View Full Version : The Three Problems With Pencils In Pen And Ink

03-30-2012, 12:56 PM
I don't think it's OK to use a pencil for pen and ink.

I want people browsing this site to hear my opinion. I'm not going to let it go! I'm a PROUD pen and ink artist. I've drawn with a pen for THOUSANDS of hours. I'm not promoting censorship or limiting creativity, this is pen and ink. If you want to create with mixed media, then create with mixed media. Don't call it pen and ink unless you're drawing with a pen!!!!!
I LOVE art. All art is wonderful, but we're not talking about all art here. We're talking about pen and ink. To me, that means you make art with:

A pen
Ink, held inside the pen
A piece of paper

The Three Problems With Using A Pencil In Pen and Ink:

1) A pencil is not a pen!

If you draw with a pencil and then go over it with a pen, then you're just highlighting a pencil drawing with pen. You may be a great artist, but that doesn't mean you're drawing with a pen.

Drawing with a pencil isn't the same as drawing with a pen. Drawing with a pen takes years of practice. That's why pen and ink is so exacting and unforgiving.
Yes it's hard and yes you have to put in your hours. If you draw with a pencil, then you're not drawing with a pen. You don't know anything about drawing with a pen, because you're not drawing with a pen.

2) If you create the image with a pencil, then you're not creating the image with a pen. You're making a pencil drawing and then filling it in with a pen. That means you're not drawing with a pen and you won't start learning about drawing with a pen until you start drawing with a pen.

3) Pencils and Pens are different. Yes, I can dip my head in butter and paint a peace sign on an elephant, but I can't call it pen and ink, because it's not pen and ink, it's head and butter. Drawing with butter on your head is different than drawing with a pen. In order to draw with a pen, you have to draw with a pen.
Are you starting to get my point??

03-30-2012, 01:38 PM
Utah, I totally get what you are saying.....but... some of us are new to this medium and are learning. I for one need to learn perspective and proportion and drawing with pencil first helps me to find them. It is my guide until I am ready to guide myself naturally, freelance. I have noticed that I am beginning to understand techniques and problem solve without pencils now. I am relying more on my impression and ability and gaining more confidence. In the beginning when I first learned to draw in college they taught me to use pencils and graphs and I was so excited to finally make something look real....I am talking about really excited!! I also thought it was cheating, had a real hard time with that for years. But, again, it has helped me to become a better artist. When I teach my grandchildren, nieces, and nephews, I teach them that way right from the beginning so that they learn proportion and perspective right off. I struggled for so long that I felt that if they have talent, learning early on it will help develop that and it has for them. They now freelance without pencil and their perspectives have blossomed! My oldest son has the ability to draw what he see without graphs, every last detail, to me that is a specially innate talent, some people just have that God giv'n talent, I do not have that, I have to work on it over and over again. I do have the passion and drive to create....I never want to stop, it is always there for me. So if I need to use pencil until I get to the point that I am so good I will, it is my learning tool for now. Using the pen for stippling has allowed me to find and create values, more so than with pencil. I am so excited to have found pen and ink and be able to grow.

You have brought up some very valid points and I will remember and use them as reference as I progress, thank you Utah for sharing :)

03-30-2012, 05:41 PM
So if an artist does a layout sketch of a still life before they begin their oil painting... then according to you, it's not an oil painting, even though there isn't a trace of pencil work in the completed project? I understand you feel very strongly about your "puritan" approach to ink drawings, but you are dangerously close to offending many great artists here who have a different view than you.

03-30-2012, 06:45 PM
Let me start by saying I have seen your art. You are very good at what you do and a heck of a lot better than me, but... I feel your view is much to narrow.

You state that pen and ink must be done with with ink held inside the pen. I use a dip pen quite often and am still in the search for the elusive perfect pen nib. And Yes --> I do my broad layouts in pencil.

Did you know that those feather quills were pens and a pencil was a type of brush at one time. Definitions are strange like that they keep changing.

03-30-2012, 11:08 PM
"rules" are often broken in the name of progress.

many of the great masters used a grid system to lay out their work.

Artists should be the most tolerant people on Earth, for what we do is so personal, and altho I use pencil, computers, charcoal, watercolors, and gouache, I still label it as I choose- and that is that I think of myself as a pen&ink artist, sometimes using dip&drip, sometimes ballpoint pens, and often technical pens.

lighten up.

Buck B
03-30-2012, 11:35 PM
Not afraid to admit if there are "rules" for pen and ink, or any other medium for that matter, I will have, at some point, broken every one of them. I've just always believed that creativity has no boundries.

03-31-2012, 09:25 AM
Sorry you have been so upset by those of us who use pencil guides. My current reality is that if I don't want to trash a lot of expensive paper to create the images I want in this medium I have to use pencil guides. I will also continue to call my work pen and ink. To call it anything else would only confuse non-artist viewers who have no clue about how I went about creating my work. Whether I use just ink or pencil and ink it is all a mystery to them, and you know what, they don't care.

Would I love to have your skill with ink? - oh yes, but my life took me away from art for over 25 years, and I only came back to it about 4 years ago, I have come a long way, but I doubt I will have the time to develop my ink work skills to your level, not if I want to do more than create practice pieces of art. So you can look down your nose at my work, but I will continue to do it my way. Along the way I will try to take some time to practice with just pen and ink, but for works that I will spend hours on I will continue to use pencil to create the underlying design, and I will suggest to those who are new to pen and ink (esp. dip pens) that they start their drawings that way. Is it a crutch?- yes, but I did have training wheels on my bicycle, and eventually I learned to ride without them, maybe before I die I will be able to master pen to the point where I can do away with the pencil lines. Who knows.

It is your right to hold your views, and it is my right to hold mine, you have the right to do your art your way and I have the right to do mine the way I want. Enough said.

03-31-2012, 01:02 PM
Purist nonsense.

03-31-2012, 01:30 PM
I'm actually playing the Devil's advocate. I'm much more tolerant than I sound. But this is HUGELY important, HUGELY!!!!!!! I'm here to tell people new to Pen and Ink; Using A Pencil Is NOT OK!

If you're going to be a pen and ink artist, draw with a PEN. I know rules. I'm not a rule-follower either. This isn't a case of "Being Narrow."
If you're coming up to me and saying you're a pen and ink artist, then I want to see you draw something with a PEN. That's not Narrow.

1) I CANNOT sit by and watch something I've devoted my life to be degraded! There are new people here, new to pen and ink. I'm here to tell you using a pencil is NOT OK!!!
I'm hearing these new people being told that using a pencil is totally accepted. Not only that, but they are actually being given "Tutorials" that expressly ask them to use a PENCIL!
Am I actually going to look at a piece that started as a photo, had a pencil grid drawing made of it, and then inked over, being presented as PEN and INK????? Is this piece in a SHOW for pen and ink??? Not only that, but some of these people have the GALL to call my work "SIMPLE."

I'm sorry if I "Offend" anyone, but it needs to be said! Take the time to learn how to use a pen! Sorry....

2) Pen and Ink is an exacting medium. It separates the True artists out. There's no place to hide. If you make a mistake, you have to work with it. You're either a Pen and Ink artist or you're NOT. You're either drawing with a pen, or you're not. Painting accepts drawing as a means to an end. Pen and ink is an END in itself. Stop degrading it! Do you really want to see Pen and Ink degrade as an art form?

Am I watching Pen and Ink evolve into enhanced pencil technique??? Am I?? Now that I'm getting older, do I get to watch inked-over pencil drawings become the STANDARD!!

Try this and set yourself FREE:

Get out your favorite pen and a piece of paper. Do a drawing using only those two things, post it here. I'm not saying don't use a photo, just don't directly COPY it. If you can draw with a pen, then let's see it.

I guarantee two things because I know. See, I've been there so many times; things won't go like you planned, and you'll end up with something a lot more human and interesting that any inked-over grid drawing.

03-31-2012, 02:39 PM
Uath, I've been a successful pen & ink artist for many years, and i've also taught pen & ink courses at the college level, and I know a few things too.... if a customer wants a rendering of their home, they dont want a crooked version, they don't want a flat no-depth version.... they dont want a spontaneous human mistake hanging on their wall. I see the type of work you do and i suppose your way works fine for the "book illustration" kinda images you create.

Here is a drawing I did of a local scene here where I live. It's one of my most successful prints. This specific image CANNOT be taken with a camera due to the layout of trees and the way the buildings lie in relation to the scene in real life. I basically re-created this scene WITH PENCIL using perspective, straight edges, rulers, etc. Did I trace over my pencil lines with a pen?? NO! but I did create the placement of various objects using a pencil. It took me aprox 150 hours to create this... not 8 hrs!! I spend more than 8 hrs taking reference photos for my drawings. Perhaps you would do well to stop churning out these quickies of yours! Then maybe you would know what a REAL pen & ink artist endures!


I'll put my work up against yours all day long!! It seems that you couldnt let sleeping dogs lie from the thread (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1061082) from the other day when we both expressed our own personal views. gloves are off pal! bring it!

Of course, I do agree with one thing you said on that first thread.... you ARE old and cranky!!

And to all the beginners/novices.... please don't let this man confuse you... use your own discretion and know that it's perfectly FINE to use pencil to lay out your drawing/painting in ANY art form!

03-31-2012, 03:33 PM
Here is a drawing I did of a local scene here where I live. It's one of my most successful prints. This specific image CANNOT be taken with a camera due to the layout of trees and the way the buildings lie in relation to the scene in real life. I basically re-created this scene WITH PENCIL using perspective, straight edges, rulers, etc. Did I trace over my pencil lines with a pen?? NO! but I did create the placement of various objects using a pencil. It took me aprox 150 hours to create this... not 8 hrs!! I spend more than 8 hrs taking reference photos for my drawings. Perhaps you would do well to stop churning out these quickies of yours! Then maybe you would know what a REAL pen & ink artist endure.

And to all the beginners/novices.... please don't let this man confuse you... use your own discretion and know that it's perfectly FINE to use pencil to lay out your drawing/painting in ANY art form!

^^^^^^^^^^ This!

03-31-2012, 04:01 PM
DB: I really appreciate your input, esp because I admire the work you do. I am also well aware of the time it takes to create a work like yours.

I recently had a very rainy day combined with time on my hands. I drove to the Bluff View Art District and did a quick sketch using only dip&drip on a large sheet of Bristol. It was the first time I tried a plien aire in a large scale. I then used the P&I work as the basis for a painting. That was when I saw how crooked my drawing was. I corrected the errors in oil on the canvas.

Despite it's crookedness, the art instructor loved the P&I! He said it was fresh and spontaneous. But he also loved the oil painting and showed me where I could use the pen handle to gauge straight lines and perspective.

He also showed me where the earlier ref photos caused distortions in the first oil painting.

My Point?

I can see where plein air observation creates better artwork, when you can actually do that, and how each medium has it's benefits and drawbacks (I corrected that oil painting for almost 10 hours before the teacher & I felt it was 'right'- try that in p&I). Had I been too prideful to accept the instruction of others I would never grow.

Opening up to new possibilities creates better art.
Thinking I know it all and telling others they are creating impure art just keeps me producing mediocre work.

Hope I never stop growing and learning.

life is good


03-31-2012, 04:05 PM
I have used a pencil for all types of art, pen & ink, pastel, scratchbord, oils, the end result: pen & ink, pastel, scratchbord, oil. Just because you find that not using a pencil is what works for you- I find it pretty ridiculous for you to say that anyone that does is not doing it right. But, it's not going to change how I do things. I'm sure others will just shake there heads and laugh at your statement and continue making great art......however they choose!

03-31-2012, 04:15 PM
Hmm, perhaps I don't want to set myself "free", I am currently working on a stipple piece with elaborate borders which I designed in my sketchbook. Here is a WIP image of the drawing as of last night, you can see the pencil lines I am using as guides, they were transferred from my sketch pad (where the design was worked out) to the drawing paper by using tracing paper. I want exact repeats, it is part of the look I am going for here, and I admit I couldn't achieve that without the pencil.


You have your style and method of working, I am developing my own. As a bit of background to where I am coming from, I have had some Illustration training and we did create finished pencil drawings first, transferring outlines to a better surface and then doing the final inking, so I am working the way I was trained. By the way my instructor was a Professional Illustrator at one point in his career before he got married and wanted a steady pay check with benefits, I believe he was doing technical Illustrations where accuracy is needed and mistakes not allowed. A different approach to ink work, but still valid IMHO.

I don't think I have ever claimed to be a "pen and ink artist", I do art using pen and ink as tools, but it is just a tool. Anyone who thinks your work is simple doesn't know what they are looking at, which even in the art world is probably a lot of people. Tools are changing, a lot of young people are more comfortable on the computer, which uses different skills and knowledge.

From what I have seen/read here most members are just trying to learn how to create something for themselves, friends and/or family, they don't expect to become professional artists and often don't have the time or energy to put in the necessary practice to develop the skills you have. Sadly the demand for professional ink artists isn't that great and probably won't come back anytime soon. Illustrations that used to be done with ink by hand have moved to computer generated graphics. Line work may start on paper, but it quickly moves to the computer where a drawing can not only be changed far more readily but can also be inserted into publications without any extra effort. Neither you or I can stop this change, it is what it is, but I take satisfaction in creating something on real paper with ink, it may not be to your standard but it is still an act of creation.

Many people are always looking for short cuts, and while there aren't a lot of short cuts in the art world each individual has to decide for themselves which ones they will try to use to achieve their goals. Why else do people purchase books supposedly telling them how to draw/paint. :rolleyes: Nothing takes the place of plain hard work - getting in there and doing the drawings, be it with pencil or ink, over and over and over again.

