Developing the Drawing

Last week I started with a  basic tone of lines over the preliminary drawing .  This design becomes the foundation to build values and depict details.

100 ink

While filming this week’s video I was dismayed to discover that my video camera has given up the ghost – may it rest in peace.  It was my intention to show through the video how I take the base drawing and build up the design.  A photo will have to do.   As I draw I gradually add darker values until each part of the drawing becomes three dimensional.   I vary the length  and weight of lines depending on the textures and details I see, all the while using one pen, usually a 005  pigma micron.  Here’s a closeup of the tree after I added more lines to it.   Look how curvy my “straight” lines really are!


I move across the drawing detailing each item separately, the tree, the barn, the foreground, the rock and the background trees.   Looking at the whole, I add lines as needed to make sure it appears as an integrated scene with a balanced design.The  most important thing is too build up slowly and not to make any part of the drawing too dark. You can always darken an ink drawing, but short of using some kind of white paint, it’s impossible to lighten.    I would rather err on the side of having it too light, than too dark. The finished drawing looks like this:

101 lopezbarnink

Next week, color!




  1. Thanks so much for this series, Paula! I would love to work on my hatching and this type of tonal drawing technique, and your process shots are very helpful.


  2. It appears that when the drawing is complete, virtually all the white space has some sort of mark in/on it. Your gradual gradations and textures in these parts are wonderful

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