Mike Sibley
In my N. Yorkshire studio
October 20/21
Only 2 places remaining

Workshops ONLINE
Join me at
full details

JD Hillberry
Milpitas, CA :
October 19 - 21

Subject: Smooth Skin
full details
Fort Worth, TX :
November 9 - 11

Subject: Rough Skin / Dark background
full details
Austin, TX :
November 16 - 18

Subject: Realistic Still Life
full details
Pencil Kit & DVD
Everything I supply in my live workshops
full details

Black bear - ink drawing

The animal and wildlife forum concentrates on drawings of all animals, from domestic pets to wildlife - anything dressed in fur, feathers or scales. The emphasis is on drawing but paintings are also acceptable.

Moderator: Mike Sibley

User avatar
Posts: 1089
Joined: Sat Feb 23, 2013 1:35 pm
Location: Canada

Black bear - ink drawing

Postby Laurene » Thu Dec 28, 2017 8:34 pm

I've been experimenting on Strathmore toned paper, and I find that it's a great background for ink drawings. Of course its main purpose would be to provide a midtone, allowing the artist to concentrate on highlights and shadows only, but I've seen artists use it in many other ways including ink drawings.. I've always been a fan of pen and ink. As a matter of fact, I started drawing using a technical pen. I find that it can be used for very tight technical drawings, but it can also be used quite loosely when depicting fur.

Here I used Staedtler pigment black liners, sizes 0.1 and 0.3, on a 9"x 12" sheet of Strathmore tan toned paper. I then scanned it and colourised it in Paintshop Pro (similar to Photoshop). I spent about 3 1/2 hours on the drawing and probably 30 minutes on the addition of colour. It's much quicker than a detailed graphite drawing but of course it yields less detail.

I'm now planning a new composition for a graphite drawing that I hope to share with you soon.
LSpino_black bear 1.jpg

User avatar
Posts: 141
Joined: Sat Dec 12, 2015 10:25 pm
Location: New Zealand

Re: Black bear - ink drawing

Postby KrissyNZ » Sat Dec 30, 2017 9:38 pm

This is so lovely Laurene! I love the colourised version, it really adds a bit of something special to the drawing.

User avatar
Posts: 409
Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2013 12:16 pm
Location: Somerset UK

Re: Black bear - ink drawing

Postby Bev » Sun Dec 31, 2017 5:13 pm

This is lovely Laurene, I also love pen and ink although I haven't tried a toned background. I must say it works well. I also like your colourised version.

User avatar
Posts: 1089
Joined: Sat Feb 23, 2013 1:35 pm
Location: Canada

Re: Black bear - ink drawing

Postby Laurene » Sun Dec 31, 2017 7:44 pm

Thanks Krissy and Bev! It's nice to explore other mediums now and then, but I notice that I'm still always drawn to greyscale or black and white. The coloured background allows me play with colour a little bit without actually planning a full-blown colour composition ;)

User avatar
Posts: 112
Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2013 4:12 am
Location: Clarence NY

Re: Black bear - ink drawing

Postby Bob1298 » Thu Jan 25, 2018 4:00 pm

As always your ability shines through no matter what media, however...on the toned paper
I prefer the ink version. Just different tastes (that's what makes the world so interesting)
I was a little surprised that on the colored version you did not use pastel as you have done before on some of your pencil drawings. I have not tried toned paper but now that I see yours I tink I give it a shot :roll: Ink is so much fun

Site Admin
User avatar
Posts: 773
Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2013 10:42 pm
Location: Thirsk, UK

Re: Black bear - ink drawing

Postby Mike Sibley » Thu Jan 25, 2018 11:29 pm

Lovely work, Laurene - but then it would be.. it's yours! :)

The colour overlay doesn't do a lot for me but it was worth trying, as was using toned paper. Like you, I used to draw with pen and ink, but I kept returning to pencil. I love it for its immediacy.

Actually, that's a little odd. Someone once described my work as being etching with a pencil. I think that's a perfect description because one of the things that spurred me on to draw (seriously) was looking at, and having a love of Victorian etchings. I still regret not buying a huge etching of a squirrel in a tree. I saw it in an antique shop and remember it quite vividly even now - over 40 years later. It was very dark but still conveyed everything to the viewer.

Sorry - way off track. It just brought back pleasant memories :)
Mike Sibley
Book: Drawing from Line to Life
Blog : Drawing from Line to Life blog
Visit my Starving Artists for free and subscription galleries

User avatar
Posts: 1089
Joined: Sat Feb 23, 2013 1:35 pm
Location: Canada

Re: Black bear & Hawk - ink drawings

Postby Laurene » Fri Jan 26, 2018 5:27 am

Thanks Bob. Honestly, I prefer the ink version too! I think that's the reason I didn't add colour to the original drawing. Adding colour digitally is something I'm experimenting with right now. It's fun and you can create different effects very quickly yet your original drawing remains intact.

Thanks Mike! I just love the look of pen and ink. I only started drawing in graphite after I found your work online. I hadn't seen anyone else get the same level of detail using a pencil, especially in your dog portraits, and detail is what I valued most. Later, I was able to see that the addition of an almost infinite range of values in your complex compositions is what gives your work a rich painterly feel. The detail is there, but it's carefully chosen and placed.

Pen and ink still fascinates me. I remember pouring over a fairy tale book I had when I was young that was illustrated by Arthur Rackham. Although these were fantasy illustrations, his trees and animals were based in realism and I just couldn't get enough of his drawings! I'm still fascinated with his work. It's funny how these things can make such a strong impression on us.

This is another experiment where I added colour digitally to a traditionally drawn pen and ink drawing. The colour still looks a little garish to my eyes, but I'll keep working on it!
LSpino_red-tailed hawk_combo.jpg

Posts: 163
Joined: Sun Apr 07, 2013 7:59 pm

Re: Black bear - ink drawing

Postby Rob Bristow » Mon May 21, 2018 8:48 pm

Once you add colour thats me done
I cannot work with colour for all my past efforts never got the results I wanted.

Love the birdies they are nice warm tones


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests