Sketching a tree in Pen & Ink from start to finish

Even though Inktober is almost over, my excitement for pen and ink is still going strong. No need to stop the party while folks are enjoying themselves, right?!

Freshly inspired by Marshall Vandruff's Pen & Ink Crashcourse yesterday I'm now preparing the Tree Portraits in Pen and Ink class and can't wait to get to it!

Curious what all the hubbub is all about?

Watch this week's short video demo for how to use an old school pen and dipping ink to create a tree sketch.

I'm starting out with a graphite underdrawing done with a 2H pencil (so it won't smudge) laying in the big shapes. These shapes are carefully observed to establish strong proportions. Go general to specific! Big shapes first, smaller shapes later.

Once I have the underdrawing I get into the line work, contouring all outer edges in a textural shorthand that'll read as leaves.

Last I work on building value by layering light washes of ink. Squint to see the simple value groups.

There, tree sketch done and one more page filled up in your sketchbook.

Happy sketching!


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