I love pen and ink drawing. It has a visual charm and character unlike any other medium.
I assume that I came by my affection for it from realizing as a teenager that pen and ink drawing was the basis for comic books and cartoons, but I was also exposed at a pretty early age to the amazing pen and ink illustrations of Howard Pyle and other illustrators of the Brandywine School in my visits to the Delaware Art Museum, where I also encountered beautiful pen drawings by some of the Pre-Raphaelite artists.
It’s medium that doesn’t get as much attention as more colorful forms of expression, but it’s still there as the basis for much illustration, comics, cartoons and concept art, as well as standing on it’s own as a method of sketching or creating finished drawings.
There are some good resources out there on pen drawing if you dig for them, and you’ll occasionally find some for free.
This is a relatively short treatise published in 1903, at a time when pen drawing was in its heyday as a ubiquitous method of drawing that could be easily and inexpensively be mass reproduced as illustrations in books and periodicals.
The tone and attitude of the text are a bit dated, but is fascinating as a bit of history for that, and the instruction is basically sound.
The illustrations are not reproduced well, one of the frustrating things about Project Gutenberg that I’ve railed about before, but some of them fare better than others and can give you a taste for some of the excellent pen and ink artists featured from that era, including Joseph Pennell, Daniel Vierge, Herbert Railton, B. G. Goodhue (image above, top), Martin Rico and Maxime LaLanne.
Author Charles Maginnis was a noted architect and the book is slanted a bit toward architectural rendering and supplemented with the author’s own drawings (image above, bottom), but he also includes examples from more figurative artists like Howard Pyle, Will Bradley and Alfonse Mucha.
If this whets your appetite and you want physical pen and ink instruction books with high resolution images of great pen and ink drawing, look for copies of Joseph Pennel’s Pen Drawing, Pen Draughtsmen and Arthur Guptill’s Rendering in Pen and Ink.
[Link via ArtDemonstrations.com]