This Is How I Draw With Ink – A New Video

Articles & Drawing Tutorials, Drawing With Ink, Video

A work-in-progress video with educational elements 🙂 You can watch me drawing, and the subtitles will tell you what exactly is going on.

By the way, this is my first video with subtitles. I hope there will be much more video tutorials, and soon – with the voice.

In this video:

  • Creating an illusion of space;
  • Drawing the tree bark texture;
  • The first steps of drawing the owl;
  • Principles of combining hatching, cross-hatching, and stippling.

I use ink liners number 0.05, 0.1, 0.3 and 0.5.

Thank you for watching! 🙂 Please let me know if you have specific questions about the ink drawing technique – I’d be happy to create something useful for you and share the experience 🙂

How to Draw a Lizard With Ink Liners – New Tutorial At Envato Tuts+

Articles & Drawing Tutorials, Drawing With Ink

With the greatest pleasure, I present you my new tutorial on the ink drawing technique, published at Envato Tuts+ 🙂 I hope you’ll find it useful! 😀 Welcome! 

How to Draw a Lizard With Ink Liners26-drawing-lizard-ink-inking-creating-shadow-on-treeTopics covered:

  • textures of scales, wood, and stones;
  • drawing a lizard;
  • hatching, cross-hatching, and dotwork made with ink liners in a complex artwork.

New Tutorial: Drawing A Pug Dog

Articles & Drawing Tutorials, Drawing With Ink

It today’s post, I’ll show you how I made this cute pug dog drawing. Let’s begin! 🙂 how-to-draw-a-pug-dog

I used ink liners (pens) number 0.05, 0.1, 0.3, 0.5 and a brushpen (small brush).

For your convenience, I’ve created this scheme of hatching and dotwork samples. Feel free to address yourself to it when you see a reference (like “sample 1”) in the text below.samples

Introduction to Dotwork (Stippling) Technique in Ink

Articles & Drawing Tutorials, Drawing With Ink, Video

Today, I’d like to talk about a very powerful technique for graphic art and tell you about the basics and practical tips. Dotwork, also known as stippling, is an amazing method of creating visual effects in ink drawings.

Note: dot art is also known as pointillism. 🙂

This technique is simply magical! With the use of dotwork, you can create smooth transitions of value in your drawing and make velvety textures with the highest eye appeal.

In short, all you have to do is to leave dots on paper. The more dots you add, the darker the area of your drawing becomes.

Let’s have a look at the image below. It’s a visual representation of the difference how can look samples of dotwork depending on the width of the tool it was made with.


From left to right: dotwork samples made with ink liners of 0.1, 0.2, 0.3, 0.4, 0.5, 0.8, 1.0 widths. The last sample from the lower row is a variety of dots made with 0.4, 0.5 and 0.8 ink liners.

A combination of dots of various dimensions looks quite impressive. This simple trick also helps to refine the details of the texture. However, it’s necessary to see to it that your dots are of a predictable width, not random. In other words, you have to control the drawing process and learn how to draw with your tool with equal pressure onto the paper. This habit builds up with deliberate training.

If you want to practise the stippling technique, you can make visual borders on a paper sheet (like my circles above) or download my worksheet and fill them with dots. Very simple!

For a start, use a pen or a liner of a constant width (0.3 – 0.5 is absolutely awesome).

Then, when you feel more comfortable, try to achieve basic graphic effects like om the last circle of my drawing. Let your sample be darker on the perimeter and lighter at the center. Looks more volumetric, right? 🙂

A video for your reference – here you can see how I make an illusion of depth and volume with additional layers of dots. Very simple yet persuasive!

As another exercise, I can suggest you increasing the value with the help of different liners. Like here:dotwork-stripeThis stripe begins with very small dots made with a liner of 0.1 width, then it proceeds to 0.2 liner dots, then 0.3, 0.4, 0.5, 0.8 and, at last, 1.0 width.

What kind of tool is the best for creating dotwork?

There is no exact answer. I personally prefer ink liners and pens (non-refillable). They form dots of a predictable width, and there is no danger of having an occasional drop of ink on your drawing – like it happens with nibs.

I don’t recommend using refillable technical pens (rapidographs and isographs). Stippling is a method that wears off and blunts the tip of the tool faster than hatching technique. It isn’t so noticeable when your tool is disposable, but if it is “everlasting” and quite expensive, this can be a problem.

You can also use nibs for creating dotwork. But it’s necessary to get used to nibs and learn how to control the pressure – then you dots will be of equal and predictable size.

