Create illustrations with Ink Pens and Watercolor | Laura Lencioni | Skillshare

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Create illustrations with Ink Pens and Watercolor

teacher avatar Laura Lencioni, artist + surface pattern designer

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

10 Lessons (42m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Your class project

    • 3. Pens overview

    • 4. Textures, tones + shadows with PENS

    • 5. Watercolors Overview

    • 6. Ink first

    • 7. Watercolor first

    • 8. Watercolors + brush pens def

    • 9. Bonus: Indian Ink + Watercolors

    • 10. Thank you

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About This Class



There is something special about mixing Ink Pens and Watercolor. It’s like having two different approaches at seeing and expressing, that together can create something unique and intense.

If you’ve always being curious about mixing pens and color let me take you through the process I use, with tips and resources. In this course you will learn about different pens you can use with watercolors, the processes to use them together, the inks and papers.

Mixing ink pens to your watercolors can add freshness and more depht to the illustration. The looseness of the watercolor contrasts the precise lines produced by the pen and ink. And it’s actually easy!

The key to mastering any medium is to understand how the various materials interact with each other trough practice. This is so true for watercolors and for mixing these tools.


  • Which pens and inks to use with watercolors
  • How to make textures and tones with pens
  • Basic ways to use watercolors
  • How to mix watercolors and pens in your artwork


  • Introduction. What this class is about and what we'll see together
  • Project. Just a few words for your project
  • Supplies. Feel free to use what you already have! Basic supplies are a brush, a sheet of watercolor paper (or mixed media paper), a water resistant ink pen (or a gel pen/ball point pen) or indian ink.
  • Overview of Pens. Not all pens are created equal, and even between the watercolor proof ones there are differences. I’ll take you on a quick tour of my favourite ones.
  • Textures, Tones and Shadows with Pens. In which you’ll see various ways to create textures, shadows and tones with your pen.
  • Watercolors Overview. Basics on watercolors, experiment and choose your favorite/favorites ways.
  • Ink First. Draw First, then paint. I’ll show you examples and give you tips.
  • Watercolor First. Paint first and enchant it with line drawing once the paint is dry.
  • Brush Pen + Watercolors. This tecnique produce fluid and expressive results.
  • Bonus: Indian Ink + Watercolors. To produce an expressive, bold or minimal illustration
  • Thank you. Hope you had fun and remember the most important thing to find your own style is to practice.

Let's be friends! You'll find me on Instagram @lauralencionidesign and on my website :)

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Laura Lencioni

artist + surface pattern designer


Hey there!

I'm Laura, an artist and surface pattern designer that loves drawing, cats, nature and quirky inspiring stories.

I love to mix traditional and digital art to create illustrations and patterns.  :)


As a little girl I loved to draw and to imagine stories. I enrolled in Painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Carrara after my high school on social science. I've learnt to draw through a lot of practice and heartache (I wasn't any good at it at the beginning).

I fell in love with pattern design as I was finishing the academy. I've dug into it and into learning more since :)

Art can make you grow as a person and make you happy, I for once am always happy when I do something creative!!

