Pen Drawing for Beginners: Permanency, Texture and Composition | Sam Gillett | Skillshare

Playback Speed

  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x

Pen Drawing for Beginners: Permanency, Texture and Composition

teacher avatar Sam Gillett, Pen // Pencil // Procreate

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

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Project Intro


    • 3.

      Choosing Pens and Paper


    • 4.

      References: Identifying Values


    • 5.



    • 6.

      Pencil Outlines


    • 7.

      Creating Guidelines


    • 8.

      Layering Shapes with Weight


    • 9.

      Texture Reference Sheet


    • 10.

      Crafting Textures


    • 11.

      Illusion of Detail


    • 12.

      Revising Your Pen Drawing


    • 13.

      The End


  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.





About This Class

Drawing with fine liner ink pens comes with a few challenges. Not only are you limited to black and white tones, but everything is permanent. 

By approaching pen drawing in layers — starting with pencil, and moving towards darker lines and shading — you can craft vibrant drawings that allow for mistakes and experimentation within the permanent medium. 

After this class, you’ll have a foundation of ink fundamentals, and hopefully a new appreciation for the vast possibilities of the medium. 

I’ll explain how to:

  • Compose a pen sketch
  • Know which pen thickness to use and how to choose your sketchbook. 
  • Create an outline 
  • Use texture and shading 
  • Deal with mistakes
  • Create emphasis 

This class is perfect for beginners. I'll be walking you through my whole process of creating an ink drawing. Though, more seasoned artists could still benefit from this class as we'll be exploring texture and composition as well.

If you’ve gotten a pack of new fineliners and want some tips on how to best put them to use, this is your class!

You’ll need at least one drawing pen and a blank piece of paper (check out the class project description for helpful links!). But I’ll go through some tips for picking equipment in the first class, too. 

So, what are you waiting for? Let’s get drawing. 

Want to learn more about drawing with pens? Check out Sam's new class: Drawing textures with Pen: Distance, Detail and Shadow. 

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Sam Gillett

Pen // Pencil // Procreate

Top Teacher




 Hi! I’m Sam. I draw fantastical places (and some real ones too) in pen, pencil and with my Ipad. 

I started drawing when I was about 5, on family trips to England. 

Since then, I've been enraptured by fantastical architecture, hidden worlds and the shadow and light that makes up our world. 


In first year University, I transitioned in to creating detailed sketches that I posted on Instagram, and since then have been creating custom illustrations for lovely people and inspiring tattoo artists, musicians, clubs, publishing houses and engineering firms. 


You can check out my recent work on Instagram — or peruse my Etsy shop!

 <... See full profile

Level: Beginner

Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • 0%
  • Yes
  • 0%
  • Somewhat
  • 0%
  • Not really
  • 0%

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.