A video for your reference (here I use both a 0.5 liner and a nib)

Useful tips for a great stippling 

  • Small details actually make a difference. Even the shift and twist of the paper on your desk relatively to you hand affects the character of your dots. The same goes for the angle of your tool relatively to the paper (try to vary it, and you will see).
  • Make light touches with the tool onto the paper. If you exert you hand while drawing, it won’t make any good. If you have to create big bold dots, it’s a better idea to take a tool with a wider tip that makes such dots naturally.
  • Try to place your dots a bit chaotically – this texture feels more natural. Sometimes it’s necessary to keep order and place dots in an even row, but these cases are relatively rare.
  • Learn how to make dotwork that way, so it looks uniform, without considerable gaps. Of course, not every texture in your drawing will be that solid, but the skill of creating integral stippling texture is very useful in any artistic arsenal.

As a conclusion, I would like to encourage you to practise dotwork and experiment with it. I usually don’t use this technique singly but mix it with lines and hatching (these are more straightforward, concrete, and sometimes even aggressive).

Dots work great in combination with other drawing manners! For example, I use dotwork when:

  • some object of my drawing has an even subtle texture,
  • the object I draw is light,
  • I want to emphasize the shadow,
  • the overall look of the artwork needs some integrity,
  • the surface of the object or place in my drawing is plain or velvety,
  • there are thin and refined details,
  • I draw something blurry.

These are some samples how I combined hatching and dotwork:

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A bonus for you: if you are intersted in practising stippling, you can download this worksheetworksheet-previewI hope this guide was useful and informative! Good luck with practising this wonderful art technique! 🙂

As usual, I’d like to know if I there is something I can help you with. What is your biggest struggle in mastering drawing with ink and liners?

Thank you for reading! And please, like and share this post with your friends who could be interested in these tips 😀

Artistic Tools for the Ink Drawing

Articles & Drawing Tutorials, Drawing With Ink, Tools

I’d like to tell you about the art supplies that I use for my drawings. Of course, these are not all the possible tools that you can make good use of; it’s rather a general classification.

Also in this post:

  • a couple of words about ink and paper,
  • quick tips on how to choose the right tool for the particular drawing example,
  • the hatching samples,
  • explanation how to interpret the numbers and letters marking the ink liner or pen,
  • the difference between the “SB” and “BS” marking on the brushpens,
  • what means the mysterious “SC” label and what are the so-called “calligraphic” tools,
  • examples of artworks drawn with a particular type of the tool from my portfolio.

I hope you’ll find much useful info!

  1. Nibs and liquid ink (preferably black ink, but it can also be of different colors)


For refined ink drawings, it’s great to use thin nibs, like calligraphic. Nibs can be thinner or thicker, so you can choose several kinds and widths of a nib for one drawing.

For drawing with a nib, you also need a bottle of ink and a couple of subsidiary tools such as a paper/cloth napkin and a small container of water for refreshing and cleaning the nib.

The most obvious advantage of this artistic tool is the possibility to vary the line according to the pressure the artist applies to the tool. A line that was drawn with a nib is notable for its expressiveness. Here are several examples of lines that change their width depending on the pressure: nib-strokesI like using nibs for creating contours in my drawings. Of course, it’s possible to draw a whole artwork with this tool, but it requires an advanced skill of line control. If you wish to create a detailed artwork with the only one tool, be sure that the paper sheet for it is big enough.

If you wish to draw a detailed artwork with the only one tool – a nib – be sure that the paper sheet for it is big enough. The best way is to start from the thinnest possible line that you can achieve and keep in mind the tolerance for the thicker varied line of the external contours.

Examples of “only nib” artworks from my portfolio:

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As you may notice after that comparison with the next “liners” gallery below, “only nib” artworks have a feel of something more thick, heavy, dark.

You may also be interested in this video postHow to Draw with Nib and Ink

2. Liners (also known as ink pens, technical pens)


These tools have one significant advantage – they are portable and handier than nibs. In a case with a nib and liquid ink (that is absolutely required), you have a possibility to throw down your ink container and get really messy. Usually, ink is extremely hard to wash away!

But ink liners are the tools that you can take with yourself just everywhere.

Liners have a fine pointed tip that can leave marks of different width, depending on the type of the liner. These tools have a marking of a line width that is clearly seen on the liner’s body or cap (for example, 0.1 or 0.5). The bigger is the number, the thicker is the line of the tool.

The number on the liner is usually close to the according value in millimeters, but it is not necessarily corresponding to it one-on-one. For example, as is said on Pigma Microns, a 0.3 liner line is close to 0.35 mm line width, and 0.2 liner creates a 0.30 mm line.

Sometimes there is not a number but a letter. For example, an XS (extra small), (S) small or M (medium) like on Faber-Castell Pitt pens. The decoding scheme is:  XS = 0.1 mm, S = 0.3 mm, F = 0.5 mm, M = 0.7 mm.