I'm so happy to get t... See full profile

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1. Introduction: Hi, guys. I'm an artist on Facebook on designer living in Tuscany, Italy. I love events in Kwan's are my favorite because you can do so much with them in this class . I'll show you how to mix watercolors on implants to create vibrant, beautiful illustrations. These two mediums work so well together, excited to get out, freshness can define or our deepness to your watercolors. I'll do a quick overview. Offing pants off. What color's the supplies that you need? Don't worry too much about that, because you can also use what you really have. We'll see how to use watercolor first. How to use Think first. This class is for you. If you love watercolors in bands or thinking in general growing and mixing techniques by the end of this class, you should be comfortable with using both this. To muse on, you can happily mix them together. Once you're all in the class, you'll have access to the resource section on. You find an overview off with the resistant in pants. Some fathers that I shoot that you can use as a reference if you want a line growing off mine and that you can use as a reference if you want to paint on. I've also prepared a painter's board. We have some image of inspiration for you to look at. If you have any questions, don't hesitate. And after meeting the comments, that will be happy to answer. So thank you for watching on I'll see you soon. 2. Your class project: the project for this class is to choose one of the technique we approach and create a work of your own to the subject off your liking. I will also put problems for you in the results section. Don't worry too much. That should be fun. Please be sure to share your progress on final war in the project section. I can't wait to see what you came up with. 3. Pens overview: e have quite a passion for her many. And just don't you do a quick overview off my several ones. The UNIP, in fine line copes well with watercolor on with Coptic. It's what proof it's really what proof. I mean, there are other pants that says What approves, but they do some bleeding when you use them. This is mental touch sign pan disbands from mental are really nice. They have this kind of rushed it, but it's a hard won, so it gets you a bait off variety and signed up still has a lot of control. This has a different tip that brown one Oh come one actually is a bit more rounded and doesn't have fired a and sign. It's a nice one but doesn't have far. 4. Textures, tones + shadows with PENS: I want to show you how to create texture on Don's and shadows with Ben's, so the 1st 1 is hatching. The more the lines are close, the more dark it will be. Then that's cross hatching. That is, a double hatching into different directions. Does that there's a contour. This usually follow the concern of an object on help to add darkness. Where should be darker? But this is the country that there's also goingto. There's also that cross contour that it's, ah, another way to add don't on shadows to a shape. Then there's contrasting lines that are like short lines that good in different ways. That this is going trusting lines, then does the steeping that essentially it's doing dots money. I just use this one, then does where the lines that can add movement to your work. Then that's the doodles, the closing, the science you do. The darted will become, and usually say you're doing a flower. There are parts that are more dark, like the beginning of the Purtell has more shadow if you point in which there's more shuddered also up to here, so usually it's like here and here the parts that are moved are so this is a way to use contour lines on hatching together, but you could also use the wavy lines that's up to you. How you choose to cross concern is also NYSE, in some cases, anyway, just should practice way. Another way to see where you should do the dark lines. The shadow is to see where the light comes from, say again, filtering the flower Really sketchy flower say the light comes from here than the darkest part will be in the opposite. So if the sun comes from here, this is the parts that would be darker. The best way to learn about shadows and how to make shadows is to draw something from really, that's the best. For sure. It is just an example. A rogue one. But it's just for you, Josie. Let's make it more simple on the light Comes from here on. The shadows should be here 5. Watercolors Overview: I I'm going to show you basic ways in which you can use watercolors. 1st 1 is weather. What with your brush. What you go and what? Your paper. I'll try flower here, The beginning of flour and I'm going to pick some color now Still with my brush. What? I'm going to use the color on the what's her face. I can also use another color like blue here and makes them together. You see, we've whether what you don't have that much control over for the call goes, the colors just keeps going where the surface is, what I'm going to do to other example. It is a simple circle and I'm going to make cease around dread with like in yellow here. This is nice. If you have to do something expressive Biker sunset Disciples Burke And be nice. But you don't have that much control. Then another way. The last one I'm going to show you is to let some colored dip. It's not dipping because it's not a liquid, but I'm going to use this one. Hey, Hey, Idris, Find out what the caller before I was using just my pilot off watercolors. So with this one and going to dip just can see how the colored rates this perfect for upstart work. You can also use some blue here. The color would go just in the West part. Another way, it's to work. What on dry. So I have my brush wet with color. This is really full of ink, but I have more control, that's for sure. The color still has that quality of watercolor transparent aspect of it, and I can also mix it with other. I choose something really dark when to choose something Writer, don't you? Another example. I need to deal with flower. You see, this is how you can use what on dry, wet or dry. You can have an ask control, which is how much water to put you makes colors together that for dry a wet that's what is her face. And now this is nice toe. Achieve some affect still good for abstract work with dry on dry, use your paintbrush Realty vally dry but still old paint on. Do you apply it to a dry support such as paper? This is nice to curate Dexter and also helps to create movement. The resulting brushstrokes have a scratchy look that lacks this move. Appearance that washes or blended paint commonly have a gradient is to paint that transactions from a darker to a lighter color in a single layer. This is nice to paint skies in. Watercolors are many types or forms. Usually I use a mixer wet and dry on what on what, but sometimes I used taxer. 