I am still in the process of doing that work with pencil, I like to think I am getting there. I attend weekly live model sessions and draw, I also draw simple objects from life, and more complex flowers and animals from photographs. I don't grid, and while my observation skills and accuracy have improved quite a bit I am still hesitant to draw directly with pen. Your prodding has motivated me to try and do some more direct pen work. So I am not totally a lost cause. :D I did the following last night, the reference photo was one posted in a WetCanvas forum as a challenge piece, but right now I don't recall which forum it came from (I read several, sorry).


The bowl is a bit wonky, and I didn't spend a lot of time on the basil, but it could be worse. I am telling myself that I need to do more of this, but sometimes I get sidetracked with other projects so no promises. :thumbsup:

03-31-2012, 04:18 PM
Greg, I absolutely see the value of plein aire ink drawings... I have a sketchbook full of them, and they do have a rightful place in the art world. In fact I always encouraged my students to keep a pen and sketch book with them to sketch any time they have the opportunity.

But just as there are plein aire oil paintings... and studio oil paintings... I am only trying to point out that the same applies to ink.

The points I'm making has nothing to do with my pride as an artist. My accomplishments speak for themselves. But when I imagine a beginner thinking that pencil is absolutely not allowed when doing ink drawings... well, this would be a terrible set-back only to add more difficulties to an already difficult medium.

03-31-2012, 04:55 PM
Katwalk, I really dig that stipple piece you're working on. Very nice.DB, thanks for being the voice of reason. I think there is room enough in art for many different approaches and styles.

03-31-2012, 06:18 PM
hi very is nice

03-31-2012, 06:26 PM
very is nise

03-31-2012, 06:43 PM
De gustibus non desputandum est.I forget the originator of this ancient quote but I use it enough to claim it as my own.


03-31-2012, 07:20 PM
I agree Uath, and there were 2 perfect examples posted. The lovely stippled border was a pencil drawing colored with ink. Should we still consider that to be PnI, well I'd say yes, but it's not a pen drawing. If you are using pencil on something like the bowl of fruit/veg and then pen over that, I'd say no a pen drawing either (and why not). Many artists endorse pen drawing as an important aspect to learning to draw, and it's the stage that I am at. I keep a sketchbook and 2 pens in my vehicle and I also do Chinese brush painting to help learn how to really use a brush. I think it is hugely important to learn to make beautiful strokes with whatever tool/medium combo you want. It can only help you progress as an artist.
But I agree, to draw with a pen, is different than using a pen to color a drawing. I can appreciate the years of practice it takes to become good at it, and envy those who are, but until then I too will use a pencil if I think it will help me to acheive my goals.


04-01-2012, 09:33 AM
Totally enjoy the discussion here.

04-01-2012, 09:53 AM
Pencil guidelines let me be freer with the inking. The pen is *not* tracing the pencil lines. Like someone said, it sounds as if you believe making pencil guidelines for an oil painting is not really oil painting, but mixed media. Sorry, that's dumb. It also sounds as if you think your drawings should be worth more than those of other people (the pencil users) because you have put so much more effort into learning the skills you have. God, I wish it worked that way, but it doesn't. You sound very bitter and I'm sorry for that.

04-01-2012, 11:28 AM
Ok, the water has warmed up a wee, and can get my feet into it without frostbite :rolleyes:.... [that opening was a like ice water tossed on flames]

In many ways, agree with Uath, in that too many do far more than grid out works or confine the use of a straight edge to where crisp straight lines are needed in the works being done.... secondly, have often said myself that ink is unforgiving and to work with it is quite different from using pencil, or oils for that matter [in that if a mistake, one can go over and straighten the whatever bloop made by the oil paint - and if fast enough, even with acrylic paint]... if I were to do plein aire, would certainly say use only the pen and ink, as it develops the needed skill of observation to getting a likeness - and that gained skill then carries over to doing still life without a necessity of using pencil, or very little of it....

but, as David said, and showed, there are renderings where the precision of guides are needed to getting the right kind of rendering done... as most who have been around this forum know, my works come essentially from my head - the still life does not exist on a set stage to be copied from - and if need them to be on a shelf, will use a straight edge to get the smoothness needed for other than a rickedly old warped one [and the same with the top of the bowl or such, for the same reason]... does this then make me not a pen/ink artist? Hardly!

BUT [again], if the work is laid out as a basic pencil drawing to begin with, then overlaid with the ink - THAT is a horse of a different color, and the renderer is NOT a pen/ink artist... that is laziness, and yes, a mixed medium work, the same when adding watercolor instead of taking the time to do it in ink........

now, HAVING SAID THAT, there is a caveat - if the idea is to use the ink as historically many did, as a prelim to doing a work in another medium, then by all means sketch away in however ye wish, as long as not claim to being a pen/ink artist.... because there is a big difference between ink as sketching or drawing, and ink as illustrating or fine art painting, as finished works in their own right, same as done in other mediums.....

That's my view of it anyway.............

04-01-2012, 02:02 PM
It seems that I'm universally despised, and old crank who thinks if people don't do it his way, it's not right.

Like I said before, "If you say you can draw with a pen, then prove it."

The fact that I have no takers surprises me not at all. Only one out of hundreds of artists are called to the pen. May I suggest that someone who draws with a pencil and then inks over it is probably no better with a pen than any talented HS freshman.

I don't care what you think of my work, that's beside the point.

Here's the truth about what I feel. You may not like it, and my opinion may mean NOTHING to you...

I don't have any respect for a pen and ink artist who uses a pencil. It isn't pen and ink. It's mixed media. I'm not alone either. If you can live with that, go ahead, Just remember, every time you say, "I'm a pen and ink artist," you're really not. You're a pretender to every artist who has ever tried to master the pen.

I know it takes years to learn how to draw with a pen. I don't think "It's hard and I don't have time to learn," is a good excuse.

If I were judging a pen and ink contest, I wouldn't even bother to look at anything that was drawn with a pencil and then inked over. I would rather give the prize to a five-year-old that drew a stick man. At least they started with a white page and a pen.

I don't care how good an artist you are. This is pen and ink, draw with a stupid pen!

The fact that people who draw with pencils are holding themselves up as pen and ink artists does kind of offend me. The fact that they are representing themselves as pen and ink artist and are actually TEACHING pen and ink makes me want to vomit.

How about this; why don't you stop using every trick in the book to make it look like you're drawing with a pen? Why don't you try to actually learn?? Wouldn't that be better?

This is serious, to all you people who TEACH pen and ink; I want to see a RECENT drawing you've done using only a pen. You have the rare opportunity in art to put your money where your mouth is. Let's see it...

To your students: Ask your "Instructor" to show you a RECENT drawing he's completed using only a pen.

To all the GREAT artists who spend untold hours on their "Pen and Ink" drawings: Let me see a recent drawing you've done using only a pen. I don't care how many hours you spend setting up your camera. I want to see you draw with a pen.

To those FEW people reading this who are actually drawn to the pen (Pun, get it?):

Make this decision right now; I'm a pen and ink artist. I'm not going to use a pencil. I'm going to use a pen. I know it's hard, but remember, everytime you screw up, there are a select few artists who know what you're going through. They're laughing with you and patting you on the back.

04-01-2012, 05:18 PM
okay, if you insist.... you asked for it!

I'll not only give you what you ask for, but I'll give examples of everything I'm talking about. But before I do, I want to reiterate AGAIN that I am not against using a pen on it's own. I've always encouraged my students to carry a pen and sketchpad with them and to sketch without worry, without borders... just the pen and paper. Do you honestly think I can't do that???

Here are a few images I pulled from my sketchbook...

these are quick plein aire sketches that took maybe 5 minutes or so...




here are a few plein aire sketches that took a bit longer... maybe 15-20 minutes or so....




Here is an example of "pen only" but done from a photo instead of plein aire. This took about 3-4 hours. The only reason I did this was at the request of a fellow member for one of the monthly challenges a while back... and yes... this was done freehand, no pencil, no grid, no rulers.... just me and my pen!


Now.... below is an example of a drawing I did using a pencil to create a rough outline. And I DIDNT trace over my pencil lines as you keep mentioning. I could give you the rough sketch of this and you wouldn't have a clue as to how to create textures and light the way I have here, as you've shown us in your simple work. And although I used a pencil to lay everything out, there isn't a spot of pencil anywhere on this... thus it's a PEN & INK drawing! And yes it's photorealistic but I DIDNT work from a photograph, cuz none exists!
Here is a WIP thread for those interested (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=349174)


This image would have been impossible to freehand as it's a compilation of 13 different images... to try this without any planning at all would be lunacy! Again, just because I lay the objects out in pencil first, they had nothing to do with my inking techniques or application. They just simply showed me where I was putting things.


Now I'll show you the difference between pen & Ink and mixed medium... this is an example of MIXED MEDIUM, where I created an ink drawing, then used pencil to shadow it. Why did I do this? because I can!!!
Here is a WIP thread for those interested (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=266961)


Now here's one that is mostly pencil... in fact the pencil shading took longer than the inking. Again this is MIXED MEDIUM (I have no problem calling this that)
Here is a WIP thread for those interested (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=422902)


Ok Uath! you called me out... now I'm callin you out! All I've seen from you is simple, flat line drawings. Let me see you create something with some depth... some perspective... maybe some lighting, and textures. Every one of my drawings (including my "pen only" sketches) provide some sense of lighting, texture and depth... something we haven't seen from you! My dinosaur drawing even has rays of light... the Steel collage has smoke, glowing light, molten steel, etc. And as you said... what I do can be accomplished by any freshman in high school... so now i say to you.... put up or shut up!

04-01-2012, 06:00 PM
I ABSOLUTELY love your work, but your pen and ink is wonderful. The window sill with the flower is SO Wonderful. OK you have my approval to teach pen and ink. (You have NO idea how much that's worth)

One thing you'll notice, and right away, is how DIFFERENT your pencil-free work is from your mixed work. In some ways, it's almost like two different people drawing. Don't you see how much PERSONALITY is in them??

Oh, I totally agree, the dinosaur is pen and ink. Making notation lines and points isn't the same as drawing with the pencil. I use a pen to make little dots that show me where something needs to go. I just incorporate it in the drawing.

By the way, the street scene you posted earlier was beyond belief. I'm proud that the example you pulled in order to show me up, was that piece. Still, it's mixed media. That's all I'm saying.

Oh wait. I read the thing about depth. You're absolutely right. I'm mostly self taught, so my perspective has always given me issues (Think Grandma Moses LOL) You're on!!! let me start on one today that makes an attempt toward going backward.

It'll take me till tomorrow to finish it. I draw 11X14, so I have to go to the printer and get it reduced to note-book size so I can put it on the scanner. I'll try and get it up here by tomorrow evening.

I'll date it April 1, so you know it's today. As always you can TRUST me, I'm just starting with a blank page and I WILL NOT use a pencil.

(Now watch me fall flat on my face...)

04-01-2012, 08:52 PM
OK, I know it isn't going to impress any one with my drawing skills but that bowl of veggies I posted as the 2nd image with my border project was done as strictly pen and ink - no pencil. I thought I said that in the message, but I get the feeling that everyone is assuming that because I used pencil for the border project I also did for the bowl - again I DID NOT USE PENCIL - just pen, an 01 Micron to be specific for the 2nd image of a bowl with veggies.

As for my Illustration instructor who drew with pencil, I am sure he didn't get paid if his illustrations weren't dead on - so I can't say I blame him for using any techniques that would get him there in the shortest amount of time. He was teaching Illustration basic skills not how to be a pen and ink "artist", we only touched on pen and ink, then did scratch board, colored pencils, a few sessions on using an Air Brush, and ended with a project using Adobe Illustrator. No time to work in depth with any of those media. But it was fun getting a taste of them.

I am not going apologize for the methods I use to create my drawings, hopefully I am still welcome to show them here when I have used pen and ink in their creation.

04-01-2012, 09:09 PM
by all means show, Kathy - we enjoy seeing them.........:thumbsup:

04-02-2012, 09:07 AM
I would consider this ignorable trolling if you hadn't been posting inoffensively here for such a long time. I’ve never seen such an arrogant, intolerant, BS-filled series of posts on this forum. The only problem with using a pencil—or any technique, tool, or shortcut—is that one should prevent it from becoming a crutch and a barrier to learning, growth, and exploration. However, an artist should use any and all methods available to achieve the goals he or she wants to achieve.

I frequently use pencils, and how I use them depends on my goal. Sometimes, I do sketches or drawings with only a pen and ink. Sometimes, I merely use a pencil to mark spots on my paper to get a basic set of proportions before I start an ink sketch. Sometimes, I sketch a layout in pencil before fleshing it out in ink. For more elaborate pieces, I do a graphite TRACING –such sacrilege! – on my drawing paper, then go over it all with an eraser and pencil, re-arranging areas and fixing perspective problems (sometimes using a STRAIGHT EDGE! --The outrages continue!—although I almost never use a straight edge in inking because I mostly prefer a slightly uneven line). The most labor-intensive drawings have areas that were drawn with pencil first, and areas that were slowly built up with no pencil reference.

Nowhere in my drawings are there spots where I merely followed a pencil outline. Lines are altered, areas are shaded, portions are emphasized or de-emphasized. And I’d say this is true for almost all pen-and-ink artists who use graphite, to varying degrees.

All of these works are pen-and-ink drawings, despite what you say.

This first image shows a WIP; one can see areas that are nearly complete, along with areas that just have ink outlines, and other areas that have graphite marks only. This is a pen-and-ink drawing in progress.

Here is the finished pen-and-ink drawing, with no graphite evident:

04-02-2012, 09:30 AM
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Apr-2012/38606-EP_Sawyer_tree_sketch_WC.jpg http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Apr-2012/38606-Scanned-image-3-1_WC.jpg
Here are two drawings that used little or no graphite. I did these on my lunch breaks from work. The first one probably contains no pencil marks. On the second, one of my favorite lunch break sketches, I probably used very light pencil lines to show the angles at which I wanted to draw the main limbs before I broke out the ink.