A small bonus for you: a visual comparison of ink pens line widths. On the image below you can also examine the tips of the tools. At the bottom of the it are the brushpens – about which we’ll talk next, in the segment number 3.


Liners have a characteristic that can be both an advantage and a limit: it doesn’t provide a line variation within the bounds of its width number.

In other words, if you have an ink liner of an x width, you can’t get a varied line or a line of 2x (0.5x) width than the actual value of your tool. The lines are uniform along the full length, and this makes impossible to create an expressively varied line at one try.

The lines are uniform along the full length, and this makes impossible to create an expressively varied line at one try. But this same characteristic allows making a great even hatching.

Here are two samples of hatching, created with a liner and nib. My skill of making even lines with a nib is quite advanced, so both hatching samples are alike. nib-and-liners-hatching
The liners are usually filled with amazing waterproof and fade proof ink. You can always check the liner’s body for the inscription that verifies it.

The tools that you can see in the image above are non-refillable. This is my personal choice because I don’t like the process of cleaning and refilling with ink that is necessary in a case with the refillable technical pens. Such refillable technical pens are also known as rapidographs and isographs. Rapidigraphs can write and draw only at an angle of  90 degrees relative to the paper, isographs can leave ink marks regardless of the angle.

The examples of “only liners” art from my portfolio are below. If you examine them, you may notice that these artworks have more transparent, aerial feel than the “nib” drawings.

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It is also possible to achive amazing artistic results, combining both nibs (for creating the counour) and liners (for details and thin hatching). Like here:freedomA note: There is another small category of ink pens, they are often called calligraphy or lettering pens (and have a marking like SC, where C is for calligraphic). These tools have a wider tip than the liners listed above, and this tip is slightly skewed.


I don’t use calligraphic pens a lot, but they are still great 🙂 I want to start learning hand lettering in future, so probably than I’ll have more impressions and experience to share with you.

3. Brushpens


Brushpens are similar to ink liners (pens) with their advantage of convenience and portability. They also have a marking on the body, it always has a “B” letter.

Please pay attention that SB and BS marks don’t provide the same information. BS means “small brush” and SB is “soft brush.”  The width value of the brushpen stands after the “B” letter.

Some brushpens can be refilled. However, I use non-refillable for the same reasons that I already named.

Some artists admire brushes for the ink drawing technique. I personally love liners (ink pens) more because they are amazing for the smallest details and give me the full control. But the brushes and brushpens are perfect for creating varied expressive lines, they are thick and dark. That’s why I use then for creating contours.

Examples of work with the countours made with a brushpen:

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4. Brushes

Personally I use “ordinary” artistic brushes very rarely. But when it comes to adding strokes with liquid white ink to my art, I usually pick a soft thin natural brush.

I heard that some great artists prefer brushes for their ink drawings because this tool helps to achieve a lively line with a slight tinge of elegant carelessness. There is some kind of magic when a tool has its own control while creating a line 🙂

Comparing brushes and brushpens, it can be said that brushes, in general, allow more diversity in applying strokes.

Brushes are also very handy when it comes to drawing something fluffy, like fur.


Also, I’d like to say a couple of words about the ink and paper I use. They are necessary materials when it comes to creating a beautiful graphics too, right? 🙂

I don’t have an absolute favorite among the ink samples. It’s just great to choose something steady and waterproof to be sure that your drawing can survive after an occasional drop of water (or coffee, or tea) 🙂 If you like to color your artworks with something like watercolor, it’s also very useful to have a waterproof ink.

In other words, read the description of goods and don’t take something really cheap. In the world of art supplies, it happens very seldom that a surprisingly inexpensive tool provides an impressive, long-lasting result.

As for paper, I used to draw on coated glossy paper (it resembles a photo paper), and the outcome was really nice. The hatches put onto this slick paper look a little bit thinner – comparing to the hatching drawn on ordinary thick paper like whatman. I especially love coated paper in combination with the nib tool: it draws so smoothly that the process becomes a pure pleasure.

A limit of coated glossy paper is that you can’t apply coloring onto it as a second layer – this type of paper goes great with ink, but it’s difficult to get it work with paints or colored pencils. It’s also complex to erase something from it – the inks are removing from the surface, too.

Now I work mostly on the thick whatman paper sheets with ink liners and brushpens. I like the slightly rough feeling of it and the crisp white color that is contrasting with the black ink.

You can use any paper you like, it’s just better to choose thick “heavy” types. A thin paper like office or printer types is not very good for the ink drawing because:

a) it isn’t good with two or more layers of ink,

b) you can wear a sheet of such paper out just at the stage of making a pencil underdrawing,

c) this paper creates unpleasant “waves” after a slight soakage, and

d) drawings made on thin paper look very poor.