1. Introduction : Anything you draw with pen and in ink can't be erased and that can sometimes make pen drawing seem intimidating to new artists and people that haven't drawn with pen before. I don't think it needs to be intimidating, and in this class, I'll teach you some easy steps you can take to create really interesting pen drawings of your own; navigating the permanency of pen by leveling up, and layering on ink to your paper so you can create confident ink drawings that express your own creativity. I'm Sam. I'm a artist and illustrator from rural Ontario, Canada. I've been drawing with ink for about 15 years now, and in the last five years I've started to take it more seriously. I was drawing every day, and started doing work for international clients, publishing houses, musicians. I also have really enjoyed being on Instagram, and learning from and contributing to the large community of artists who work in pen and ink on there. I use ink to escape and on my family farm, I will go to a little cabin and get set up, and draw with ink while listening to podcasts or my favorite music. But in my drawing journey there's been a few key aspects of pen drawing that really stick out to me. Dealing with the permanency of pen means layering up your drawing over time and this whole class is structured in that way. We'll go from pencil lines to light dotted out guidelines that you can darken later on in the drawing process, building on texture, shape, and depth. While you can't erase, this method allows for mistakes and creativity in your drawing process. We'll really dive into texture, referring to real-world textures by the flick of a pen and how to go about that confidently. Lastly, composition; because in pen drawing in a black and white medium, how you compose your drawing, how you arrange elements within the scene is really important. The main point of this class is really tackling the intimidation of pen drawing. I hope by the end of it, you'll have the skills you need to approach drawing with pen with a little less trepidation and a lot more confidence. No matter if you picked up a pen before or have never even touched a drawing pen, throughout this class, you'll have chances to flex your own artistic muscles and experiment, see what works for you and really craft full dynamic pen drawings. 2. Project Intro: In this class, we'll be doing one larger pen drawing. For that, you'll need a larger piece of paper and as well, a selection of different kinds of pens. For some suggestions, you can see the links below. You also need a couple of other pieces of paper, because alongside a larger pen drawing that we'll work on throughout this class, we'll be dipping out into some smaller projects. We'll go over a texture reference sheet, creating a sheet that you can refer back to four different textures in your drawing, we'll also be doing some scribbling exercises, so you can get a handle on how different pens feel in your hand and the different lines that they create on the page. But the main thrust of this class, is that larger drawing. Get a larger piece of paper ready and also have your phone out because I have linked a Pinterest board below here and I'll be referring back to that often as we go through the class. Having references handy, is really useful in this class as well. 3. Choosing Pens and Paper : The first step in creating a pen drawing is choosing the pens that you're going to use and choosing the paper that you're going to draw on, because the kind of pens that you use and the paper that you're going to draw the drawing on can really determine the final outcome, determine how your drawing looks after you're done, after the ink has dried, and whether you want to frame it, send it to a friend, put it on your wall, or whatever. First of all, what pen are you going to use? I suggest using fineliners, as they're most commonly called for this class, and there's a couple of reasons for that. Number 1, fineliners are archival, meaning that the ink is really resistant to fade, and it's resistant to splotches. It's quick drying, quicker than a lot of other pens, and really resistant to smudges as well. These pens, these are Sakura Micron and Staedtler is another big company. They're really widely known as high-quality pens that come in a variety of sizes. The size of the pen is usually marked on the side 01, 02, 05, and that simply refers to the size of the nib. This really fragile part on the very top that lets the ink flow onto the page. Since pens come in so many different sizes, you can use the different sizes of pens to create a fully fleshed out drawing with thick pens, creating dark shadows, thin pens creating the highlights and detailed places and really experiment to find different pens that suit your style depending on the drawing you're doing. Now, there's another element to that, which is that a lot of artists use different weights of pens to create different emotions or to convey different things through the drawings. For instance, a thick pen, like a 0.8, 0.9, or even 1.0, really conveys sharp, aggressive emotions. You can really outline shapes and create really dynamic drawings with that thick pen. Whereas a 0.005 is really light and a dainty pen. Really good for details, but also creating drawings with a little bit of whimsy in them. But as I've said before in our drawing today and in a lot of my drawings, I combine the pens because I find I can play off the strengths of the thick pens and the thin pens in order to really create a really fully fleshed out drawing. But it's also the paper that you use that can really determine how your final drawing looks. Paper is overlooked in my opinion, because printer paper, the kind you see everyday on memos at school or whatever is really thin, really flimsy paper and really doesn't hold up well to these high-quality pens because they lay down a wet medium, the ink is wet. The thin printer paper can really allow the ink to bleed through, create drawings that are really splotchy and when they dry, they wrinkle the paper. That's why I suggest using a thicker paper and a probably a specific drawing pad. Now, the size or the thickness of paper isn't measured by the pound or the LB, as it's called in a lot of sketchbooks and that goes all the way up from printer paper, which I think is like a 0.25 pound paper, to ones that are way more heavy. This one is a 