6. Ink first: I'm doing your lose drawing here so that I would go over this one with paint disease like a rules attack Off rose from an image that I remember but us from my imagination. So it's not perfect, Rose. It's OK. It doesn't have to be. I'm working on called Press People. This case I have a paper that has a bit of taxer, so my pan find resistance a little bit in the people. There's mover. The paper ease the last year or plan will find resistance. It stands quite a big one, but when you decide to wink first and then color, you can drew with fancy before and then go with the ThinkPad or you can actually go directly with an infant. I will make it dry a little bit. Don't have to be too much worried if you go out of the lines, because what the color is an expressive word and it's nice also, if the collar goes a bit out of it, don't worry too much. Just keep going. I remember that when you want for it to be white, you should let it without color. I think I like more when I do watercolor first, and then I go with bands because I think I'm more free, while in this case it's like I have to be inside the sign I made with the with the pan. I think I like more freedom that, you know it's up to you how you choose to work. I'm going to in shame to the places which I think should be big, darker. You can also go outside of the science he did like for it to be more brownish than maybe here just touch of color. This is experimental. Actually, it's not that you have to do something like this, and now you can live it like this one. Or you could go and art days could go with your brush a bit more dry. Maybe for days. I should use the little brush. Let's try with the little brush would be easier, I think usually prefer Teoh brush. This is an old brash That's not perfect. One. You could go over the lines. I think I can already go over this one. I'm then going to use its the unit pain. This is a light gray from uni pain. It's water resistant and fake proof, just going to have a bit of it. And that's a that see, I like to experiment, actually on do different things like in here. Yeah. I mean, you don't have to like what I'm doing. You can choose to work as a like it's just assure you how much you can actually do with the stop work. You can also go and do a full of lines stamps that's really up to you. How you just to work you inside here? It's not dry yet, so wait, I'm going to do just a few signs. Do we shape this work here? We could put some dogs, and the dogs could be black. Let's see how blue maybe a little. It's not ruptured. You can experiment on usually if you go over with the color similar toe, the one you use in the water color work. It's all right, you see, I'm using Hawaiian and I used before the brownish pink, so it's right. But you can just experiments. You see, before that wine plan was nice on green. That's he here. It's really a subjective thing. Not for everyone is the same. So you should choose your way to work with this anyway. Just would just don't show you the thing you can do with Pan and Water Call and took it over work this one. But that's all right. Just, you know, for practice. You can came up with what you want for practice. So it's right. I tried the light growing with the motel on a pair and I want to try to go there. It With what? Cars Just going to do big strokes. Not something really new. I like to work with big strokes. You can dio also differently. It's just up to you. I just I want to try how it bills. Well, I'm not doing big strokes. Maybe just in here Now I'm going to dip lashing the water, take out a bit of water around my wound to spread a bit of this pink t shred. I wake. It may be not the novel. Yeah, I just waited a few minutes and it's not enough for the multi liner to dry Anyway. Um, I think I like it how it is. Oh, let's take out to be tough collar, because I've put too much car. Yeah, no, I want to want to get off here. I think this way Working with light drawing underneath, made in this case with the multi liner That's nice. Remains more delicate. That should go with brownish green goes cure. Yeah, I think I prefer this one instead of the black. The line drawing prefer to do a colored one, but it just wait five minutes here. You know, if you can see but the wine pan blended a little bit going. So this is it. I hope you like the class. I mean, you could go over this one. You can go almost immediately with the pants. Make it a bit more detailed, but I get how it is number just here. It's cute on delicate. 7. Watercolor first: - Once you are sure that your surface is dry, you can go on on begin to apply the plant science. He's is a cop. Eker multi liner. It's olive green on. I have several multi liners. There are 12 colors in total. I think I don't have all of them, but you can already do so much with just one plan on Dhere, I have free the ones you see on the left are two topic multi liners. It's the wine on and violet. On the other. One is a unit peen light gray on all of them are ink pens that are water resistant on the other. One is just a pan seal, but I don't think I'm going to use that. I'm doing signs that follows the lace on. I'm repeating them. I just want to, at some freshness, toe the work. Andi, I have the flour close to me so I can look it up. But I don't have to be super size. I just want to render the feeling off. Live thinking is for it to be a bit more free dimensional. I add some dark lines close together. I'm going to use the wine. Andi I want to do a bit off shadows beat off the controls on some details. Con turn lines will help to ensure change. The white I also used starts to add details. It's just up to you how you use the pants. I am using this pan as if I was drawing. Um, that's how I like to use. You don't have to do like me you can to like me. It's a way, but you can also find your own way to use the pants. In this case, I don't want to overdo the work, so you see that I like to live it a bit. Pharaoh on