Also, I used homemade bamboo dip-pens and some twigs for drawing, along with my home-made ink. That’s what REAL pen-and-ink artists do.

edited to add: oh, I forgot, I also used my finger to smear the ink. I guess I'm disqualified.

Also edited to add: Yikes! I'm super-disqualified! I can't say for certain that I didn't use a brush for any of it! I don't think I did, but gosh, I often cheat that way.

04-02-2012, 09:40 AM
OK you have my approval to teach pen and ink. (You have NO idea how much that's worth)

I know how much it's worth to me...;)

One thing you'll notice, and right away, is how DIFFERENT your pencil-free work is from your mixed work. In some ways, it's almost like two different people drawing. Don't you see how much PERSONALITY is in them??

It is almost like two different people drawing! Isn't it amazing he could have such versatility? Isn't it great he's not rigidly constrained?

04-02-2012, 10:56 AM
Ha, I love it... Ignoble trolling indeed. I'm watching Pen and Ink being destroyed as an art form by cheaters. It MATTERS to me. Stop making excuses, put your pencil AWAY!

We're finally having a REAL discussion that absolutely pertains to a subject that directly impacts us all. I'm not a TROLL (How dare you!). Trolls drop into a forum just to start a fight. I've drawn with a pen all my life. I completed my first 30 page comic book when I was still in HS. Since 2003 I've drawn four hours a day, 5 days a week, with a pen. Sorry, I'm not going to agree wiith revisionist whining. If you don't like it, then try drawing with a pen.
I'm sorry to make you mad. You're looking at a retired middle school teacher who will stoop to nothing to inspire and motivate. (I thought the "High School Freshman" comment was genious)

Sorry I made you think.

No, I'm not going to comprimise. I'm right and you're wrong.(OK I'm deliberately trying to make you mad:) You're on to me)

If you use a pencil to "Simply lay out the base outlines," you're using a stupid pencil!

Stop using every excuse in the book to justify using a pencil. You're still using a pencil. I don't care if you get mad, put the stupid pencil away. I'll never forget the man who inspired my passion for pen and ink, Mr. Becker, my 4th and 5th grade math teacher. He was a huge pen and ink artist. I wanted to draw just like him. I remember the first drawing I ever started in his presence.
He looked right at my pencil and said, "What is that? Put the pencil away. You don't use pencil in pen and ink."

I remember my HS art teacher, "You don't use pencil in pen and ink."
Well, it seems that was then and this is now. Pen and Ink is dying. I can't trust any image that I see. It's "I just use a pencil for this, and I just use a pencil for that." Cheating, I can't trust you!
You're grouping up and making excuses because it's hard and you don't want to learn. What's worse is you're hiding behind the "Art breaks rules, I don't pay attention to genre. Everytime I butter my bread, I'm living art."

This is Pen and Ink, draw with a pen.

If you only use pencil a little, BS! If you've ever touched an eraser to that page then you've gone against everything drawing with a pen represents. You can get mad and group up with a little group and convince yourselves otherwise, but you're cheating. I think you know that. I don't know how much you've used the pencil and I don't care. I can't trust you.
Think about it every time you pick up that wooden cheat stick; "If I use this pencil, It's no longer pen and ink."

I KNEW the subject of brushes would come up. If you'll notice. I've tried to ignore it and keep concentrating on the "Pencil" thing. Ha! I have no idea how to deal with that one, so I'll continue to pretend it's not there and keep pounding on the pencil.
Actually, I'm getting tired of this anyway. I'm about over with this tread, but I'll keep on if people still want to vent. I started it and it's SO IMPORTANT!!!!!
It's time to go draw...


04-02-2012, 12:36 PM
This is what we used to call a flame war in the good old days of Usenet. It has no place in this forum and IMO the moderator is unforgivably slacking in letting it go on and on.

But if the moderator won't do the job, then I beg everyone to simply ignore this thread and let it die the ignoble death it deserves.


04-02-2012, 12:36 PM
Oh, the drawing of the boys at the fishing hole was beautiful.

My Point:

If you could magically take away all the pen, and left only the "Graphite" marks, I'll bet you would be able to fully tell that you were looking at a fishing hole with boys playing. Not only that, but every major shadow would be visible, even as an outline.

I'm going to try to post a picture later that focuses on depth. Perspective is HARD using a pen.

04-02-2012, 05:41 PM
I place an "ignore" on those who I no longer wish to hear-- so I can only deduce from the remarks that I will not be removing that person from that list.. .

Thanx to all for the wonderful examples of your P&I and mixed media work, some great examples!

Perhaps the 'ignored" one should come join us on the monthly P&I forum. I enjoy seeing all those posts, too. Val continues to present challenging photos for us to practice with.

life is good


04-02-2012, 05:47 PM

Please don't thnk that I'm being serious with this. At first, I was going to put a bunny in the moonlight, but at the last minute, this occured to me and I thought it was funny. I did NOT mean it in a mean way. It was like a joke I realized at the last minute.

As you can see, I don't crosshatch or stipple. I have nothing at all against them, I just decided not to years ago on purpose. It's to reinforce my style.

Don't remove this thread. It's important and we're all adults here. Well, we may not ALL be adults, but this is a serious concern in P&I

04-03-2012, 06:51 PM
Look you guys, I want to show you why you shouldn't let ultra realist pencil artists to mask themselves in pen:

Now.... below is an example of a drawing I did using a pencil to create a rough outline. And I DIDNT trace over my pencil lines as you keep mentioning. I could give you the rough sketch of this and you wouldn't have a clue as to how to create textures and light the way I have here, as you've shown us in your simple work. And although I used a pencil to lay everything out, there isn't a spot of pencil anywhere on this... thus it's a PEN & INK drawing! And yes it's photorealistic but I DIDNT work from a photograph, cuz none exists!
Here is a WIP thread for those interested (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=349174)


What you guys never bothered to ask was where the image came from in the first place. This isn't just any dinosaur, it's a velociraptor from the film Jurassic Park. I know that because our ideas of raptors have changed dramatically since then. This version of what a velociraptor looked was created for the movie.

Let me introduce you to perhaps the most famous movie dinosaur of all time. "The Clever Girl." She's even copyrighted:


Look familiar:


Look at this body:


Here's an image from dieviant art:


This body was taken from a toy copyright 2002 the artist above just reversed the hands:


04-03-2012, 07:32 PM
This isn't just any dinosaur, it's a velociraptor from the film Jurassic Park. I know that because our ideas of raptors have changed dramatically since then. This version of what a velociraptor looked was created for the movie.What's your deal dude??? get a freakin life or something! How dare you post my image and try to make a fool of me!

And since you know nothing about dinosaurs, please allow me to educate you.... that's not a Velociraptor I drew ... it's a Deinonychus (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deinonychus), a dinosaur that lived during the early Cretaceous Period, about 30 million years before Raptors. I used a general image from a science book and did studies of alligator/croc scale images to do the detail work, and I looked at images of ostrich feet to do the legs in my image. Not that this has ANYTHING at all to do with whether this is pen&ink or not. You actually spent a great deal of time on that last post... what with all the images you posted..... I must REALLY intimidate you, don't I? I bet you sit around fuming that I can create better PEN & INK drawings than you....

What you guys never bothered to ask was where the image came from in the first place. probably because they didn't have to... they actually READ the WIP link I posted. If you had... you wouldn't have made the assumption you did and made a fool of yourself in the process!

04-03-2012, 09:59 PM
I think, your work speaks for itself. I'm familiar with Deinonychus. All you did on your initial post was dance and sing around an image that you never came up with.

My problem is that you are TEACHING Pen and Ink. If you were a common artist, I wouldn't care. Unfortunately, that means you hold the future of my beloved Pen and Ink in your hands.

It was YOU who personally attacked me. I never attacted your art. I just wanted you to call it mixed media. You called me simple and flat. Hey, at least it's my own work.
I allowed you to manipulate the initial argument by focusing on my struggle with porportion and shading :) I allowed that to happen, even after you post some (frankly mediocre) actual P&I drawings that were 5 years old. You even had to copy those. I said not a word.

The clue that gave you away was when you said, "I instruct my students."

I spent 21 years in a very challenging Middle School. I've seen a million teachers come and go. Anyone who says, "I unstuct my students," isn't capable of coming up with a theoretical dinosaur.
I knew you copied it, I've caught more cheaters than you can imagine. All I did was do a simple Google Image search for Jurassic Park Voliciraptor. I think all three of these images were on the first page. I actually spent VERY little time.

The problem with this ultra-realism fad, is that it sets an impossible standard. You HAVE to use a pencil. It's like steroids; if you don't take them, you can't compete.

You sir are offering "TUTORIALS" to new P&I artists. I would have said nothing except you were Johnny-On-The-Spot when a Newby came asking for advice. I can't believe you make bushes out of "Squiggles" and you can't even do that without drawing the outline with a pencil. My son actually had tears in his eyes over that one.

I don't know, but I suspect that when you "Instruct Your Students," You're far too arrogent to even MENTION that there's a large, and historical, segment of the P&I world that think using a pencil is BS.
As I'm writing this, I'm looking up at a line of your drawings, every one of them would be impossible without the extensive, overwhelming use of a pencil.

What do you think? If there was a contest for Pen and Ink, would it be OK to use a pencil?

Oh, you had the audacity to show up with 5-year-old work and then give me an assignment. I did it, I'm a trooper. Now let me give you one:

Draw something using only a pen and do it by memory

04-03-2012, 11:03 PM
Why is anyone giving this crank the time of day? Dave, you're too good to be drawn into this preposterous non-debate. No one will ever change his mind, and he has no respect for artists who don't toe his line. Just ignore him.

04-04-2012, 12:11 AM
Listen man, I know you were just flustered, but the Cretaceous is the last period of the Mesozoic. Remember; Triassic, Jurassic, then Cretaceous. I know you know that and I just wanted to give you that credit. Remember, after the Cretaceous, there WERE no dinosaurs. It was the mass extinction.

Dave, Miller55, I know you're totally pissed at me, but before you stop paying attention; what do you think, yes or no? If there was a contest for pen and ink, should people be allowed to use pencils?

After you answer, then tell me if yes, how much?

By the way DB, it did kind of hurt when I went to all the trouble to do that drawing and you never commented. I would have NEVER done that. I told you before, your work is wonderful. For Pen and Ink, I wouldn't wipe my @@@ with it, but for anything else, it's SUPER!

04-04-2012, 12:29 AM
He belongs on EVERYONE"S "ignore " list now........

04-04-2012, 12:54 AM
YOU'RE RIGHT Birdhs. I am so out of here. I'll never post here again. It's over. I've always gotten totally carried away when I think it's me against a crowd. I've never backed down in my life and it's ALWAYS gotten me into trouble. I still can't believe on a Pen and Ink website, that I don't have any supporters.

(I'm right and you're wrong)

but, it's OVER

Please remember how passionate I am about this.

Did you ever hear the story about some Sci-Fi or Comic convention back in the '90's. Well, the nerds had a debate in one of the rooms. The subject of the debate was, "Were Batman and Robin gay?"

Needless to say, it took hotel security over an hour and a half to restore order. Fistfights were spilling out into the hall and several people had to go to the hospital.

We're together in this. We get mad because we care.

Please, Please, Please, answer my question; Do you think, if there's a pen and ink contest, that people should be allowed to use a pencil?

I will not post in this again, but I would LOVE to hear the answer..

You can expect, when a newby stops by, I'm going to give him/her my opinion. Just expect it. Let's not fight anymore.

:evil: One more thing, I'll bet NONE of you will ever pick up a pencil again without thinking about this. And when some one asks, "are you a Pen and Ink artist," you'll stumble and fart and babble about how you use a pencil just to frame, guide, outline, assist, border, whatever that stupid French term is. The difference; I can just say YES :evil:

04-04-2012, 03:16 AM
Fundamentalist arguments are always amusing, because they take a sound principle and turn it into a blind law that excludes all other posibilities. The great thing about creativitiy is that it knows no boundaries or limitations. So Uath, while your principal that pencil can be abused to limit the creativity and true nature of pen and ink is true, by totally excluding pencil in a definite law, you are actually limiting the creativity of the pen and ink medium. Pencil can be abused and become restrictive, on the other hand it can also give one the freedom to try different compositions, work out different lines and so on. By fundamentally excluding pencil, you are actually limiting the creative universe of pen and ink. So your basic premise is right, but by going so far, you are ending up at the same place that you so dispise.

04-04-2012, 03:44 AM
Ha, I love it... Ignoble trolling indeed.


I'm right and you're wrong.(OK I'm deliberately trying to make you mad:) You're on to me)

And that is pretty much the definition of a troll. Whatever message you have is completely lost in your method of presenting it.

For beginners out there - whatever method you use to get to the end drawing is simply a process. I'd encourage anyone who wants to grow to give drawing directly with a pen a shot, but don't feel that you have to or you are somehow excluded from the "club". Also, be aware that people have used no pencils, to the meerest of guidelines for purposes of composition, to loose pencils, to extremely tight pencils for centuries. Some people are incredible draftsmen who can put exactly what they want on the page the first time, and some can't. Some never can. It's a process - how you get to the final piece is your choice as an artist. But when a final ink drawing does not present evident pencil in the final work, it isn't mixed media, self-appointed guardians of the One True Way notwithstanding.

04-04-2012, 07:55 AM
Re: the "fundamentalist" issue...the night before last I came to the realization that this wasn't an art discussion so much as a religious debate. Who ever persuades anyone when it's articles of faith that are at issue? I wasn't going to comment again, and I was glad to see tha Uath had said a couple of times that he was going to let the matter drop; but he just keeps coming back.