60 pound paper and then this one is a little bit lighter. I think this is like a 50 pound paper and then this is the size of paper that I do all my final illustrations on and it's 100 pound paper. As you can see, it's a lot thicker, it's heavier and really it allows the ink to seep into it without distorting the paper itself. We talked about pens and paper now. For this class, I'd suggest you use three or four fineliner pens and they can be a range of thicknesses. For this class, I'm going to use a 0.005 pen because I really like fine details and I really like that, light style. I'm going to use a 0.1 pen to create a little bit thicker lines and then a 0.5 and a 0.8 pen and they allow me to get more efficient shadows in my drawings and to create the dark spaces. Because as you'll learn later, it's the values and the darkness and lightness of a pen drawing that really make it come to life. Pick your pens and drop it in the class discussion and which ones you are using for this class, as well as your paper. Now, as I suggested, I'd go a little bit heavier than printer paper. I really like 100 pound paper, it really grabs the ink really well. Grab a scrap piece of paper, and I'd suggest you do some test lines. What I mean by that is with the pens that you're going to use for this class, note down the number or the thickness of the pen, and then just do some squiggles, doesn't matter if it looks good. Just play around with the pen see how it feels in your hand. See what thickness of line it lays down on the page and then that's our reference sheet, which you can reference later in the class as you draw to be really confident about which pen you're using, in which situation, which we'll go over next time. Pause this class, create your own reference sheet. There's more details in the class description below, and you can post it in the class discussion too. I'd love to see what you create and your reference sheet of the different pen thicknesses as we continue with this class. Next, we'll go over how to use references. 4. References: Identifying Values : In the last class we talked about choosing your pens and choosing your paper for your final drawing. In this class, we're going to talk about reference photos. By reference photos I mean that anything that inspires your drawing by having a photograph of what I want to draw in front of me, I can more accurately see its shape, its colors, it's textures, and the depth of its shadows, as well as the scale. Now, it's whatever you're comfortable with. If at this point you're comfortable with copying a photograph block by block, then go for it. But if you want to branch out a little bit, you can try my method and that is using photographs of individual aspects of my drawing to create a more fully rounded and realistic drawing. Specifically in this Pinterest board here, which I've conveniently linked to below for any of you and all of you to check out, you can see that the rocks and the grass and even the little [inaudible] up here can really provide you individual parts of your drawing, individual sections that you can pull together and create a full scene from. While I like to think that my imagination can build a whole scene from the ground up, the thing is, is that photos can remind you of things that you're missing. They can really give you a realistic view of the world that you're trying to draw. Because even though you might think your memory is great and impermeable, there are things that we just forget. Like for instance, on this tree here, if I wasn't looking at a photograph, I can forget the shadows, forget how the light plays off the bark. I can forget how the leaves seem to sway in the wind. That leads us to the most important part of reference photos, specifically in ink. Because when you look at these, you got to erase color from your mind. That's hard to do, but give it a try. Because the thing is, is that color is useless to us in the sense that we can't create color with our black and white pens. However, it's the lightness and darkness of the drawing we need to translate onto the page. By using reference photos, we can gauge the lightness and darkness of the sections of the photo and then translate that into our drawing. For instance, on this drawing within reference board, I've saved quite a few images, but I'll zoom in on these ones as references for lights and darks. As you can see here, the path that leads back towards this fence appears lighter. This meadow here off to the side appears a little bit darker. If you squint your eyes and imagine that these green tones are just a grayscale. Now, that's really important to recognize because we're working with a dark medium, we're working with ink. When you're looking at a reference photo, you have to zero in on the dark spaces or the darker spaces, specifically this grass here and that's what you can work with. You can't lay down a white medium with dark ink. Likewise, if I go to this image of the tree and we zoom in here on the bark. What we can work with is these dark bark patterns on the tree. Having reference photos at hand, allows us to zoom in on the lights and darks to see what we have to work with. As you look at these trees, you can see how your dark pen can come in handy here. Because we can trace these dark bark outlines as well. Pay attention to the shadows in the way that here, for instance, we can accent the light parts or the white paper on our drawing by darkening in the shadows here of this bush or hedgerow. One more example here is the lights and darks of this tree here. As you can see the tree some some vertical light on it so the lack of sun means that the light direction is coming right from above. That means if you look at the bottom of the tree, the leaves are darker. As you can see the darkness of the leaves here and in the middle here, at the middle of the tree, that's what really gives it its depth. We know by looking at this tree that it's a thick bushy leaved tree, even though it's a 2D image. That's why having this right next to you as you craft a drawing can be so key. Because you can look at how a tree actually is to realize that, okay, I should shade in darker these elements that are closer to the center of the tree and closer to the bottom. As we look at the tree trunk down here, you can also see the way that right near where it meets the leaves is the darkest and then