guy. Leave white space, too, because I like it. And in watercolors, white space is white. Off the paper, as you know, you began to work from light to dark colors, but for the white, usually you use the white of the paper. You can also in shunt some details with white dots. I'm going to follow the shadows, marking a bit more the point in which that's cures on, which should be more dark. So in this way you'll see shadows, but also the light part will come forward. I like for this type of work to be really fresh, so I'm not going to do the concern for all the flour and just going in some off the edges in some of the outside edges. But not all of them. That's my choice. But you can do as you like. When I do these lines on the pedals, I tend to follow the curator. The petal is having. So I do these because this helps. If you do the lines following the curvature off the battles, these can actually out. It's like making the better more riel. I'm going to check if this one, it's dry. Now that it's try with line drawing, I can define the subject more at the tails or refined the shadows and create textures. I can do a cross hatching, steepening, scribbles, buttons, contour lines whenever I like. I don't want to overdo this one, but you can try different things. The bad work can be obvious or can just put some dark lines. So mark, with just a few streaks to represent the falls or the center of the flowers, or helping to link the bettors together and to find for you can also go a bit off. It's right. That can be nice. You can use the white from the people to heart more character to the work, so don't feel afraid to mass and pull on a bait. I like to keep it a graphic. So the details are not too much close to the reality I like for it to be expressive, but at the same time be clues and not quite perfect. This is how I like it, but you can try different things. Doesn't have to be perfect. That's not what we are going to, that if you, if you want you can also be more precise. It's really up to you. It's nice to use this parents, and you can also use them over the same call like in this case, in a more delicate way. Leaves. Actually, if you look at them up close, they have delegate Techsters, so this is close to how textured leaves can be. I also like the contrast with Green, um, this wine pan on. Just add a few more touch. Just go with what it felt. It's nice. I like for it to be over sketching style. It's just up to you how you choose to work. This is a tool that can be used in many different ways. Don't feel too much. Press weren't just try something out and you will see how you could flare this one to be. - I like it. It's not bad. I'm going to show you another one. I did previously. This is a bit more complex in here to I try to lose type off science. I use the water colors in here and then depends two colors, the wine and pink liner pan. And then I used the black one. Black is nice to use in this type of work toe. I usually like to use colors, but black is nice on the gods. More contrast to the work. It's also nice. Do not define everything, because when you do this type of work, it's like a lot a bit off imagination off the viewer to come and work 8. Watercolors + brush pens def: I wanted to show you also using a pan with a brash chip like the mental pocket brush plan on this one, you can see that the science that it does can be really thing become really big. This is what the proof. You find this one on the pdf I put in the flies on. Let's see how we can use it on one of a work without putting too much darkness in it. It's, Ah, a more painted like a fact. It's away. And you should know about this way, too. On Let's see also in here just be careful because this one comes down really wet. So I think it's what a proof. But if you go over it with your hand, you will match because it's really full of ink. You see, it's a nice anyway, it's not bad. You see the color plates, little bits. So you have to be mindful of that. This is a cold press paper, so I'm just going to check. We have a hot press, but it does the same. That is a drawing. But just to see, huh? It seems that it doesn't bleed here. Let's try after we put somewhere to color. These are the tool. It's Ah, copy multi liner black brush. Medium size on this still has the brush tip and it's what proof from ST Proof. Let's see how it works. This is less flexible off the mental. Yeah, you can do struck off different thickness, so it's nice, but it's less flexible off Lipitor. Still, I think blades less. This is the copy come 40 liner brush and this one is the pen tell So the mental bleeds a little bit more. Let's see in the heart paper. This is already dry. So let's see how the intel Yeah, it is also may be a case in which the heart press paper, the Patel doesn't believe and the same goes for the copy community liner. This could be because off the descent of the paper, the heart press paper is smoother. While the cold press it's a bit more texture it So this can be why because off the resistant of the texture. So this is it. I hope you enjoy the class. Thank you. Bye bye. 9. Bonus: Indian Ink + Watercolors: using immune ink and watercolor together can produce an expressive bolt or minimal illustration. First of all, choose a waterproof in gaining. I used Winsor and Newton, but there are other great brands out there, as any black medium in gaining can have different tones. Be warm, neutral or cold, tone it. This depends on the Basten's from one brand to another. They can differ, and they can also differ by their intensity off. Black Indian ink is often used with knee pants, but you can use it. Also were paintbrush. That's how I use it. Beginning can be great for both. Putting flat colors or to create shades. You can dilate the paint in your water jar on. In this way, you're going to create graze. You can choose to use watercolor, wait until it's dry and then use Indian ink ink after use. Quarter colored toe a details lines that can go from thing to think, thanks to the brush your using to apply the ink for apply texters or cross hatching are you could use in gaining weight until it's dry. Then use watercolors again. Wait until it's dry on adding the tails with ink. Pence. These is how I'm working right now. 10. Thank you: So I hope you like the class on. Thank you for watching. Be sure. Toe, upload your work in the project section. Have a nice day and have fun. Bye.