Uath, I'll do you the courtesy of answering your question: If there is a contest for pen and ink, I think someone can use a pencil as much as they want, as long as there is no pencil evident in the finished product, and as long as the rules don't prohibit it. I don't, at all, take it as a given that pencil would not be allowed, and I don't see the opinion of the girl working behind the counter at a copy shop as having any more validity than the majority of the posters here; I suspect that if she read this thread, she'd change her mind.

That having been said, I'll follow birdhs's advice...I'm sure you'll take it as a badge of honor that you are the very first person on this forum to make it to my "ignore" list. Although perhaps I'll un-ignore you if I feel like I need a laugh.

04-04-2012, 08:18 AM
FWIW: According to Wikipedia, both Deinonychus and Velociraptor lived in the Cretaceous period. Deinonychus died out about 30 million years before Velociraptor...during the Cretaceous period. So thanks, Dan, for prompting me to learn a little more about dinosaurs.

Regarding the pose: How many dramatic poses which highlight, with clarity, a dinosaur's body type are there for dinosaurs of this frame/build? I would think that if one looked through the vast quantity of dinosaur art that has been created, there would be no problem at all at finding artists selecting similar poses.

04-04-2012, 10:56 AM

I gotta say one more thing.

You're right Bluegill (By the way, my real name is Will) it's a religous thing. The reason I always put two birds in my drawings is that I'm a lifelong Pagan. The two birds are Odin's ravens. They fly the earth each day to tell their master what they've seen. I put them in every picture so Odin can see what I'm doing. It's the truth, I'm a total nut. When I sit in my studio and draw, I'm channeling the Gods. In my mind, I'm more a Wizard than an artist. Hey, I'm a nut.

My hands are getting so bad that I'm DEATHLY afraid it'll get to the point where I can't draw anymore. I've got a huge gash on my thumb this morning. I'm not the best, but I've played banjo, mandolin, and (currently) the mandola, all my life.
I can't play anymore. If I even strum a few chords, I get to scream in pain for days with half-inch gashes on every finger that's touched a string. I'm not giving up. I'm not dead yet and I'm gonna beat this thing. But, if I can't, what about the thing I've devoted my life doing...

Here's the hard truth:

I can't compete with you pencil people. You couldn't compete with yourselves if you were forced to draw with no pencil, nobody can. These magnificent works, super realistic, and incredibly shaded. People will walk right by me and go to you. It's true.
If you allow pencils into the P&I competition, you've killed me. I don't have a chance. No purist P&I artist who's ever lived can compete with that. You've killed the genre also. It all becomes the finished product.

There you go.

Ranger Dan
04-04-2012, 11:43 AM
I know most of you in this forum and your first reaction to my posting is: :eek: He lives!:lol:

First off, I saw a post saying the mod should remove this post. No way. I hope newbies and the solid rocks of this forum have been watching this debate closely.

Second, my opinion is simply my opinion and not coming down as that of a mod or anyone with any real or imagined authority on the subject.

OK, Utah, Will, has said several times that it is his OPINION that pencil has no place in pen and ink, yet he goes on to say: 'Just remember, every time you say, "I'm a pen and ink artist," you're really not. You're a pretender to every artist who has ever tried to master the pen.' That is really more opinion, couched in very strong terms to sound like an absolute. It is not. My suggestion/opinion is to do what it takes to better yourself and your art. I believe David Sullivan was saying, rather adamently, that same thing.

I remember a little spat one of my friends had with EEF, whom I have come to have a deep respect for as a PEN and INK artist. EEF told hil he took photos and projected the image on the wall then traced everything he wanted and 'filled' in everything with pen. My friend insisted he was no more an artist than someone who filled in coloring books was an artist. Note the issue wasn't pen & ink even.

I have watched EEF progress into a phenominal artist. Does he still trace and fill? Doesn't matter. I love his work. He achieves incredible values from a ball point pen.

In fact, there are a number of artists here whom I have great respect for and have watched with rapt attention as they have produced more and more incredible work. (I'm not speaking quantity, but quality).:thumbsup:

The personal attacks are silly and misdirecting to the debate. I won't defend David's work, as anyone who has seen his WIPs knows he is a true PEN and INK artist.

I use pencil and had to think if I have any I haven't used pencil on...I don't think so. I used to be a pencil artist. I used an Ebony pencil, which does not lend itself to erasing, and I got comfortable with that. I suppose, if I had been challenged earlier, I could have done many ink pieces without pencil. But when I see so many here, doing such amazing work, I don't think I would gave left the pencil for long.

If there are 'true' PEN & INK artists out there who will scoff at or deride my work for including pencil (which is removed, as the others have said) then so be it.

Will, or Utah, you have your style, and it works for you. Great! Keep up the good work. Others have their style and it works for them. Also Great. Those looking for a particular style, try pencil - try without - try stippling - try hatching - try lines. Go for what moves YOU and don't let anyone dissuade you from developing ANY particular style you wish to persue.

IF there were a pen and ink competition, then the final work shold be pen/ink, which would include brush work, ink washes, etc. It should include colored pencil enhancements, pencil shading, or any other mixed media in the final product. So, if someone removes all pencil/graphite from the piece, I don't care how much pencil they started with, the piece should be allowed.

AGAIN, this is MY opinion, however misguided anyone else thinks it is. You can attack me, my art, my 'style' but it won't change my opinion. Your work speaks louder than your keyboard. Sell me that way. EEF has. David has, Paul has (I think you get the message).

As for ingoring anyone. I think that's petty, and I think most of us here are above that, but I won't try to change anyone else's opinon!:grouphug:

04-04-2012, 12:32 PM
Good to see both you and Dave active again - at least to letting us know y'all still alive....... :lol::lol:

04-04-2012, 01:26 PM
Sorry Dan but I do feel the need to disagree with you on some points.
I come to WC to enjoy myself and find a safe and healthy place to learn, ask questions, and experiment.
For a year or more I've felt comfortable posting some of my worst work and some of my best. No matter, I usually get careful suggestions and recognition of what I am doing. In short, it felt good to come here!
Now, or a few days back I come to the forum and I read/see another artist voicing his opinion. Okay- to each his own. But then, I notice the same artist attempting to demoralize and insult another artist on the site whose work inspires me.
Now, this forum feels less safe. I feel more apprehensive putting my own work out there when I see aother who is much more talented than I being attacked. It's no longer feeling as safe to put myself out there. It's no longer about whether I use pencil, tracing paper, or Crayola. It's about feeling comfortable in making mistakes. It's about knowing that perfection is not anticipated nor expected.
It's no longer a matter of individual opinions. It's attacks or flaming on individuals. It's not that a pencil was used it's about "I'm going to do whatever I can to force your hand..." It's trolling or power-tripping and I don't feel that it's okay in a public forum for creativity nor in a powerful government.

04-04-2012, 02:07 PM
OH!!!! LOL, I gotta speak again.

I know, I post, I go, I do look, I really do. Remember, I've done over 35 drawings this year so far.
Hey, let's keep this here. I post on other places and I'm not going to put (Pencil Free Pen-and-Ink!) anywhere but right, right, here.

No more personal attacks on people, or their work. It's a cheap argument technique. I'm guilty, you're guilty, it's over. I agree old friend, that was petty and I'm sorry.
Hey, let's also please not take that argument there. I'm planning to put funny (I think) little crusty remarks digging at pencils on my posts. Those who know, just laugh, and then go here and scream at me.

My Point:

1) You can't even compete against yourself if you're not using a pencil. You know it's true, don't even argue. If you can, then prove it! Let me tell you, because I know! YOU CAN'T


2) Use of all sundry is called "Graphics." Is that what you want pen and ink to become..."Graphics?" Then how about we change the name of this forum!!!
When I compete in our little, local, art contest, they don't have near enough people to have a separate pen and ink contest (It's really charity). They have a section called "Graphics" pencil, pen and ink, charcoal, pastels, y'all know I might miss some.

I say not an absolute word.

Labels are kind of important. If you "free yourselves from labels" then stop calling yourself Pen and Ink, call yourselves Graphic Artists. I repect totally, and say not a word.

3) I'm not talking personal here, this is general:
Someone askes you to show them a picture you drew using only a pen and paper and you have NOTHING to show. Or, you pull out some ancient thing... Honestly, honestly, you can talk and talk, but if you NEVER draw with only a pen. You REALLY don't know what drawing a whole picture with a pen is like. You don't draw with a pen because you can't. Are you comfortable calling yourself a Pen and Ink artist? You wanna talk to Shel about that?

4) Any pencil makes it a whole different thing, any pencil. You're a tuba player. I don't want you to carry your canned music to an audition. I don't care how low it's turned, or even if you wear earphones. The background music provides framework, structure, and a crutch for solos. No solo tuba player can compete with an orchestra. I want to hear you play the damn tuba!

Please, please, please, lets not talk anymore about how well the pencil is erased, or if there's any pencil showing or not. That's ridiculous.

I want ANYONE to actually tell me I'm wrong on any of those points!

04-04-2012, 03:14 PM
There is a long standing tradition of the pencil being used for initial layout work in ALL mediums. There is nothing special about ink in that regard.

04-04-2012, 03:42 PM
Cool..... I'm going to add a little line to my signature....
"Only REAL artists use perspective."
It'll be a little joke. We can all laugh about it. New users can feel left out or feel mocked because they are still in the learning process. But it's all good. I mean, I know what I'm talking about so that's all that matters.

04-04-2012, 04:04 PM
Cool..... I'm going to add a little line to my signature....
"Only REAL artists use perspective."
It'll be a little joke. We can all laugh about it. New users can feel left out or feel mocked because they are still in the learning process. But it's all good. I mean, I know what I'm talking about so that's all that matters.

That might be slightly more...uh, appetizing...than your current signature :)

Also, I realized in my post above I accidentally referred to Dave Sullivan as Dan. Sorry, Dave.

04-04-2012, 06:29 PM
Nope dont have a bit of sympathy for you my dads hands look like that and he still pushes his wheelchair around and does wood working to earn a living. A tip for you he uses eucerin hand cream puts it on his hands and then puts on cotton gloves before he goes to sleep. I dont know if it will help but works for him somewhat. As far as all your other rambling stuff it I always liked your style and drawings some one who cant see that the detail in your drawings is not only on the paper but in the mind of the artist and viewer is simple minded. I enjoy the high detail stuff but I also enjoy water color and oils which are very vague sometimes. Get over yourself and remember you dont have to use a pencil if you dont want to. I can look at your drawings over and over and find something new most of the time and I do enjoy them but your poor attitude that could discourage new artists is disheartening to say the least.

Ranger Dan
04-05-2012, 12:49 AM
You know what, I think I will take you up on that challenge. I do color (ink) pen, and sometimes b/w, does that matter to a purist?

I know I use pencil as a crutch and anymore only a few lines to get perspective and make sure some things are correctly sized...I am fairly certain I can achieve the same level of detail you assert is impossible without pencil. Of course, I won't have Dave's level of details which is crazy amazing.

The reason I believe I have used pencil is in order to save time - I know you aren't interested in excuses, but I think this pertains. I take usually anywhere from 40 - 150+ hours on any given drawing and if I should find my drawing slipping scale as I draw from one side toward the other I would probably start over. By first roughly sketching the layout, I save all that time. I know the scale will stay the same throughout and won't end up looking goofy. I didn't mind so much in my younger days with my Ebony pencil. I was learning and becoming rather good. Mistakes were experience and expereince was what I needed.

Now, I seem to be getting less time for art and would prefer not to have to start again even if it were only one in 5 or 6 drawings. I do admit that starting over, at times, does have its benefits. But I KNOW I can do it! I have that much confidence. Why don't I, then, you may ask. I believe I have just said why...economy of time. I don't sell my work, so It hardly matters whether or not I start again, or even if I make major goofs as long as I am learning. Well, I have yet in my mind to learn how to paint, so I'm not interested in taking years to perfect my 'purist' pen and ink self. I am quite happy with what I am producing, so I may ask you, 'Why change?'

I will do my next one sans pencil. and post the result. Won't be out of my own mind, however, as I just don't seem to have enough there to put on paper.

04-05-2012, 03:10 AM
The elephant in the room here is not the use of pencil, but the difference or value between hyper-realism and Non-objective art. what Uath is producing is "non objective" art which I am also currently absorbed in and which gives me deep creative satisfaction. Non-objective art (accroding to eff who hates my stuff) is a similar process to the doodles you draw when on the phone it is not abstraction, but allowing a deeper intuitive creativity just to flow out of you. There is nothing wrong with Hyper-reaslism, in fact it teaches you the craft and skill needed to reach a level where you can just let the work flow and the hyper realism skill many have takes a simple picture and makes it into a spiritual, joyous event. Its really about what floats your boat, I find my non-objective stuff really fulfilling, and Utah's work really engaging, but I also love a wonderful portrait or landscape that reaches a level that no photo could reproduce. Some hyper realist artists here really gives one an emotional engagment, some even use it as a basis for producing a similar non-objective art (Is it a flower or a wonderful dazzle of shape and colour). Arguing about which method, type, medium, or style is "pure" is rediculous and counter to the spirit of creativity. Let the ink flow, and use as much pencil as you want, don't even feel you have to rub it out.

04-05-2012, 04:27 AM
This has been a HUGE learning process for me. I think some feelings were hurt, but, come on we're people talking on a computer.

First of all, I'm NEVER metioning my hands again. I'm gonna draw till they're blood nubs. I can't believe I did that. I haven't even complained to my best friends about that. You must never show weakness to some people, especially when they're packed-up. I've just got a mild case of dish-pan hands, it'll go away. I was over-reacting and I admit it. I cannot BELIEVE that I wallowed in self-pity.

Secondly, it made me realize what a dinosaur I really am. It made me wake up and realize what the world was like now and what it takes to compete in TODAY'S world.
It's a whole new philosophy of living and I'm not saying it's not better. People really don't care how something is made, or the skill it took to make it. They just judge the finished product. "That's a cool picture." They don't care about your methods, they either like the picture or they don't.