it lightens up as it moves away from that shadowed area. When you put this tree in a drawing, no matter how the light or the light direction of your drawing, you know, the way that the leaves and the darks and highlights of the tree might play out in your drawing. Again, I'm not looking at the colors. For our drawing and for our purposes, I don't really care about the shades of green. I care about the values, the range of lights and darks in this tree that I can emulate. You can see that translated into this drawing. In that I focus my energy on drawing the shadows and emphasizing the shadows of the leaves rather than drawing the individual leaves. That plays in with light because by looking at the light areas of the bushy oak tree and the dark areas, I know how I can use the darkness of my pen to emulate shadows without having to outline each individual leaf. In your reference photos, in the photos that are inspiring your drawing, I want you to really pay attention to the light parts, the dark parts, and how the shadows interplay. Don't look about colors, don't worry about colors. Just focus on the light and dark shadows and shape, because those are the main things we have to work with in ink. Check out this Pinterest board that I've linked below. Check out that and gauge the shadows and the highlights of each part of the drawing. Because those are the things that we have to reference, the light and the dark shadows, as well as the shape. Then when we start putting pen to paper, we'll have a more accurate view of the things that we're trying to draw. Next up is a discussion on composition. 5. Composition : Composition is the way that your drawing is put together. It's how you're putting together the shapes that you saw in your reference photos, into one drawing, that is put together in a way that really draws the viewer's eyes in, and that is really visually pleasing to look at. I'm going to go over three main rules of composition in this class, but I really suggest that you check out some other more in-depth classes just on composition. I've linked a couple of them below in the class discussion. The first rule is the rule of thirds. The rule of thirds suggests that if you divide your page into thirds, vertically and horizontally, that the intersection of those lines in my grid system, is where the points of interest of your drawing should be. Posits that those are the areas of the drawing that our eyes are really drawn towards. That's the points that were most likely to look at. When you look at some of these fantastic ink drawings and black work artists, you can see that a lot of them do that. They position the most important parts of their drawing in an intersection of those thirds. Focal point, is another key composition tactic that I'm going to go over today. A focal point is the main part of your drawing. For example, in all these drawings that I've done, there's one focal point. Here here it's the castle that the perspective lines draw you towards, and where you position the focal point on that grid, or in the center of the page or wherever, really determines the rest of your drawing. Because the focal point is the point of your drawing that you want people to focus on, and everything else surrounds that on the grid system and surrounds that on the page. Did you get that? The rule of thirds, you're dividing your page into thirds and the focal point, is a point on your drawing or an object that you want to focus in your illustration. Those are two really key ways that you can really create an interesting composition. The third is framing, and that's how you surround the focal point and how you surround the area on the grid of the rule of thirds, that really creates dynamic interest and engages the viewer to focusing on where you want them to be. Now, with pen, it's the weight and the texture, and the depth of those framing elements that can really make or break your composition. By creating a frame of elements of equal interest, of equal size, I can compose a sketch in a way that the frame is interesting to look at, but it guides you towards the focal point rather than taking attention away from it. Because it's a little bit hard to grasp in terms of creating a frame around the main part of your drawing, or creating other elements of your drawing in a way that guide you toward the focal point, but don't hinder the composition in terms of being not detailed enough or too light or et cetera. In this class, we talked about composition and this is a three rules I want you to keep in mind going forward is the rule of thirds, is the focal point creating one point of interest in your drawing that you're going to guide things towards, and framing, how you position other elements around the main focal point of the drawing in order to draw interest towards that main focal point. Next lesson is all about pencil outlines. 6. Pencil Outlines : We talked about composition. We talked about and how you have craft your sketch in terms of where you place stuff in order to create a really interesting drawing in the last lesson. But now you can start sketching out the final drawing that you're going to create. This is a plot twist because the thing that I do in almost all my drawings is I start with pencil. By using pencil, you can confidently create shapes and play around with the final drawing without committing to it with the permanency of pen. As I talked about before, it's drafting it around a focal point. I'm going to draw a really light outline of a cabin here or some sort of farm house. Really light, and just the shape. I know I want to have a little path coming up here. As I look at the reference photos, I know I want to have a tree both framing the house, and creating just a little bit more interest. I'm going to outline the tree, not for detail, but in so far as that I know how much space it'll take up in the drawing, and as well gesture in some graphs here. Maybe another little bit of a thicker maple tree. You can see as I'm drawing in these pencil outlines, I'm keeping in mind what we talked about before. This tree falls along one of the vertical rule of thirds, this on the other. This rock would fall along the lower quadrant. Now the house doesn't. The house, even though it's the focal point, doesn't fall on one of the rule of thirds. But that's all right because these frame it in a way that both