Tuesday, January 6, 2009

New Strokes

I find pen and ink a fascinating medium. With simple strokes of a black pen it is possible to create a wide variety of effects, representing smooth surfaces, mottled surfaces, reflective surfaces, fur, bricks, leaves, grass. To get it right there are a variety of strokes that you should be aware of and it will take practice to get it right. In the next step of inking this 1940 Ford truck I will show examples of a couple of different strokes.

I generally focus on the main subject of the drawing first, since afterall, if I don't get this part right I may as well scrap the drawing and start over. Yes, this does happen sometime but usually before I have gone too far. In the view below, you can see the beginning of the rendering work on the truck. I'm sure that in 1940 this truck was shiny and spotless as it rolled off the production line, but now the paint surfaces are rusted, dented, flat and much more interesting for a drawing. As the inking begins you should be contantly aware of the light source, which in this case was an overcast sky but which still gave the majority of the light from the upper right hand side of the image.

(Click on the image for a zoomed view)

In a closer view of the truck you will now begin to see differentiation in the pen strokes.
Let's focus on the right front wheel fender. This is a curved surface, so the shading varies across its surface. The areas to be inked are roughed out in pencil first. The pencil lines can be erased later after you complete your drawing. I use a series of simple parallel strokes that conform to fender shape starting about about midway down the fender. Further down and to the left, the shadow gets darker so I add strokes more closely spaced and with a little more pressure on the pen. Then as we approach the wheel well it becomes darker still which is done by using a cross-hatch stroke.

Cross-hatch is also used in the large dark stained areas of the fender. These were done with a larger pen tip. Note that although darker than the other part of the bumper the stained areas also move from lighter on the top of the fender to virtually black just above the wheel.

With conformal lines and cross-hatch strokes you can accomplish a lot when rendering smooth or mechanical surfaces.

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