That’s all for today. 🙂

I hope this guide was helpful and you found something useful. As I said in one of the previous posts, it’s not the tools who get you amazing result, it’s your mastery. Every artist has his or her own little tricks and “secrets” that help to achieve an outstanding look of the drawing. And all such tips require independent practice,  experimenting, and mastery of the artist.

Let’s Draw a Turtle!

Articles & Drawing Tutorials, Drawing With Ink

For today’s art lesson, I’ve prepared a drawing of a turtle. 🙂

This animal is a beautiful example of an intricate and diverse texture combination. Isn’t it gorgeous?  I’m happy to show you how you can observe textures and create your own artworks using this

Art supplies

For this drawing of A4 size, I used ink liners of 0.05, 0.1, 0.2 and 0.4 widths. Plus a pencil and an eraser for creating an underdrawing.

For your convenience, I’ve made a scheme of ink technique samples. Here you can see how it is possible to reveal the texture and volume in your drawing.samples

For this piece I use mostly hatching, combining short and long strokes. Natural objects look great with varying organic lines. I also use dotwork (so-called stippling), it is suitable for the body of the turtle.

As you can see, a simple black ink liner is a powerful tool (despite the fact that it has only one color and not so much variation of line width)

So let’s have fun!

Ink Tutorial: Drawing The Octopus

Articles & Drawing Tutorials, Drawing With Ink

This step-by-step tutorial is about drawing with ink liners and creating textures on the example of the cute stylized octopus. 🙂promo

Estimated time for an ink drawing like this is several hours (for the inking part without the idea research and pencil sketching), depending on your skill level. Creating hatching and dotwork at high speed requires much practice. 🙂

The tools I use: ink liners numbers 0.8, 0.5, 0.3, 0.2 and a brushpen (small) for an A4 paper size. Plus a graphite pencil and an eraser for creating an underdrawing.

How to Fix Mistakes and Make Corrections in Ink Art

Articles & Drawing Tutorials, Drawing With Ink

Ink drawing has a reputation of a technique that doesn’t allow considerable correcting: after the line is already drawn, it’s difficult to remove it.

The more experience has an artist, the fewer mistakes are going to be made. If the drawing was properly thought over beforehand, it’s much easier to create a flawless artwork.

Experience and courage are helpful too because they allow transforming an unforeseen contingency into a beautiful improvisation, but sometimes an accident can occur. 🙂 It can be a shaky hand day or drop of ink, accidentally fallen from the nib.

In this article, I would like to tell you about my ways to handle issues like that. Of course, if the mistake in your drawing is too big and fundamental, sometimes the only method to achieve a good result is to redraw everything from scratch, especially if you need a neat clean copy.

But some small mistakes can be edited very successfully. It is possible to fix something, even in an ink drawing! 🙂

Let’s have a look at the photo with the most effective and simple artist’s helpers.


  1. White ink pen (or white liquid ink + nib).

If the white ink is dense enough, it can cover the strokes those were drawn with black ink by mistake. Sometimes a thin layer of white acrylic or gouache paints are used instead of applying the white ink. After the white re-cover layer is dry, you can draw with black ink on the top of it.

This method can be a real rescue for your artwork, but don’t be too carried away with it. The best way to become a master in ink technique is to aspire to “no corrections” mindset.

  1. Eraser with a rough surface.

On my photo, you can see an eraser with two ends, a light for pencil and a dark for pen strokes. The dark one is helpful for removing unwanted ink strokes. It’s important to hold the paper sheet carefully while erasing because you can accidently crumple it. This way is appropriate for thick and qualitative types of paper, the low-quality paper may crisp and create pellets too soon.

3. Emery paper – better small-grained one. It can easily remove some excess ink strokes if you rub your drawing with its rough surface.

4. An ordinary office knife, similar to knives those are used for sharpening pencils. This method is really great for small areas on coated paper (you can just cut off a layer with the mistake strokes with the blade, and it can be almost invisible). However, the knife way is appropriate for thick types of paper like whatman, too.

What you can do if you applied one of these ways, removed the unwanted ink strokes, but the surface of the paper is damaged and rough? There is one simple way to make it smoother.

Take a sheet of thick paper and place it above the problem area of your drawing. Press the paper sheets accurately with your hand. Also, you can try to erase with a rubber just on top of the blank buffer paper (and the damaged area below it). The paper fringe will flatten and the drawing will look more neat and natural.

I wish you happy and successful fixing of all your drawing mistakes and correcting flaws 🙂 Don’t fear to make a wrong thing, mistakes are our experience. Have fun creating! 😀