guides your eye this way towards the house, and frames it in in a circle. I'm also going to just sketch in a few of the more detailed and perspective tricky pieces so that when it comes to pen, I can be a little bit more confident sketching over these. This is a really great time to refer back to your reference photos, because, well, we all know the basic idea of a house or a style of house that we know. There are some details like roofs, the slant of the roof, or how a chimney might look, that are just hard to recall. By referring to how they actually are in a photo, we can create more realism. I like crafting the angles and crafting the shapes with pencil. I can be a little bit more creative without committing to the permanency of pen. But pause this drawing, on a little scrap of paper or whatever you have, draw a box with pencil, cover it with pen, and then draw the same shape with just pen and see if there's a difference. I'd love to hear from you, see what you think, send me a message or drop it in the class discussion, the difference that you've seen between drawing with pen and pencil or drawing with just pen. Then going forward in this class, you can choose what works for you as we layer on pen to the pencil lines. Next up we'll talk about creating guidelines. 7. Creating Guidelines : Now that we have a pencil outline of the drawing, we can start creating guides. What I mean by creating guides is that when I usually startup hand drawing, I create really light, almost dotted outlines with my pen. It's really great way to warm up your hand before you commit to the more permanent lines that you're going to draw. All this is one step farther journeying towards permanency. Well, guidelines are what you see right here. That's getting a feel for the shapes and the forms and the lines in your drawing by lightly dotting them out. By dotting out the lines that you're going to draw, the lines that are going to layer over darker later on down the road. Since you're drawing in a permanent medium, pen, creating guidelines with pen by dotting outlines also usually helps me keep my lines straighter. As you can see here, since I'm dotting up the lines on this cathedral, I can have a better sense of how to keep those lines straight. How to keep their perspective correct later on down the road when I draw these lines in firmer to make them look more polished, a little bit more filled out. In a drawing like this hobbit hole, guidelines can also remind you of what needs to be done further on down the road in your drawing. For example, look at the light vegetation around this hobbit hole. You can't even really tell that it's grass and weeds and all that stuff yet. But by dotting in some of those suggested forms and shapes, I can really focus on the outline of the drawing on the big picture stuff and then later come back with a darker pen or with more time on my hands to detail in everything later. These are really light lines. Just to get a rough idea of how they'll look. You'll notice that I'm gripping the pen a little bit farther back and I'm not pressing it hard on the page, just touching the page to create these really light sketchy lines. There's two movements I'm using this stage. I'm holding the pen and then dragging it really lightly. Or I'm holding the pen and pushing it really lightly. I keep the page vertical because for me that's works best, and I move my hand in order to create different lines. But there are artists who will move the sketchbook because they really like one movement. For example, if they really like drawing the pen across the page, then I move the sketchbook in order to do that more naturally. You can do whatever works for you. Again, especially drawing trees, it's really valuable to you, checkout reference photos. Because as an organic shape to use different so much, but there's some things that tie them all together as in the shapes of the branches and how they branch out from the main trunk. It's really hard to remember that. Checking our reference photos can be a really great thing to keep doing as you draw and as you move along your drawing to make sure that you're just really creating authentic shapes that you might actually see in the real world. But at this point, I'm just dotting them in. I'm not creating any depth or any weight on these lines, just creating rough visual points along with gestures of further details that I might add in here later. Like a closed line here, chimneys, anything you want. Since you can't erase the final drawing, you want to ease into your pen drawing. You want to gain confidence in the shapes that you're drawing as you draw them. The next lesson, I go over layering shapes with weight. 8. Layering Shapes with Weight : The next step is going past those really sketchy or light outline, and layering in the shapes with more weight. As I'm approaching layering weight into the scene, I'm usually really careful about which pens I use and in what situations. For instance, the 0.005, which I really like to use a lot, because it's so light and whimsical. I'm going to use this one first to sketch out the hardest areas of the drawings and also the one with the most detail. Now, much like when we laid down the guidelines, I'm using two main movements with my pen. I'm pulling back towards my palm, as well as pushing away. You can find which one works best for you in terms of which one allows you to move the pen without creating the most wobbly or sketchy lines. I like to do a combination of both. It, after a while, develops into your muscle memory a little bit. Now you'll notice when I'm layering the 0.005, I'm drawing lines in a couple different steps. I'm dragging it and then I drag it again. You zoom in here. There's actually a few different lines that form one line. Keep in mind when you're drawing the finer detail areas of the piece, you want to keep an eye on your reference photo to see from your vantage point, how thick or thin or weighted each part of the drawing might appear. For instance, when I'm drawing these window frames, I know that in real life, they're fairly narrow, and almost hard to see from how far away from this house we are. We're going to draw them pretty lightly as well. Whereas in this house, the outer walls, that's a pretty key part of the structure of the overall shape. As we're looking at the house, I'm going to darken them in a little