Everywhere I go is the same reaction. I asked some of my arty friends, they give me the EXACT textbook answer, "Come on man, that's what works for you. Let them do what works for them. It's all about how you express yourself."

I'll have to admit. It was a HUGE blow to me. All of a sudden, I find out that NOBODY cares about the thing I've devoted my life to. I mean REALLY REALLY they don't care. They don't even understand why I would care. They actually think it's silly.

Maybe I can find a group that totally gets off on purist P&I, but I don't think so. To tell the truth, I don't think any exist. HONESTLY nobody cares. That's a hard pill to swallow.
But, to avoid becoming mired in a battle that no one even cares about, one must adapt.

Right now, photo-realism is hot, line drawing not. Even coloring books don't accept personality. They want things to look like an anchor-man's accent.

I better stick to the literary world, illustrating short stories and books. Fine art is dead to me. Even if pen were in vogue, my style isn't what people are going for. I've always realized how pitiful my drawings would look if you just took one by itself and hung it amongst oil paintings.
It's almost like I've been working on one big drawing for the last 8 years. To appreciate me at all, you have to look at several of my drawings, like a serial. I think I might print up some calenders. That would be a way to market my work where people would be "Forced" to look at multiple drawings. In this case 13.
Keep selling T-shirts, prints. If I can get people to actually look at my work, I can sell them something, but I have to catch their eye. That means, I better give up the large conventions and concentrate on smaller venues where people are more likely to actually pay attention to each vendor

I'm going to admit that I have a moo-goo thick, thick skin. I was a professional embalmer for ten years and then a teacher in poverty middle for 21. I can say terrible things and take terrible things being said to me.

I've had people screaming at me all my life. You wake up in the middle of the night, and 20 min later, you're at some suicide, with lights flashing and family members freaking out in your face. Then, you go to Middle School, where 5% of the kids immediately and instantly recognize any personality, or physical flaw and make sure they grind it in your face for the rest of eternity.

It makes it so words don't matter to you. You're able to be casually cruel and then not see how the recipiant could possibly be hurt. You're playing a game and having fun and you don't even realize that other people could be really hurt by the things you say. Words don't matter to you, you're just playing. You don't care. People can scream at you, red-faced, and 3 min later, you're talking about something else and you don't even remember.

Sorry, get over it, words are just words.

You, up there, you know who you are. If you keep talking about my work, I'm going to turn my full attention into talking just to you. It's like "Come on guys, let's all gang up and make fun of HIM." I'm tired of it.
You know, I mess with perspective on purpose. I put big things behind small houses, what ever. It's not an accident. Did you really think I did that because I don't know better. Stop talking about my work, stop it.

Stop talking directly at me. I told you I wasn't going to do that to you.

I might not care if Little Baby Boo Boo gets big wet cow eyes everytime their weeny whiney sense of entiltlement is challenged. Go back to copying photographs and being offended. Then, you can pretend you have skill.

04-05-2012, 05:09 AM
Uath: I understand your pain and hurt and how important your art is to you, as it is to all of us. I think however you are being rather unfair, no one is laughing at you and many of us love and appreciate your work. Personally I think it has huge value and a lot to say. The value of P&I is generally undervalued in the art world. We however continue doing P&I, not because we want to make money, or even because we want acceptance from the world, but simply because we love it, love doing dots, love having inky fingers, love the process and the finished product, love sharing our work with fellow P&I comrades. Sure we fight, we even swear at each other and some even get unfairly banned for totally loosing it. Its good to rage against an unfair world, but here we comrades in arms and its difficult enough fighting for a rightful place in the artworld and of no purpose to reject the struggles of those closest to your dreams. Frankly if you want to be a "pure" P&I artist, go for it, we will encourage it, that is your thing, but it does not have to be ours and we have our own chosen paths to explore as creative beings and artists. Don't underestimate the scope and range of P&I by trying to limit it to a "pure" form, that is a narrow path you want to walk down, others choose to mix it with water colours, or explore tones, or stipple, or geometric shapes, or landscapes, to take photo-realism to another level...that is their path and they have a right to walk down it.

04-05-2012, 10:42 AM
PV you've got it. It's just as I say. It's not right or wrong. Art reflects the values of the society it represents. We all compete with computers. I cannot stand alone against the societal world-view and claim that I represent the true value scale.

The current philosophy insists that technique doesn't matter. NOBODY even cares about your method. They care about the product. They don't understand why anyone worries about method. Let's see your product.

I think it's a reaction to out disposable world. We don't know how, or where most things are made. We don't care who makes it, or what method they use. We care only for the product, but we can't get too attached, because it isn't something we'll be keeping. It's something we'll use (Look At) and then dispose of.
Most of the people we know don't have traditional skills. They aren't blacksmiths, or carpenters. We know in a oblique way that they have to study years to learn their trade, but they're dinosaurs.
People who live in today's world have a different survival philosophy. Adaptability is the ultimate goal. They have skills, you bet, but their skills are most marketable when they're flexable, and applicable to changing situations. Thus, traditional, training intensive, skills, are seen as less valuable. It's way better for your survival quotent if your skills are FLEXABLE and product oriented. That's how the strong survive and that is reflected in art philosophy.

I have to live TODAY. I have to make my work attractive to today's audience.

A traditional clockmaker has YEARS of training to go through before he can actually make a clock out of gears and springs. He works desperately at his craft, because he thinks people secretly value how HARD his job is, how exacting, and unforgiving. There is no such thing as a shortcut.

All of a sudden, he realizes that nobody's looking. You can pop a little plastic battery-clock into the most incredibly beautiful housing. Then anyone can make a clock. They keep better time than yours does and they're adaptable. You can put it in a modern-looking clock, a Grandfather Clock, or a kit-kat clock. People don't care. They just see the housing. It's a Grandfather clock. It's beautiful. Who cares how it's made?

Hey, he realizes he's a dinosaur and nobody cares about his skill. He gets mad at a battery-clock parts salesman who drops by his work place:

"Get that @#$! out of my shop!"

Wait, stop, he's wasting his time getting mad. It now becomes his job to make people aware of how much value a hand made mechanical clock has.

He's not going to start producing battery-clocks. He CAN'T do that. But he has a new mission.
If he fails, then his clocks get put on the shelf side-by-side with the cheapest mass-produced battery clocks coming out of China.

04-05-2012, 11:56 AM
Actually I think we are coming out of the mass produced plastic era, people seem to be looking for quality nowdays and are prepared to pay for it. Think about it, everyone now carries a cellphone, so there is no need to have a watch, but high quality hand made watches, costing a fortune are selling like crazy. Its the same in the artworld, people are so tired of mass produced cheap junk, they don't want chinese plastic, they want craftsmanship and quality...that is the new direction for art and instead of selling masses of prints people want high quality originals, empahsis on high quality. So the future looks bright for those who are prepared to learn the craft, put in the hours and produce great quality. Also artists are never really appreciated in their time, but quality stands the test of time, think about the impressionist or van gogh. So I don't worry if people like or want my art, I produced what I must and to the highest standards I am capable of, its a constant mission to get better, not comparing myself with others, but against and challenging myself...that is when it becomes fun. Getting there however is a painful process and takes time and the support of people like you find on wetcanvas p&I

04-05-2012, 02:05 PM
You know, I wish that were true, but I'm involved in the actual publishing world (I host a horror literary site, Since 08,I try to be a consistent presence in the small press horror world, and I have two legitimate book publishings, as illustrator, of course.)

This argument is really just for us. When a magazine contacts you to illustrate a story, or post a picture, they have not a care what method you use. They never ask and I usually forget to tell them. They could care less if you use a computer, or draw with a gibbon. It's the truth. Sometimes, rarely, they say they want "Black and white line illustrations." I've seen that a few times.
Remember, I'm talking interior illustrations. I'm not going to waste my time trying for cover art. That MIGHT happen, if You're R Crumb, but even then they'll want color.

Back to business:

Will you PLEASE stop setting yourself free from labels for a sec. How about you post some pictures instead. Here, let me lay out a few "Rules"

You may use:

1) a pen

Now I know that need qualifying;
a) You can use different sized pens, but no pencil at all. I can't believe you guys haven't pressed me more about brushes, but let's say, for this exercise, you stick to pen. Please don't preach about the historical use of brushes, I agree. Stick to pen for this one.

2) Any size paper, go for it. No marks on the paper.

You can use a photo, if you must, but how about just LOOKING at it. No measuring, no rulers.

3) If you HAVE to post past work, how about since this is 2012, you post a drawing from say... 2012?

So, for all you incredible free spirits, how about kneeling to the tyranny of opression for this once and stop, talking, talking, talking...

I hate to divert you from your wild, rebellous, incredible journey into covering pencil with ink.

Here are the rules again; use a pen and paper, then there are no rules.

04-05-2012, 05:42 PM
I want to thank Dan, the moderator, for not deleting this thread and allow this discussion to go on and on, and now that it seemed like it's calming down, I'm looking forward to see the work of great artists here.

I'm a novice in pen and have been for the last 3 years because I'm not serious about it. But I really would like to share my sentiment. I was in a certain challenge two years ago in one of these forums and there was a photo of many jugs standing on the floor in a tropical setting and one participant came out with a watercolor piece with perfection. I was awed. How did she manage to make everything align perfectly. I asked but she never answered. I was naive back then but gradually I figured it out. There's something as tracing. I never traced. I thought I wasn't supposed to if I wanted to call it art. Then recently I went to a watercolor class. I didn't know that we could draw the outline all over first and even leave the pencil marks in since it's stylish.

I enjoy your art, Uath, because it reflects a very free flowing mind and I'm amazed that you could go on and on without seemingly making mistakes. If there are, I'm sure you have incorporated it.

Totally agree with how we have to compete with the computer, digital effects and tracing artists. It's tough. Thank goodness I'm not relying on art for a living. Thank you again for the discussion. Really enjoyed it. It inspired me to use more pen this week after a long while.

04-05-2012, 05:47 PM
I did this this week...... matted and framed it today. I spend a lot of time sitting in doctors' waiting rooms and usually will have paper and pens with me. I also have several printed references with me or I draw things from the magazines in the waiting room. I'm into zebras now since I found the white ink. This was what I call a doodle. No prep work. It's all inked...... despite it being all inked and unprepped it has no major differences than the work I do plan out except that this fits a certain theme I'm currently into. I so envision this work to be better nor worse for lack of prep..... it it was a more complex subject I would not be doing it in waiting rooms since it would necessitate too many supplies.


Whether I use pencils, pens, ink jet printers, air hose....... I'm an artist in some people's eyes and not in others. All that matters is who I am to me.

04-05-2012, 10:35 PM
LOL Despite you're parting shot at being an unbordered rebel, you have produced a work that is wonderful. The eyes are kind and possesed of obvious wisdom. It's a zebra all your own, and it's FULL of personality. Forget the prep, we're looking at a portrait of YOU. It's like watching the flow of your mind. Sure you used a photo as reference. You gotta look at a zebra to know what a zebra looks like. Copied, ABSOLUTELY not. Anyone can see that you were just using a photo for reference and that's about it. It's honest, well balanced and actually tells a story.

Let me see, I'll give it an imaginary real grade:

Originality (1-10) You used a photo, but it certainly not traced or gridded out. It's not an imagination-filled subject, but you made it your own. Let's put it this way, if it were a traced photo, I'd give it a zero, if it were a study from life, say at a zoo, I'd give it a 6-7. Your drawing, while from a photo, almost captures a live feel. I'll give you a 5. You almost totally transcended your photo.


Technique (1-10) You're a young P&I artist, but you're learning and you seem to think for yourself. Remember, I would take a huge hit in this department myself, because I don't crosshatch, or stipple (By choice). The use of the white ink, especially the mane certainly puts you above the low rank. Boy this is hard... say 5.


Balance and Porportion, including value scale (1-10)
You did use a photo, so you've got to take a hit here for that, because the photographer was the one filling the picture. Unless you cropped and isolated this head yourself, let me try to account for that.

Value is good, I count 7-8 different shades.

Let me see; If you used the entire photo, 6 (Good Value distribution 5+1 for filling the page.)
If you cropped and sized it on the paper yourself, I'll give you full credit 10 (5 value+5 balance and fill) It looks very professional

(I myself would take a hit here, because I don't stipple or crosshatch. Shades of grey are hard to get using a line drawing. out of my 5 value points. I would probably only get a 2. If someone had a thing about line work, they would crucify me with a 1. "I only see two shades, black and white")


Presentation (1-10)

Let's assume you buy a SUPER frame and a really cool mat :) Full Credit, 10 (I have NEVER understood what the frame and mat have to do with anything. Let me tell you, they take off like crazy for it)


Overall Quality (1-10)

Here's where you get back those originality points. You just put so much PERSONALITY into that zebra. I can FEEL how much you love animals, you don't have to tell anyone. It shows clearly and plainly. I love every mistake and mismatched line. I love the irregular muzzle. It's just plain cute, but am I reading a sadness there also, the pathos that all animals must bear? I don't think so. I think that's what you were feeling and because of the magic of the stream of conscious pen, we all feel it.

You can clean it up, but we'll never get this guy.

AUGGGHHH I always tend to overscore on this, but not everybody can make a 9-10. Some people would really hit you on this because it was a relatively quick study. I was thinking 7, but I'm going 8. Those eyes would stop a train. It literally speaks to you.

04-05-2012, 10:43 PM
I don't mean to insult you by "Grading your work." I won't do that for anybody else, but I felt I owed you the time to REALLY look at it. You are a friend to every zebra who's ever lived

04-06-2012, 02:20 PM
...because I don't crosshatch, or stipple (By choice).and I dont do freehand ink drawings... by choice... even though I've shown I have the capability to do so

04-06-2012, 05:41 PM
Maybe we are all tired of techno-art.

