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Getting Started with Pen, Ink & Markers

Lesson 1 of 8

Class Introduction

Mary Jane Begin

Getting Started with Pen, Ink & Markers

Mary Jane Begin

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Lesson Info

1. Class Introduction


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1 Class Introduction Duration:06:19
2 Demo: Pen Tools Duration:06:15
7 Demo: Marker Tonality Duration:06:28

Lesson Info

Class Introduction

My name is Mary Jane Begin, I am author, illustrator and professor at Rhode Island School of Design. Now this course is designed to help introduce the proper use of materials used in exploring and developing drawings with pen, ink and markers. I'll review the various pen types, papers and surfaces as well as additional tools needed to create ink and pen and marker drawings. I'll show some examples, I'll demonstrate the proper use of the materials I introduce and answer questions about the materials and methods I show so please feel free to ask questions. Pen and ink has traditionally been a favorite medium for printed publications because its graphic nature makes it easy to reproduce. Pen and ink traditionally consists of a penholder, nib and ink. Contemporary pens have the ink built in to them. These tools are used to create linear artwork that used line either alone or differing color. Another way working with this medium is to build a graphic combination of lines that create the ill...

usion of form. Ink drawings are developed both as a preliminary method for creating a structural drawing or as a finished medium itself. Now this illustration by George Cruikshank from the 1800s depicts a dense use of crosshatching with lines to create a sort of tonality and his work was used with a traditional pen and ink crow quill so you can see these lines are multiple layers of line structure to create the tones, the various from blackish to the gray tones to the light tones but it's basically like a weeding or fabrication of lines overlinking themselves. Now Howard Pile, the father of illustration, uses line patterns and textures in a more graphic way to depict his images. Although there's still different levels of tone, the crosshatching and the patterning of the marks here made are such like shape based and stylized, more so than Cruikshank's work. The variation in line direction and line weight also helps to kind of create the composition. So here, the Pile is really using more texture as a shape, consistently this is a little more like Cruikshank on the left and this one really is using value and texture of those lines, dots, little chopped lines or longer lines to create the composition. Really beautiful work. Now Charles Dana Gibson is the creator of the Gibson Girl and he used a very gestural set of lines to describe his forms. He used them in all different directions to define the surface of the object and used them in such a expressive sort of way. You see all this line work is defining the form of the face and it varies in direction. He doesn't do quite as much crosshatching. A little bit in the dress here and the skirt. Much of it is surely based on the direction and the thickness of the line weight. That's something I'll talk about too. This line here is a little heavier than the line in the water behind and that creates a sense of space. Now Ruth Sanderson is masterfully, she's a colleague of mine at Hollands University in the graduate program for children's literature and illustration and she's also a really masterful illustrator. So she created this for a book called The Golden Key. Now all of the whites achieved here, because this is scratch board, which means it's a black tonality and literally, the paint off that surface has been scratched out, the white of this, it's a clay board, to the white of that clay board. And so this is all built up with a line construction with a scratching tool, a subtractive method. So it's line work but it's a little different methodology. And this is classic for engravers in the 17 and 1800s and I have some examples of my work that's similar. And you can see with the scratch board, she also is able to sort of create a contrast of textures as well as tonalities and you can see the line direction, there's a lot of crosshatching here and very small sort of hashy marks through here and then she goes right to the white of the clay board itself. Now a recent RISDE grad, her name's Chrissy Dryer, she created this traditional sort of pen and ink and white scratch board, in this case it's scratch board but it's white and so she was able to black ink on it, scratch into it and use line work as well. And she did this to sort of capture both stylized way of using line work based on a traditional methodology and she brought color to the black and white board which is challenging because black and white work of this level of value construction is hard to bring color to because there's already so much there so my recommendation was just to do tints of color which is what she did. Now this is a really different way of using another tool which is called a pit pen or brush pen and it's a pen that acts like a brush but it's a pen and I have some here to show you and she's using it in a very gestural way. Darcy Rosen has this really sort of energized, organic way of drawing so she did these silhouette little character studies and character expressions and these character, not silhouettes, but basic straight on forms to use the pit pen and for her, it's the immediacy of that mark making, it's not meant to be fine tooled or sort of engraving-like, it's a very, very gestural. And this is my daughter, Gates, Gates Callahan. She used technical pens and markers to capture a sleeping subway passenger who's, the imagination's sort of exploding around him and again, she uses the markers and the technical pens in a very loose and gestural way to create kind of energized sensibility about both the color and the texture. She loves the markers. She also used color markers and gel pens to create these kind of luminous color images. Now again, these are based on something she was observing. This is in the apartment she was staying in and this is on the roof of that apartment but she then expanded on that and made it sort of a lustrative very surrealistic shapes and colors and patterns but this is all done with markers and it's very painterly so I thought it was a really beautiful approach to using markers. And finally, I just want to mention that if you're interested in following me on social media, you can find me at @mjbegin on Instagram or @Mary.JaneBegin.Art on Facebook.

Class Description

Are you interested in drawing with pen, ink, and markers but not sure how to get started? In this course artist and illustrator, Mary Jane Begin will introduce you to pen, ink, and markers. This class is perfect for beginners looking to learn the basics of the medium in order to begin a drawing practice. By the end of this course you will be equipped with the know-how to start experimenting and drawing with pen, ink, and markers!

In this class you’ll learn:

  • All about the different types of pen, ink, and markers and how they work
  • Which supplies and papers to use when working with pen, ink, and markers
  • How to begin making simple marks and shapes to familiarize yourself with the medium

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Donna K. Fitch

A great overview class for those who know nothing of the variety of pens, markers and papers available. Mary Jane is an accomplished teacher, and I look forward to putting her teaching in action.