bit. Now for this far away barn, I'm going to keep the shapes really light, because I think in the future, I might just want to texture this in really lightly without creating too much emphasis to make it look like it's a little bit farther away, as well as maybe a little background. Like I said earlier, you can always go darker, you can always go lighter. Then I'm going to go to a 0.5 for the trees, because I want them to be a little bit darker because they're going to be in shadow. I'm going to create these shapes with a little bit more heft to them. Like I did earlier, I'm dragging the line down towards my palm. I'm not hinging on my fingers, I'm slowly dragging. Even though leaves are fairly light, I'm going to darken in the outline of them a little bit more, because the shape of the canopy of the tree is pretty important, as far as how it looks overall. The reason I go a little bit darker while I'm filling in these squiggly pencil lines, is because I want to emphasize the shape of the canopy, because I don't have to fill in all the details of the leaves. As well, as I talked about earlier, this can be our valuable way to frame your drawing. Creating emphasis on the outline of the canopy rather than the individual leaves themselves. I want to create the illusion that there's a field here or something. This is the last shapes that I'm going to dot in here before we can go on to textures. Now, we have pretty much all of the shapes layered in, in terms of their relative lightness and darkness. We have the dark outline of the rock as well as the underbellies of the trees. A little bit more sketchy and light around the trees, but we wanted to emphasize the shape of them. Then I wanted with a lighter pen on these lines because it required a little bit of a softer touch. This, in my opinion, is really the most important step of your drawing, because creating the outlines of the shape really brings it to life, and gives you a guide of where the final drawing will head. In the next lesson, we'll go over crafting textures and shading things in before the final couple steps. But this is the crux of your drawing, and I suggest you spend some time here. Pause these classes, and take some time to layer in your shapes, layer in your composition, really make it a strong and vibrant drawing, and then we can add texture and shadows afterwards. In the next lesson, we go over crafting texture. 9. Texture Reference Sheet: If we just left our drawing as a whole bunch of outlines of objects, it would fall flat. It wouldn't have the full weight of a fully fleshed out and color drawing behind it, because texture and creating texture with your pen is really one of the most fun parts of pen drawing. Because those textures are all just squiggly lines, they don't have color, but they can still really say so much about your drawing. Depending on what's in your scene, the texture relies on the dynamic components of the object you're looking at. For example, in a lot of these reference photos and in the final scene we're going to draw, which you can check out in the attachments on this class, you can see that there's a lot of grass and longer grass, as well as tree bark, that'll be a main one, rock, and the wood siding on the house. I guess those are the main textures. What I'd suggest you do now is grab a blank piece of paper and we're going to create a reference sheet for texture. A reference sheet is a really invaluable way to experiment with texture and gain confidence before you commit to the permanent see of your final drawing. By crafting textures and experimenting with how they look on a separate piece of paper, you can really get a feel for the pen and that's a really invaluable way to get started with ink drawing. I'm going to draw a few different boxes here and these will be where I will experiment with texture. Pardon my chicken scratch there, but crosshatching is the first one and that's really a foundational texture and a foundational way to add shading to your drawing. Now, with crosshatching, let's say we have a two sided shape like this, crosshatching is sets of lines, this is very rough crosshatching. On one I drag towards my palm and then I'm going to switch positions and add them the other way. Now, crosshatching like that is a really great way to add shadow and as well to create a textured shadow that suggests that there's other elements in it and that it's not just a flat surface. Now, for the tree bark, if you refer back to your reference drawing, you want to keep an eye on the main shapes of the texture you're trying to draw. For bark, the main shapes are these upward and downward lines, and they run up and down the tree so this tree shoots through our block here. As you can see, I'm using the same way of holding my pen. I'm dragging down or dragging up. I'm not moving my fingers back in. I'm moving my whole hand as one. Then as trees are cylindrical, one side is going to be a little bit darker as I draw these really loose squiggly lines a little bit darker on the one side here. For the long grass here, the main shape in this long grasses you can see on the reference photo is these long flowy lines. With this texture, I'd suggest using a sounds like a lighter pen because we want to capture that wavy, ethereal nature of the long grass, and they want to be darker near the base because that's where they all can join near to the dirt. Again, it's really loose and starting a little bit harder on the paper and then towards the end of the line I'm loosening my hand. Then the last one we'll do is rock. In this drawing, I want the rock outline to be fairly firm because it's a strong shape. Let's pretend that's the outline of the rock. But then the interior, the elements of the rock on the shading are going to be a little bit lighter. The main shapes in a lot of rocks, as we know them, are firm, a little bit more jagged lines and so I'm alternating between long lines and short ones and then using that crosshatching to suggest a shadow because rocks usually have harsher shadows because there's sharper lines, at least big ones, not rounded pebbles. But a lot of bigger rocks that might be in a field or in the forest have these sharper lines. I suggest pausing this video now and crafting your own page of textures. As you can see here, a lot of artists do this. This is from Sarah Obtinalla, who's a great artist I know off