P&I is becoming a dying subsection of "Graphics." Pencils, and all the opportunities to cheat they represent, have killed it.
We have the chance to revive it. If we do away with pencils, we become the last place people can go who want to look at human art. The last place...

You can't hide behind a pen. Your viewer can actually live with you while you create. They can actually feel what you are feeling. They see an artist who can not go back, who has to live with their mistakes, who can't cheat. Isn't that just like life? Isn't that what being a human is all about?
Those of us who know relish your mistakes. I'm tired of seeing perfect copies. How about you.

It seems the revisionist "Expert" Pen and Ink artists have introduced pencil as an intregal part of P&I. Pen drawing becomes an amusing exercise you use to warm up to the more serious business of putting dots in a coloring books.

Don't listen. When I took art in school (Granted that was just HS art, and the one art class I took in college, drawing 101) We were told that you don't use a pencil in P&I. This pencil #[email protected]! is all new. They have taken over and have cheapened it for all of us.

Do away with pencils, and you do away with traced potocopies, traced photographs, grid drawings from photos, projector copies, on and on. You wouldn't believe the lengths some people will go to to cheat. They make photocopiers now that will even duplicate individual brush strokes.

If you use a pencil AT ALL I can't trust you anymore. Don't tell me "No pencil marks are visible." It isn't the same. You traced it. How do I know what you did? One thing I do know you did a lot more than you said you did.

We can make this the place where people go to get HUMAN art!!!!! We can bring P&I to the forefront. Here's what I want to hear "Yes, I took P&I in drawing class. Man, that's too hard for me. Those guys know what they're doing."

Wow! That is an actual human drawing that with a pen. They have machines that can detect graphite under ink. Good!

(By the way Road, I'll delet that "scoring" post if you want. Just say. I've never judged an art contest in my life. I got that off an old scoring sheet)

Sherry Pettey
04-06-2012, 06:10 PM
At first I thought this was an April Fool's joke thread, but I guess you are serious.

I would love to sit and watch many of these artists on this site work, and hear about their vision and the techniques that they use. I am humbled by seeing masterful works of pen and ink here.

I am surprised at how strongly you feel about the use of other tools to enhance a pen and ink drawing. The earth is a delicate sphere with life threatened by hundreds of possibilities, in a huge universe, and you are worried about a pencil scratch on a drawing?

I don't want the whole state of Utah to come down on my head. I do pen and ink portraits under 8 minutes, NO PENCIL OR ANY OTHER HELPFUL TOOL, with a live model. (I am well known in this area for this skill). I can draw abstract or what is in front of me, with nothing but a pen and paper. In detailed drawings, I let my pen do the talking...but....BUT....I am not going to risk hours of work on a composition that is skewered by the lack of planning...a pencil nods towards a basic framework for me to work from.I also admire, greatly, many of the artists who share their work on this site! .http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/06-Apr-2012/183552-untitled.jpg http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/06-Apr-2012/183552-untitleddsdfsds.jpg

A picture or two is worth a thousand words...and these photos were taken in March, before your thread was publicized here.


04-06-2012, 06:17 PM
Gobsmackingly close-minded. Seriously, why are some of you engaging this patronizing crank?

Sherry Pettey
04-06-2012, 06:22 PM
Because...er, there isn't anything else better to do? LOL.

04-06-2012, 06:33 PM
Ha ha haaaaaaah. :) Okay, Sherry, have at it, then :D

04-06-2012, 08:16 PM

My name is Uath, not Utah

Uath is a figure from Celtic Mythology. It's also a letter in the ancient Olgham script. It means a trickster, someone who isn't what they're pretending to be.

04-06-2012, 08:20 PM
I still dont see a drawing Miller 55 Are you up there??? Miller 55???

Listen to me Brainiac:

I'm saying I'm right and you're wrong

You're saying you're right and I'm wrong

That makes us BOTH closed minded. By the way, how's this for patranizing:

No, I won't say it

04-06-2012, 08:39 PM
.... how's this for patranizing:teacher, you misspelled patronizing

04-06-2012, 09:05 PM
Science Teacher -Biology NOT spelling. There was one year that I had to d a little of it. We all taught Reading one period a day in addition to our reg subjects.
Normally, spelling was taught in English, but this year only they moved it to Reading for some reason.
I agree, ME teaching ANYONE spelling was the joke of the century. Still, even I could memorize them long enough to get through grading the (20 word a week) test.

04-06-2012, 09:16 PM
Uath, I've resisted the urge to reply to you directly throughout the entire thread, because I tend to avoid feeding trolls, but I would point out first that I have never said you're not entitled to your opinion, nor have I proposed that "I'm right" or "you're wrong". I have only taken exception to your repeated attacks on other artists for breaking your "rule".

I figured out earlier today that you started this because you've got the preposterous notion that your way is the only way to do pen & ink work. You've attacked Dave directly. You've given your *special* critique of RoadLessTaken's work, and you've repeatedly insulted an entire subset of pen and ink artists as "cheaters" amongst other things. Amazingly, you have somehow managed not to savage Bluegill in your foam-flecked rantings, although he is unapologetically a proponent of the demon Pencil, but I look through this forum and there is artist after artist whose work is wonderful, but wouldn't meet your standards.

Poor, poor Uath. So angry. Bitter even. Ranting about the unwashed masses having appreciation for the skill behind what he calls "traced photographs... grid drawings from photos, projector copies..." and so on. How dare they actually like pictures that look like people they know, places they've been, or things they've seen!? I suspect you have such rabid dislike for those of us with a more realistic style because you can't do it, which is too bad. You probably don't care to do it, which is fine -- it's not your thing. Everyone is entitled to their own taste. But if you actually believe that artists haven't used pencils, graphite, projectors, tracing, and grids for hundreds of years, to resize or reproduce their own work or enlarge rough drafts or sketches,you are just ignorant. Better artists than either of us are likely to ever be have used all of these methods in the name of making their art, and if it was good enough then, it's good enough now.

I think I have read enough of your rabid over-reaction on this thread to know that it would be fruitless for me to post anything here. First of all, anything I have finished is that icky photo-realistic "copied" stuff that you clearly hate. Most of my stuff is photorealistic because I'm drawing portraits of real people that look real -- that's the whole point. When I draw a picture of my son playing football, I want him to be able to look at it in 20 years and say "Yep, Dad got it right." If you really want to see something I've done, I've posted a couple of things elsewhere on this forum. I'm sure you're clever enough to find them. If you don't like the fact that I've called out your boarish behavior, too bad. The shoe fits, and you're wearing it.

04-06-2012, 09:38 PM
Yep, I agree with Sherry...... I had nothing better to do! AND, I feel that no one should come to WC and be condemned for doing what they want to do.
I'd REALLY enjoy, I mean REALLY enjoy going a few more rounds but it's pointless. It's like attempting to talk to one of my schizophrenic patients while they are entertaining the voices in their own heads.
So, I'm walking away with my dignity high because I LIKE what I do and who I am and don't feel the need to compete with anyone.
It was fun Uticaria but now I'm going to be my own person, less concerned by a few pencil marks and more concerned about the people I interact with.

04-06-2012, 09:46 PM
Keep up the good work, Sheila, I like your stuff!

04-06-2012, 09:47 PM
But if you actually believe that artists haven't used pencils, graphite, projectors, tracing, and grids for hundreds of years, to resize or reproduce their own work or enlarge rough drafts or sketches,you are just ignorant. Norman Rockwell Traced! (http://artsnfood.blogspot.com/2010/12/did-norman-rockwell-trace-dining-in.html) Imagine that! And read WHY he traced

04-06-2012, 09:49 PM
This is a Pen and Ink chat room remember?? I never attacked anyone's work till they went for me. I only talked in general.
I've looked at every one of your posts, football player on that last one...right?
Well, BY GOD! You just Don't put up anything you've actually drawn with a pen up on this PEN and INK website. You've had YOUR SAY

HO-Kay, in memory of Hitler, let me put some overbearing rules up:

Pen and Ink

1) Pen: Any object a human, who hasn't been living on Mars for the last 200 years, might think of, when he thinks of the word "Pen"

For the Ultra-Purist; yes, that would include a crude stick, but only if you gnawed it off the tree with your own teeth.

2) Ink: Stuff to go in, or on, a "Pen."

For the Ultra-Purist; I would suggest charcoal and beetle juice, emulsified in your own urine

It says nothing about paper, so it would be OK to draw on your own skin. For the Ultra-Purist; Go ahead and go for that road-kill, but you have to walk, and you can only use your teeth to clean it. Yes, you will throw up if you get enough hair in your mouth, but it's worth it.

04-06-2012, 09:54 PM
Norman Rockwell=one of my artistic heroes. I love his work, and I love his perspective on America -- the idea that it should be depicted as "...nostalgic, friendly, and positive, but slightly awkward..." is one of the things I love about his work the most.

04-06-2012, 10:04 PM
Uath, anyone that wants to can read this thread and see your behavior for themselves. It's not attractive or particularly persuasive. For what it's worth, yes, this is a Pen & Ink forum. Perhaps you failed to notice (but, then, you Don't Care) that the lion's share of the drawings I've posted have a finish that was applied with a Pen and done in Ink. Your particular dislike for my preferred style does not especially trouble me. I'll continue to have my say on this board when and as I see fit, thank you.

04-06-2012, 10:09 PM
Norman Rockwell was a Painter!! Wasn't he? Did you use a pencil, or not? Hey, you come here all you want and say whatever I'm no Dictater.

How can I say what I think and not offend the people here? Trace, Copy, Oh my, I can't and I know it. I did this because I care about P&I more than I care about what you think of me.

04-06-2012, 10:17 PM
Wow Miller. I just went and took a look! What an absolutely wonderful gift for a father to give his son! You pen and ink are amazing, well drawn out, perfectly shaded, excellent anatomy (a short-coming of my own). And then putting all the smaller ones into the large poster with graphics! I love it!
The realism is incredible! I can almost read the thoughts your son is thinking while on the field!
I've loved Football since 1985- The first year I can remember the Patriots making it to the Superbowl when I was 18. I can't deny that my appreciation for the game has only increased since a certain number 12 has donned the jersey but I'll always been a fan of the real thinking man's game!
Sheila, RoadMostOftenTakenWithAPensil

04-06-2012, 10:30 PM
Thanks, Sheila! Football is a sickness I have. I've coached it for the last few years, and it's been a real blessing in my life for the friends I've made through it and the connection I have with my son because of it. I do similar (albeit much smaller) posters for my daughter -- she gets smaller ones because she gets more of them (basketball, softball, volleyball). My son just gets the one every year, so I make his big and complex. He's a highly motivated kid, so it's a lot of fun watching him play. Then I get the added bonus of staying in a football frame of mind because I can go and work on his poster. It's a lot of fun. ;)

04-06-2012, 10:59 PM
For the sake of any artists new to pen & ink that happen on this thread -- don't fall into the misapprehension that realism is a new concept for pen & ink art -- just look at the works of Franklin Booth (http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&sugexp=frgbld&cp=19&gs_id=23&xhr=t&q=%22john+clement+coll%22&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.,cf.osb&biw=1440&bih=787&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi&ei=nax_T4T9Dobq0gG53PD2Bw#um=1&hl=en&tbm=isch&sa=1&q=franklin+booth&oq=franklin+booth&aq=f&aqi=g3g-S4g-mS1&aql=&gs_l=img.3..0l3j0i24l4j0i5i24.71343l73588l0l74206l14l14l0l2l2l0l193l1327l6j6l12l0.frgbld.&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.,cf.osb&fp=a27b16106adee52f&biw=1440&bih=787) and John Clement Coll (http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&sugexp=frgbld&cp=19&gs_id=23&xhr=t&q=%22john+clement+coll%22&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.,cf.osb&biw=1440&bih=787&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi&ei=nax_T4T9Dobq0gG53PD2Bw), for starters, to see how amazing and realistic this medium can be...

04-06-2012, 11:08 PM
We're really not talking about realism. It's kind of fallen into that, but that's misleading. I just disagree with the use of a pencil. Use photos all you want. Be as real as you want. I'm saying you shouldn't use a pencil in P&I.

Gosh especially to trace or copy and then ink over. Just don't call yourself P&I, call yourself a graphic artist. It's OK for THEM to copy.

04-06-2012, 11:25 PM
Here's an art lesson I'd like to hear:

Art Teacher: OK class, today we're going to start to learn how to draw with a pen. It's called Pen and Ink in the art world.

Feathery Pencil (Raising her hand): Can I use a pencil first? I'm not very good with a pen.

Art Teacher: No Feathery, you have to put your pencil away. We're drawing with a pen today.

Feathery Pencil: How about if I just draw real lightly and then erase it later?

Art Teacher: Look Feathery, think of your pencil as a big, wet turd. If it touches your paper, you gotta throw it away. I mean, you can try to wipe it off, but do you really want to draw with a turd in your face?

04-07-2012, 01:25 AM
"...just look at the works of Franklin Booth (http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&sugexp=frgbld&cp=13&gs_id=1e&xhr=t&q=franklin+booth&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.,cf.osb&biw=1440&bih=744&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi&ei=4cx_T6ezA6f30gGM14DxBw) ...

Correct link for Booth... For some reason, the site wouldn't let me edit the original post...

04-07-2012, 01:47 AM
Listen, I want to really clear something up. I never said anything about realism. My point was about reproducing photos in pencil and then inking over it and then calling it P&I.

Let me say again; in P&I be as real as you want just don't use a pencil to do it.

We talked about this so much, that it got shorthanded into "Copying Photographs." This has ABSOLUTELY nothing to do with the subject of realism. This is JUST about using pencils in P&I.

04-07-2012, 02:38 AM
I've studied Franklin Boothe, and he did a preplanned drawing in pencil before he used ink. Just look at his drawings... realism and preliminary work go hand in hand, therefore this IS about realism.

