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Old 11-29-2017, 05:06 PM
Wasp2016 Wasp2016 is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 34
Pen Painting


I am studying the art of dutch pen painting, as done by the master marine artist Willem Van Der Velde. I am hoping to attempt a copy of a section of one of his panels. I have done some studying on this, but would like a bit of advice.

From my research so far I have found out the following.

The technique is to have a wooden panel, primed with lead white, then either a white or brownish ground layer above (some sources say this layer is course) The panel is then left 3 months to dry, so that it is hard enough to take the pen work. Sharp quills are used to create the detailed drawing, with brush and wash work in other sections, such as the clouds and background.

I'm not exactly sure what paint to use on the layer above the primer, a regular oil paint of my required colour/tone? Also what is the best primer to use, I suppose lead white is hard to get in the UK?

I mostly draw ships and the sea with graphite, polychrome and sometimes pen and ink, so i have no experience priming panels and doing the oil underlay.
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Old 11-29-2017, 05:16 PM
Wasp2016 Wasp2016 is offline
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Re: Pen Painting

An example of one of Willem van de Velde's pen paintings.


And a panel for sale, with some more basic details on the technique.

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Old 12-04-2017, 12:29 AM
contumacious contumacious is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 2,131
Re: Pen Painting

Are you wanting to replicate the process and materials as closely as possible or do you want to emulate the style of pen and brush work but perhaps more modern materials?

What type of inks are you going to use? That would have some bearing on what type of ground you want to prepare.

You might try asking this question in the pen and ink forum.
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Old 12-23-2017, 02:32 PM
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ladypainter ladypainter is offline
Belleville ,Ontario
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Re: Pen Painting

Those pen paintings are so detailed. I have no idea how to go about it but wish you all the best in your endeavour. And will look forward to seeing your work in future.

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Old 12-23-2017, 08:05 PM
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Eraethil Eraethil is offline
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Edmonton, where summer is just a couple of bad weeks of skating.
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Re: Pen Painting

If you want a smooth surface, then acrylic gesso layered thinly (using a damp brush) a couple of times on a birch panel, with sanding in between should provide a good ground. If you want a rougher surface, do the same without sanding. If you want the wood grain to show, use a clear acrylic gesso. Hope to get to see the result - best wishes!
Comments and critique actively sought and much appreciated!
Rick. . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . pigment storm fine art . . . watch the paint flow!
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