Instagram and she kindly let me use this image of a reference sheet she created, which she then translated into a huge and dynamic and really visually arresting pen drawing. As you can see, she practiced the shapes, practiced the textures she was going to use before translating them into the final drawing. To see that drawing, you can check out on Instagram. I've linked her in the discussion below, and she's an incredible artist, you should definitely check her out. That's my challenge to you. Pause this video and create your own page of textures, just like Sarah did and just like I did earlier on, find out what objects you want to include in your scene, what textures, which natural elements, and just get fun and loose with your pen, trying to sketch out those elements on a separate piece of paper so when you do your final drawing, your muscle memory will be a little more attuned to it and you'll have some practice creating the textures you want to include. In the next video, we'll go over how to add those textures to an actual drawing in crafting textures part 2. 10. Crafting Textures : As you have the reference sheet of the textures that you can add into your drawing, you're just going to translate them onto here. Like I said before, it's always best to start light. Start a little bit lighter than you think you need to with pen and then darken it in later. The reason for that is because like I say all the time, pen is permanent and you want make sure that when you're layering ink, you start light and then go heavy. I usually start with the texture of the most important parts first, the focal point. Here I want to create a tin roof and I'm looking at a reference photo of a tin or sheet metal roof to see the lines, see how it might look translated onto this page. Again, I'm using the same technique of holding my pen, not moving my fingers but moving my hand. I use a light pen, small nib for the bark of these trees first off because I'm starting light, but also because the individual runs of the bark, the way it goes vertically, they're pretty fine and especially from this far away you just see the illusion of the bark and that's the texture we want to create. Just an illusion of detail here, which we can fill in in later lessons. This really does require studying trees and looking at reference photos of trees, and really being intentional about how you view these photographs so you can translate the lights and darks and the shapes into your drawing. Especially with textures like the grass, you don't have to fill in this whole page with the texture. In fact, it's more effective if you don't. That's because our eyes are really good at inferring or suggesting what might be in the blank space. With your textures, you can be really intentional about how much detail you add to them and where you place them in order to draw attention to the important parts of your ink drawing. As I'm starting to texture the rocks, another thing comes up about texture and that is the sun direction. The direction that the sun is shining creates shadow and in your reference photos, some of them really show this. The strong shadows can add emphasis to a piece. Similarly with pen drawing, the shadow emphasize the light and dark areas. As I always say, that's really the strength of pen drawing, creating these sharp and dynamic lights and darks that really create emphasis in your drawing. I'm going to use a 05 pen, but use whatever heavier ones you have. The reason I like the 05 is because it is a little bit heavier, a little bit darker without sacrificing the ability to craft some nice details and this is where cross hatching comes in. Using the interlocking cross hatch sections to create that emphasis or idea of shadow. As I pick out where the shadows are going to be, where it's coming from, I can darken parts of my texture and parts of this drawing to give the emphasis of shadow. Whereas those light parts I can leave a little bit and that creates a nice juxtaposition, meaning a nice emphasize difference between light and dark. This is where that dark pen can shine because I can dig into some of these textures, scribble around a little bit, make them seem a little bit darker. In this class we went over textures and everything from how to hold your pen, to creating a reference sheet of textures, that you can refer to as you continue going onto your drawing. Our drawing here has weighted outlines now, it has shapes that are fully fleshed out, as well as shapes with textures on them with the relative light and dark areas shadowed in or highlighted. In the next class, we'll talk about the illusion of detail and how to create that. 11. Illusion of Detail : We have textures in our drawing. We've textured in this little tree as well as the rocks and grass and even the house a little bit. But, the great thing about pen drawing is revising afterwards and going back in to see which parts you can improve. Because even though it is a permanent medium, the permanency is part of the fun because you can layer on top of it with these fine liners and with a nice paper because it gives us a crisp dark line without being too thick. I'm going to add some detail to these windows. If you look at your reference photos, you can pick out maybe where those shadows would be and the places that you can just infer that there's detail. Even though there's much more detail of these windows than I'm drawing on here, we just need to suggest that there might be some reflection, suggests that there might be some shadows, and follow your reference photos to just add a little bit more detail to this part of the cabin. Now as well, we want to add some detail to these walls because I guess they could be a plain white wall, but I want to maybe make it a wood farmhouse. I'm going to add some horizontal lines. At this stage of the drawing, you can if you want, add some pencil guidelines like we did before, or just try see what happens with pen. Like I've talked about, I'm moving my whole hand to create these lines, a little bit of squiggly. They're not super straight, but that's fine. I'm drawing them really light and I'm moving my whole hand, not just my fingers, in a smooth motion. Yeah, they're not straight, they're not perfect, but you know what, I think they still look good for it. It has a more of an organic feel because of it. I've got to fill in where I might need