04-07-2012, 02:46 AM
and Miller, it's Joseph Clement Coll, not John... he's another artist with whose work i am very familiar. And yet another of my favorite artists who inspired me is Henry Pitz (http://www.google.com/search?q=henry+pitz&hl=en&safe=off&client=firefox-a&hs=zo5&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&prmd=imvnso&source=lnms&tbm=isch&ei=tOF_T8H3HIXt0gHdq8WOCA&sa=X&oi=mode_link&ct=mode&cd=2&ved=0CB8Q_AUoAQ&biw=1366&bih=641) who also used pencil preliminary drawings. In fact here's one of his pencil sketches (http://www.google.com/imgres?q=henry+pitz&um=1&hl=en&safe=off&biw=1366&bih=641&tbm=isch&tbnid=mEcV5btn6WbeoM:&imgrefurl=http://todaysinspiration.blogspot.com/2009/12/henry-c-pitz-illustrations-vitalized-by.html&docid=QcLYs7TPPLsQBM&imgurl=http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2512/4157653453_2b4d393bab_o.jpg&w=800&h=677&ei=i-F_T4WJMaLx0gGc2eGHCA&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=782&vpy=148&dur=7159&hovh=206&hovw=244&tx=110&ty=131&sig=115710551993539466696&page=1&tbnh=143&tbnw=165&start=0&ndsp=26&ved=1t:429,r:5,s:0,i:77)

04-07-2012, 11:24 AM
I didn't weant this to be about style, realism or other. You've made a super valid point and actually I totally agree. Nobody can draw with that degree of realism with a pen and not use a pencil first. You almost have to use a photo and you have to use some method of transferring the image, complete with all detail, from the photo, to the paper. (You guys really don't trace, do you?)

Just call yourselves GRAPHIC ARTISTS. You're using two different materials from the graphic family to do your work. Technically P&I uses a pen and pencil uses a pencil. It just twangs my little piano string when you say you're P&I. For people who want to free themselves from labels, yall are die-hard sticking to the P&I label, even though most,if not ALL, of your composition is pencil.
I am tired of this. I've said just about everything I can say. I've stopped even thinking that I have any support from the members. I'm really talking to people who might drop by.
It's going to be annoying to keep putting (Pencil-Free Pen and Ink!) on every post, but I'm going to. Every post is going to contain some (Small) explanation that I feel P&I should remain pure. After that, I'm dead in the water. Don't get me wrong, It's tedious, even to me. I just have too much of a vested interest to give up.
When you teach P&I, please tell your students about this and let THEM decide.
You butter your bread with this. I've got retirement and other income. I just sell T shirts and prints to have fun. Still, if this became a National debate (we wish) my own art would benefit HUGELY. None of us can forget that, I too, am arguing for the benefit of my own purse (That, after all, is the bottom line for all moral questions).

How about this:

Pencil is for pencils
Pen and Ink is for Pen and Ink
Graphics can use anything they want to.

04-07-2012, 11:58 AM
Dave, thanks for the correction on Coll's name and the link to Pitz! I was not familiar with his work at all! Very nice.

It's always fascinated me to see how other realistic artists build their work and what they choose to leave out, or add in. The degree of planning and craftsmanship that has to go into things so that light and shadow are depicted properly, and knowing when to stop inking an area, or just putting down one more layer... It's very underappreciated.

04-07-2012, 02:23 PM
Miller55 you can talk around me if you want, but somethig did occur to me. Gak posted about how naive he was when he found out somebody traced.

Man, he wasn't near as naive as I am. I just assumed that nobody on an artist's website would Trace! I didn't like you using a pencil, but I always assumed you were doing the pencil sketch freehand, or at least using a grid. I would really like to know, do you guys trace stuff???

I also know that there are rub-on transfers of stippling. Do you use them? Do you use a photo copier? How?

Am I arguing with people who TRACE?

04-07-2012, 04:37 PM
Uath, I dont trace. The only reason I posted the link about Norman Rockwell is because you included tracing in your earlier comment about "cheating". One of the biggest differences between you and me is that I do this for a living and you don't. There are many artists who trace as a means of accomplishing the final result quicker. If you're being paid $ for a piece, the quicker you get it done, the more money you make. You can spend 6 hrs getting the proportions correct or you can accomplish the same thing in a matter of minutes. It's really a matter of a business decision. I do feel it's acceptable as long as you have proven that you can draw freehand. This is another debate that has been going on for years, not only in ink, but in all other mediums as well.

Personally, I draw freehand without a grid, but I heavily rely on perspective. I actually re-create scenes from a series of photos of a subject. A perfect example of this is the Main St WIP (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=494010) I posted. If you stood on the street where the drawing vantage point is... you wouldn't get the view I have in the drawing because it's hidden from trees... the way it's layed out, some things are blocked from view. Another example of my re-creating a scene is my Ore Cars WIP (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=417611). The Bethlehem Steel site was inaccessible (without getting arrested for trespassing), but when I had an opportunity, during a tour of the site in a vehicle, I took photos of some ore cars on a trestle, but the view of the trestle was blocked by overgrowth of shrubs/trees. So I later took additional photos of a different angle of the trestle (from a nearby bridge) so I could see what they looked like. I then re-created the scene using a pencil and perspective... yes including vanishing points, straight edges, etc. You can say what you want about this, but I have studied perspective for years and have mastered it's intricacies. I use it in my drawings and I teach it to others... who, by the way, are always grateful for my help.

I also want to address something else you mentioned about my posts. You said everything I posted was from 5 years ago. And actually my last WIP was four years ago. I havent been active on this forum for almost 4 years now, aside from stopping in once and a while, or answering emails from people who see my work on here. The reason I posted what I did was to show a WIP. I am not afraid to show my process and I put it all out there... not to prove anything to anyone (well, until now), but to show beginners how I accomplish what I do and so they can learn from it. The works I posted on here were all done to produce/sell prints of them locally. For years this was a successful endeavor, but over the past few years, the economy forced me to do something else.

I'm now do architectural renderings for higher end clients (who aren't affected by the economy and who can afford my work). Most of my clients don't want drawings of their homes posted on a public forum, which is why I havent posted anything "new" in quite a while. (and when someone pays you $1500 for a drawing, you appease their wishes.)

Here is one of those commissions I have permission to post.


04-07-2012, 05:07 PM
Thanx for posting this piece of fine art, I always study the work of the best in the biz so I can have a higher bar to jump.

I enjoyed the links Pitz and Booth, will studying them closer at a later date.
Your work on the links also were enjoyable, thanx again.

Something good has come out of this thread- i am rediscovering my love of P&I is shared by many others, and is far from a dead medium. Wait! Let me check my breath on that mirror to be sure.....

04-07-2012, 05:23 PM
Thank you Greg! Another artist I studied who may interest you is Heinrich Kley. (http://www.google.com/search?q=heinrich+kley+artist&hl=en&safe=off&client=firefox-a&hs=WRJ&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&prmd=imvnso&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=N66AT-XyAqXu0gGyn5WZCA&sqi=2&ved=0CFwQsAQ&biw=1366&bih=641) In fact he is a really good example for this thread because he uses pencil prelim sketches, but his final result is a very loose style yet with a ton of detail. He is absolutely one of my FAVORITE artists of all time... a true master!

04-07-2012, 05:41 PM
Hi all!

I hesitate to open my mouth as I am neither trained nor a pro. I just use pen and ink for the sheer joy of it.

And here's my thought: I have read many books by many artists --a really good one is Arthur Guptill's "Renfering in Pen & Ink." He uses the term "rendering" which suggest to me it is the process of attaining a result...

Also, nobody has mentioned yet the difficulty in handling a (dip) pen. I have spent countless hours practicing just the making of marks, and still do each time I sit down to draw. Even with the use of pencil (or my favorite, charcoal) to create an underdrawing, those final marks are made by a pen in ink. I just can't see how the finished result can be called anything else.

Well, there you have it. That's my two cents, for whatever it's worth.

04-07-2012, 05:47 PM
Chris, your "two cents" is very worthwhile and very welcome! The book you mentioned, "Rendering in Pen & Ink", is like my bible... it was my first art book specifically about pen & ink. And it was that book that introduced me to a few of the artists that were just posted here. EVERY artist who uses ink should own that book! (and read it! lol)

04-07-2012, 06:22 PM
In my humble opinion, I look at the pencil drawing like notes on a page of music. Some musicians need them to perform, some don't. It doesn't mean that the musicians are any less an artist. Some drawings are more realistic than others, some more stylized. Some require careful planning and very fine details, like an orchestral suite...

04-07-2012, 07:30 PM
Uath, you seem a little perturbed. Try decaf, or alternatively, try not to be so unpleasant. To answer your question, no, I don't trace unless I'm doing a comission for someone and time has become an issue. I frequently use a grid and ruler, though, and the Demon Pencil.

04-07-2012, 09:15 PM
Dave thanks for posting that wonderful pic, and the link to Kley. His art speaks of a very interesting mind, especially from that period. The iceskating crocodile was a hoot. Very unique work, there.

04-07-2012, 10:32 PM
Well, I don't want to brag, but my profits from drawing in 2011 approached the triple digits. Plus I never made anything from the small-press horror mags (As usual), PLUS I made nothing for the two posters I did for a local play, AND a local music event.
That's a profit of almost $10 a month, so eat that Mr. $1500! See, if you stopped drawing with a pencil, that kind of money could be yours.

04-07-2012, 10:50 PM
You know, I am so relieved that you didn't trace. I didn't even think to think untill the tracing subject came up so often. I assumed from the beginning that your pencil drawing was freehand.

Yes drip pens are another story. Tell me, do you know Edward Gorey's methods. I always pictured him using a dip pen. I won a little prise in HS using one of those oriental bamboo pens with a brush stuck in one end... Sunami?? Gosh, I can't remember. I actually bought my sons one of those as a stocking-stuffer last Christmas with a bottle of India Ink.

My first "Real" pen was a Rapidograph, pump, pump, pump, clean, clean, clean, I don't miss it.

04-07-2012, 11:04 PM
I started out with dip pens as a poor college student. I've still got them, still play around with them once in a while. For a good while I used Rapidographs when I had time at home, but they don't travel well and I've gone to Microns and Multiliners just because I can carry them around and not fear a complete frickin' mess happening...

I had given up pen & ink and just took it back up a couple years ago because I thought it would be an interesting counterpoint to the watercolors I was doing...

Ranger Dan
04-07-2012, 11:25 PM
Never traced anything, myself. Well, I DID try it once as a kid and found I couldn't even come close to what I could do free-hand. As for grids or anything like that, also a no. I have done a few measurings on particularly large works as the blow up was bigger than I felt comfrtable with.

Hurrah for those who are going to continue in you inking endevours, pencil or no. :thumbsup: I'm thinking the more I do a particular subject, the more comfortable I am with it and the less pencil I tend to use. But I totally agree with those using all sorts of tools to do the work they choose to do.

Uath, Really? Has it ALWAYS been Uath? funny how dislexic I must be to always have seen it Utah (even the first couple of posts after I saw you had called attention to it. No offense meant in the probably numerous times I have referrred to you incorrectly.

04-08-2012, 10:37 AM
I live in South Georgia, USA, At the edge of the great Okefeokee Swamp. I have a house in the Montana Rockies that I live in in the Summer. I've BEEN to Utah.

Let me tell you about something, and no, it's not me I'm talking about:

I've always been a HUGE fan of Bluegrass, and Celtic, music. I started playing banjo when I was 21 and have sat in more music circles than I can name.

Back in my early 30's, I went to see the Chieftains. So many of them are gone now, but the leader, Paddy Mahoney, is thankfully still around.

Anyway, at one point during the show, Paddy stood up for a solo. He talked about how his grandfather used to host gatherings at his house. People from the surrounding area would come to have fun and play, or listen, to music. NOBODY had any money.

Paddy pulled out a simple tin whistle, the kind you can buy in any music store for $5. "Here's one of the songs I remember them playing," he said.

I've NEVER heard anything like it. The hair stood up all over my body and tears ran freely down my cheeks. Everbody in that auditorium knew, without the slightest shadow of a doubt, that we were standing in the presence of GENIOUS. That man was doing more than playing a cheap tin whistle. He had transcended his own mortality, and provided us all with proof that we humans are more than ants on an ant hill.

He may have played that tune every night of the tour, but I only heard it that once. I left that night inspired and renewed. I will carry it with me to the grave.

That's what art is all about.

maori boy
04-09-2012, 11:39 AM
Kia ora, my name is Dean ... About 10 years ago I joined this community with a thread entitled ‘Do I belong here?’ in reference to my ballpoint pen drawings.

Now, even though I don’t trace, have never USED PENCILS, grids or anything other than a pen to draw any of my pictures, many debated whether I was indeed a Pen & Ink artist, because I used a ‘Ballpoint pen’ … heck, I didn’t use pencil, my drawings weren’t painted, so if my drawings weren’t ink, Where did I belong? … & then there was the whole hyper-realism style I was drawing.

Its been noted in this thread a couple of times ... “The problem with this ultra-realism fad, is that it sets an impossible standard. You HAVE to use a pencil” ... & ... “Nobody can draw with that degree of realism with a pen and not use a pencil first. You almost have to use a photo and you have to use some method of transferring the image, complete with all detail, from the photo, to the paper” … hmmm, Nobody? … I COULD! ... With No pencil (or any method of transferring the image) … but just because I could, does that mean no one else should be allowed to? … That’s ridiculous!

Not unlike this debate, about 6-7 years ago I got caught up in the whole ‘ultra-Realism’ debate (actually, got caught up in that since day one) which was soon followed by the ‘ballpoint/lightfast’ debate, followed by the ‘are ballpoint pens really Pen & Ink’, and so on … frustrated with the whole thing, I started a thread entitled ‘What’s the point?’ ... & about 4-5 years ago, over it all, I put down my pen and haven’t drawn a thing since then.

