Made

Do you even just need to unwind and doodle your heart out? That’s pretty much my life. I love practicing my line work in the most basic fashion: Pen and paper.

You don’t need anything real fancy to do this, but I will link the supplies I used to make this and give you a little guidance of how to get into the mind set for creating flowing lines.

MATERIALS AND SUPPLIES I USE:

*Links contained in this post are affiliate links for Amazon or Dick Blick and I will earn a commission if you make a purchase at no additional cost to you. These commissions help fund more content like this, so thanks!

Weeks ago, Arteza sent me a selection of supplies to test out and I really enjoy how affordable their products are. Yes, I got them for free, but I wouldn’t be recommending them if I didn’t personally like them.

So, for this doodle, all you will need is this:

  • Arteza Inkonic Fineliners (Amazon)
  • Arteza Multimedia Sketch Pad (Amazon)
  • Pencil, ruler, and eraser.

But, you can honestly create this line work with any supplies you have around. Even grab a ballpoint pen and a piece of printer paper. I find that the cheaper the supplies I use, the less pressure there is for me to make something awesome. Lower stakes and all that.

General Directions:

Set the Stage:

You can work with the full 9″x12″ piece of paper, or you can cut yours down like I do. I cut my paper to 8″x8″. Squares inspire me these days. I don’t know why.

I love to create clean edges around my paper with light pencil lines. I usually give myself about a 1/2 inch border around the paper. If you are prone to making messes, feel free to apply artist’s tape around the edges so you can pull away the tape at the end to reveal pristine edges.

I just draw a box and do my best to stay within it…

THE LINE WORK Mindset:

Once you have your paper ready, choose your favorite colors. Work with one, or many. I used three blue shades and one really light gray shade for this piece.

When I draw lines, it is an act of letting go of perfection. When you work with ink, there is no erasing. There is no “fixing” a mistake. I simply tell myself that this type of doodling is about continuity and not about perfection.

That means you must keep going no matter what the previous line looked like. In fact, if you make a “mistake”, work this into your design. Create the next line with the same wonky feel. Imperfections then become part of the complete product.

When you start a line, commit. I want you to do one smooth motion. Don’t fuss and create “hairy lines” as one of my previous drawing instructors cautioned against. You know, those lines that communicate uncertainty?

One smooth motion for each line. Create one, then move onto the next. This is a meditation and an exercise in non-judgment. I work in sections to create the bulging wave look. I draw the outside line of a section and then work my way into the previous section. You can thicken the outside line a little for more dimension.

To start your line work, pick an edge of the paper and start building. One line after the next. Alternate your colors when it feels right to you, and cover as much of the paper as you wish.

Once I am finished, I erase my border lines.

Voilà ! Fin.

***

This type of line work calms my mind. This tutorial isn’t anything intense, but I urge you to try it if you want to work on your lines as well as find a little moment of peace in your day. This doodle took me 30 minutes and I forced myself to create it in one sitting. I hope you enjoy!

If you enjoyed this little tutorial and want to learn more, let me know through Instagram or Email, or consider becoming a Patron of mine to support more content like this. Now go get messy and share your creation on Instagram using #messyeverafter!

-Kelly

SUPPORT MESSY EVER AFTER ON PATREON:

A lot of artists don’t like to share their secrets, but I’m an open book. If you enjoy the content I create and the advice I give to other creators, please consider becoming Patron of mine on Patreon. Pledging as little as $1 a month supports this content and my career as an artist.

Further Reading:
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