to have added some more lines. Then I'm going to add those to the rest of the cabin here. This is the illusion of detail because if you are closer, there's much more detail to these wood cabins than it appears from back here. But I think that in order to create an effective sketch, sometimes it's what you leave out that really fleshes out your drawing. If we have the suggestion of these horizontal wooden slats and the suggestion of these ones leading away, I think we can still create a really effective composition without agonizing over these details. As well, I'm going to fill in some of the shading to be consistent with our light direction. Now I think there's a couple other areas where we can add details that'll be pretty effective. One, is in the grass because adding some leaves or some bulbs, flower bulbs or anything, can really just add another nice little element you're drawing. Make it look a little bit more lifelike, add some interest. Just create a more fleshed-out scene that's a little bit more unique. Again, you can check out my Pinterest board for some references of flowers or leaves that can be a really great starting point for drawing these objects. Trees and their canopies and leaves are pretty tricky to draw. At least I think it's one of the hardest things to draw because when you look at a tree, you can see the individual leaves and see the shapes they create, but it's so hard to capture that with pen. That's why I usually go a little bit lighter on the detail and try to gesture or suggest details through creative lines and through outlining the individual bunches of trees. The way I do that is draw these squiggly lines, draw with a light hand crafting the suggestion of a more fleshed-out canopy. The thing with details and pen that I love so much is that if you want to, you could spend four or five hours just drawing these trees or you could spend five minutes. It's the amount of detail that you put in can really depend on the style of drawing that you want to get out of it. While it may seem counterintuitive, in the next class, we're going to talk about how to revise your pen drawing. 12. Revising Your Pen Drawing: In the past few lessons we've come from a pencil outline or just a pen kind of dotted rough outline to layered shapes with more weight in the outlines, to crafting in the details in terms of texture and the details in terms of the finer elements of the house, the finer parts of the bark on top of the texture that we drew on there. We're pretty much done, but this is a pretty important part of your drawing too, is to develop a critical eye. As I step back and take a critical eye of this drawing, I'm keeping a few things in mind. First, I'm comparing the shapes and the lines and the details to my reference photos, as well as to the rules of composition that we talked about. Are the details in the right place, and does every part of the drawing have enough detail? I think the answer to that is no. For instance, this road here almost looks like a river or I don't even know what it is, a void or a chasm or something, because there's nothing here. So I'm going to maybe go back to my lighter pen and add another texture. I'm going to add some stonework here and make it look like a pebbled path, and all I want to do it here is scribble some really light sketchy circles, maybe even a few dots or whatnot. The next thing I want to do after I take a critical eye to the details of my drawing is the lights and the darks, the shadows and highlights. In my view, the most important part of a pen drawing. I want to check out if they match reality. For instance, would this roof be as light as this path? Or would this part of the bark actually be the same shade as? There's definitely some areas I think we can change quite a bit. For instance, this gravel path that we just drew, I think we can darken that inner log as well as darkening in some of the grass around this log cabin, because if this is made of like a nice lighter wood or a newer wood, it's going to be a lighter shade of white than this part here. The next thing we want to keep an eye out for is the layering of shapes that we talked about in our earlier lesson. We want to make sure the weight of the lines of all these shapes still make sense and still creates emphasis where you want to. For instance, I'm going to darken in this left-hand side line on the tree, because I want that to almost act like a border, like we talked about earlier. I'm going to create a stronger line here along the top edge of the path here. This is like a harsh edge of the bottom of the drawing. I think it can work, but at the same time it's nice to fade your drawing out a little bit more. We're going to go with a little bit of a lighter hand here where it's white with a really light quick lines. The relationship between light and quick is a key one in pen drawing because the quicker you are and the lighter that you press on the paper, the thinner lines that you're going to get. As I went over my drawing, I realized a few things. I realized some areas I wanted to shade in more, some areas I wanted to add more detail to. Some areas I wanted to continue out towards the edges of the page a little bit more. Now, your drawing's pretty much there. In the next class, we'll look back and as well, look forward. 13. The End: Well, you made it in this class, where we cover everything from choosing your pens, to how to hold them, how to source reference photos, what to look for in those photos, creating guidelines and darkening them in, textures, details, everything in between. I really hope this class set you up well to explore drawing with pen further. Because, of course, there's endless possibilities and endless ways you can improve your pen drawings as well. I'd really invite you to experiment with pens, because I love the medium and I think it offers so much unlimited opportunities for creating drawings with really an immense amount of depth, detail, precision and it forces you to think creativity as you create worlds that are black and white, but contain all the elements of a really dynamic scene that really sucks you in. I really invite you to post your final projects in the class discussion below and reach out. I'd love to connect and see what you're drawing. You can find me on Instagram at Sam Gillette illustrations. Happy drawing and I hope you enjoyed this class.