So, who makes up these stupid rules? I never took Art classes, so perhaps I missed out on the Artists handbook? … Sure, I’ve never used a pencil; does that mean no one else is allowed to? … Hell No! … shouldn’t we be less caught up with the whole 'I'm better than you because I don't use a pencil crap' & more concerned about helping the newbie’s (Who’s quest for advice perhaps started this whole debate) … cause I’d hate for anyone to think ‘What’s the point” and like me, give up on Pen & Ink all together?

So, is a Pen & Ink drawing with or without pencil a Pen & Ink drawing? … YES! ... HELL YES! ... & what qualifies me to make that kind of statement?

Well, apparently I can do the so call impossible (as sited above) … I can draw without a pencil … so I guess that kinda makes me the foremost leading authority on the matter lol :D

Please, don’t ever tell a newbie (or anyone for that matter) that they shouldn’t EVER use a pencil!!!! … that really is some BAD advice … I was once told (actually quite a few times) that I shouldn't use a ballpoint pen.

I appreciated past teachers comments, like, "You don't use pencil in pen and ink." … heck, I had a teacher who once told me “The world was flat” … hmmm, I guess sometimes they get it wrong ;)

Btw DS … u still da man!

04-09-2012, 05:18 PM
Maori Boy, speaking for myself at least, PLEASE pick your pen back up and get back to work.

You are too talented to stand on the sidelines!

04-09-2012, 09:11 PM
I'd really rather see the forum entitled "Ink" rather than pen and ink. I mean, is it called Oils and Brush? But be that as it may, I'm in favor of inclusion than snobbish exclusion. Pencil layout? No big deal - it has been used for centuries. Micron or ballpoint? So what? Beyond maybe you should really consider something reasonably lightfast. You use a *gasp* brush rather than a pen? Lots of work called "pen and ink" is actually accomplished with a brush, so it's already well established. Glass pen? Sure. Teeny-tiny dots? Okay with me. Beautifully swelling lines? I like that, too.

I would not let one self-appointed guardian of the One True Way deter me. Use what method that you are comfortable with and are happy with the results. By all means, consider trying other methods - it's part of growing as an artist.

04-10-2012, 01:31 AM
You guys listen,

I REALLY want this thread to die, but I'm going to have the last word because it's my thread and I get to write the conclusion. If you keep posting, so will I and I don't want to.

Tell you what; don't post unless you post a picture also

In memory of Hitler, let me put some overbearing rules up:

Pen and Ink

1) Pen: Any object a human, who hasn't been living on Mars for the last 200 years, might think of, when he thinks of the word "Pen."

For the Ultra-Purist; yes, that would include a crude stick, but only if you gnawed it off the tree with your own teeth.

2) Ink: Stuff to go in, or on, a "Pen."

For the Ultra-Purist; I would suggest charcoal and beetle juice, emulsified in your own urine

It says nothing about paper, so it would be OK to draw on your own skin. For the Ultra-Purist; Go ahead and go for that road-kill, but you have to walk, and you can only use your teeth to clean it. Yes, you will throw up if you get enough hair in your mouth, but it's worth it.

Here, once again, I'll post one. I did this Easter Sunday, yesterday, in one sitting. I used a photo for reference, but that whale was straight :)


I want anyone reading this to remember, actions speak louder than words. If nothing but silence follows, you'll know...

04-10-2012, 05:29 AM
posting simply because you told us not to :)

04-10-2012, 09:20 AM


04-10-2012, 01:33 PM
posting simply because you told us not to :)

Also posting without a picture simply because he said not to. I mean, I tell people not to be intimidated by him, it's kind of incumbent on me to demonstrate that he can be defied.

And also to invoke Godwin's Law. Uath officially loses! ;-)

04-11-2012, 02:18 PM
You're not going to because you don't
You don't because you can't
You can't because you haven't learned
You haven't learned because you don't try

Remember all the allegory about music? I just asked you to take a solo with your instrument. Why is that so unreasonable?

04-12-2012, 08:20 PM
I was at the gym today. (No worries.... I only go once a year to renew my membership- No thinking that I'm not a total geek!) I was chatting with one of the young instructors and I asked her what she did besides reception work at the gym. She said "I'm an artist!" I asked if she would share her website or portfolio with me. She pulled it right up on the internet. I was impressed by her bold colors and bright design. I asked where she learned and she told me she was at the Art University. She brought up one painting and explained that it had just earned her a "D". I asked why and she said that her teacher demanded "Fine Art" and not "Commercail Art." I laughed knowing that this kid would be making money on her art no matter the label.
I asked her about her classes specifically if she had taken any ink classes. She said she had. I asked if a pencil was forbidden. She laughed. Her reply, "Hey, it's art. Anything goes!"
I didn't need to go to the Kinkos today therefore I didn't poll any other people regarding their "opinions, rules, likes, loathes, or favorite football team uniform colors."

04-12-2012, 10:08 PM
If someone were to read this later, I'm hoping they continue to notice the lack of pictures.

Thinking that drawing with a pen is no different than drawing with a pencil is just wrong. Try it and see. I can't tell you, you won't know till you touch that pen to a blank white page. Then, and only then, will you know what I'm talking about.

I know why this has turned into a crusade. It's because I've dared to challenge THE RIGHT TO SELF ESTEEM.

OK, you ARE pen and ink artists. YOU ARE! There's no need to actually LEARN anything. You can be anything you want to be. Just imagine that STAR, and know that you are SOMEBODY. You can be a pen and ink artist if you want and you don't have to prove anything to ANYBODY! You are ART!

Besides, learning how to draw with a pen is tedious and exacting and you are FREE. You are the BABY!!! And never forget, the Baby is always to be praised, even when she goes poopie. Otherwise, she'll pout and REALLY get her feelings hurt.

Now that's just sad, and it ISN'T being inclusive!

It seems my idea of pen and ink is totally obsolete. EVERYBODY, except for the very few, uses a pencil and then inks over it. Everything I've worked for means nothing. It's silly. It's even something to laugh about. A girl at an "Art" university is even taught from the beginning to use pencil. She thinks it's funny not to. "Hey, it's art anything goes." So free, so wonderfully free.

The pen is just a "Process." What really matters in today's art, is applying the art process to all mediums. Starting with a pencil sketch or layout, the artist builds his medium into a finished product.
Pen drawings are like a step in the ladder toward using paint. Better start learning to paint.

There is NO art where mistakes are irrevokable. You always start with a pencil sketch. You can even trace if time is constrained. On a computer, you simply hit the back button. Gosh, you might hurt someone's SELF ESTEEM!

OK, I'm a "Freehand Pen Artist," how's that?

04-12-2012, 11:32 PM
This thread has gotten to be so much fun since all posts by the "un-named one" are blocked. I can easily deduce what he has said by the other posts.

Recently we had a class-wide critique where each student had to present their work for the semester to the other students for peer review.

Every student asked lots of questions, many made some polite suggestions, but oddly enough not one person ever told another that they HAD to follow certain rules. It really was pleasant and informative 2 hours.

Civility is so much better a way to get a point across thatn fanaticism and intolerance.

life is good

04-13-2012, 12:08 AM
While I can still read all the posts I choose not to.
I have taken the "premise" of the thread and applied it to other parts of my life. I look at ways where life would have been diminished had the "rules" been followed to the "T".
I consider the feedback which would be given had such statements been made without the anonimity of the internet.
I think about my right to say and the wisdom not to.
I think about what I do, love, crave, experience, support, embellish, learn, teach and I rejoice in the fact that I took the different road, I stood my ground, I stand firm in my beliefs and nothing can make me change who I am nor what I stand for.
I walk by those in Occupy Philly sitting outside a Wells Fargo branch free to comment how they want. I read different views of national and international news and search for truth, not what the media would feed to me. I relish being free in all I do and in all I create. And I know that tomorrow comes no matter what.

Sherry Pettey
04-13-2012, 12:13 AM
U-AH-T, Sir. I posted pictures proving that I don't use anything but a pen on portraits, (the one thing that I could prove without a shadow of a doubt), and you never said anything, except to mention the slight little slip-up on your name. I feel as though the lead was kicked out of me by your lack of praise, and my self esteem has plummeted to the depths of the dark inky ocean. I feel like grabbing some color pencils.


04-13-2012, 12:51 AM
"Sherry Pettey" ran your name through the web and found out you are quite a fine artist indeed. I liked your works, and found the stuff about the mural quite entertaining.

Never be down over the ramblings of anyone else. Follow your dream and enjoy yourself - who cares whether 'the un-named' ever replies or acknowledges you.

life is good


04-13-2012, 12:56 AM
Uath (Offline)
Dedicated Writer
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Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Georgia, USA
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I am very much a ghost hunter. This was an abandoned section of Virginia City. I was out at night deliberately taking pictures of ghosts.
Here are some of my top images:


04-13-2012, 01:01 AM
Description of Ad Hominem

Translated from Latin to English, "Ad Hominem" means "against the man" or "against the person."
An Ad Hominem is a general category of fallacies in which a claim or argument is rejected on the basis of some irrelevant fact about the author of or the person presenting the claim or argument. Typically, this fallacy involves two steps. First, an attack against the character of person making the claim, her circumstances, or her actions is made (or the character, circumstances, or actions of the person reporting the claim). Second, this attack is taken to be evidence against the claim or argument the person in question is making (or presenting). This type of "argument" has the following form:
Person A makes claim X.
Person B makes an attack on person A.
Therefore A's claim is false.The reason why an Ad Hominem (of any kind) is a fallacy is that the character, circumstances, or actions of a person do not (in most cases) have a bearing on the truth or falsity of the claim being made (or the quality of the argument being made).

Sherry Pettey
04-13-2012, 01:08 AM
:wave: :thumbsup:


Someone I just did today, trying to be Clint Eastwood....LOL....(Not my 8 minute-type portrait...more like an hour...he paid extra $)!

04-13-2012, 01:35 AM
Uath, I've been a successful pen & ink artist for many years, and i've also taught pen & ink courses at the college level, and I know a few things too.... if a customer wants a rendering of their home, they dont want a crooked version, they don't want a flat no-depth version.... they dont want a spontaneous human mistake hanging on their wall. I see the type of work you do and i suppose your way works fine for the "book illustration" kinda images you create.

Here is a drawing I did of a local scene here where I live. It's one of my most successful prints. This specific image CANNOT be taken with a camera due to the layout of trees and the way the buildings lie in relation to the scene in real life. I basically re-created this scene WITH PENCIL using perspective, straight edges, rulers, etc. Did I trace over my pencil lines with a pen?? NO! but I did create the placement of various objects using a pencil. It took me aprox 150 hours to create this... not 8 hrs!! I spend more than 8 hrs taking reference photos for my drawings. Perhaps you would do well to stop churning out these quickies of yours! Then maybe you would know what a REAL pen & ink artist endures!


I'll put my work up against yours all day long!! It seems that you couldnt let sleeping dogs lie from the thread (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1061082) from the other day when we both expressed our own personal views. gloves are off pal! bring it!

Of course, I do agree with one thing you said on that first thread.... you ARE old and cranky!!

And to all the beginners/novices.... please don't let this man confuse you... use your own discretion and know that it's perfectly FINE to use pencil to lay out your drawing/painting in ANY art form!

This is absolutely beautiful! Being a mere learner myself I get encouragement from posts such as yours DB. Great modern artists say there is no such thing as cheating if you get the result you want.

04-13-2012, 09:31 AM
Uath look at my truck thread and pay close attention to the progression pics no pencil there

04-16-2012, 09:43 AM
I see myself as an artist. Pen and ink is one of my favorite mediums for sketches and artwork. So in a way I am a pen and ink artist.
But I will use pencils for the stages in between.
Sketch in Ink, perspective study in pencil.maybe a few more studies in pencil or ink.
I usually use a few marks in pencil on the paper that's gonna be my pen and ink artwork, then work it out in pen.

To me pencil is just a tool, like my table top on which I'm drawing and the chair I'm sitting on. It helps me as an artist, yeah I can draw with my drawingpad while sitting on the floor. A chair and a tabletop are the tools to make it easier for me.

Being an artist is about your creative process.
The technic of how to apply your creations is quite irrelevant. As an artist you decide how and with what tools you craft your art.

I seen craftsmen make beautifull drawings of flowers.. for use on pottery etc.
But If they are asked to make something different , they cannot.
The have this craft of drawing beautifull stuff which they perfect, by doing it every day.
Are they artist? If they cannot make anything else... No, they are craftsmen maybe even master craftsmen...
If make other stuff as well, they are an artist with skill mastery on one thing..

After your creative phase you and everyone else is using his chosen crafting skills to create the final artwork.

If you make the decision to delete a tool for yourself during this phase, Power to you! It could make you a better pen and ink craftsman.

But to force your opinion onto other artist? Well that's not Ok in my book.
Calling people cheaters because they dare to use a pencil as a tool?

No thank you, you are tring to impose your will on others.

If you think somone is not a pen and ink artist because of his tools he is using that's just one opinion that is yours, not mine, not the opinion of a lot of other people.

You get it... I stongly disagree with your opinion!

Limiting yourself in your tools can make you a better craftsmen, but it doesn't make you a better artist.(I think you are an artist FWIW)

For most people, a pen and ink artwork is an artwork made with pen and ink, they don't care what exact tools are used.

04-19-2012, 08:12 PM
i think pencil is a tool in pen and ink, and an invaluable one at that. Each of us has their own style and you shouldn't disprespect that. It's your opinion and only that. It is certainly not law, or cast in stone, or published in a pen and ink technique book. If it is published in a book, it shouldn't be because it is up to the artist to execute a painting as he sees fit. It is just your opinion. get over it.