Pen & Wash

PicMonkey Collage©Deborah E Burrow

Pen and Wash is such a wonderful way to sketch on location and for still life indoors.  You need so little equipment to do this and its so quick it can even be done on the dining room table while the dinner is cooking – as I have on many occasions!

The reason I am talking about pen and wash as a lovely technique is that we have been using this at the Tutored Art Sessions at the Tide Mill in Woodbridge.  Its a great way to capture little scenes and objects in and around the Tide Mill.  Its a technique that is exciting and fresh as it warms up the eye and hand co-ordination, and also can be treated as a loose and creative way to sketch.

People who have joined myself and Christine at the Friday afternoon sessions at the Tide Mill have really enjoyed using this technique and learnt a lot by using it.  It encourages the artist / learner to work quickly not think too much about details.  Christine teaches people to work in 4 stages in order to work from broad impressions through to detail:

  1. lightly sketch in the subject and lay down loose watercolour  in roughly the right place, and keep the colour flowing and balanced across the painting
  2. once dried, use a waterproof pen to describe areas of the painting that has not been described by the paint
  3. once dried, lay in another layer of watercolour to enhance tones and colour
  4. once dried, use the pen again to add details

Here is some examples from some painters online:
Batemans_600_1_thumbJeanette Clarke –
tim fisherTim Fisher –
HowardJonesFinishedWorkHoward Jones –

There is a good tutorial on Line and Wash here.

If you live in the East Anglian (UK) area, then feel free to join us at the Tide Mill for a Friday tutored art session – the last one is on 18th July.  For more info see the workshops page on this site.



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