I signed up to a four week Pen and Ink class a few weeks ago, because I want to bring more drawn elements into my paintings, and balance the large abstract paint areas with more detailed drawn areas. It has turned out to be good timing as creatively speaking things are really erratic round here lately. {Then again, I always seem to be saying that; welcome to the house of All or Nothing.}

Today was all about getting familiar with mark making and drawing in pen. We started with biro, not my favourite medium, but I did learn to wield it with a greater degree of effectiveness after learning a few cunning tricks from Claire, the teacher.

First we ‘took a line for a walk’, to loosen up.

Due to a communication error, our materials list had not mentioned to bring something to draw from, so most of us didn’t have anything. Claire provided us with lots of photos to choose from, although I had my own ideas anyway. I picked a lotus type flower…

And a fern. It’s not my natural way to draw plants; I don’t know, it just doesn’t really do it for me, but after Claire showed me how to make the leaves look all groovy, thus:

I found it quite therapeutic. I also got bored, hence the unfinished nature of this one.

I have to be in a certain mood to stick with something repetitive. Besides which, what I really wanted to draw was fish.

I always want to draw fish lately. Must be the Pisces in me. But check these babies out! One in biro, one in pigment liner.

Initially I hadn’t filled in the scales or done the backround on the black one, and I’d left the head and tail white on both. Claire showed me that with just a few lines I could literally transform them into something with much more depth and interest. After I finished the scales on the black fish I was so excited!

I’m so pleased with both of them. So pleased.

I’m really looking forward to next week, when we’ll be working with adding washes. It’s going to be brilliant.