Demo 2: Inky Fingers: Pen, Brush, Inks, Line and Lettering

Instructor: Jane Blundell (Australia)

Location: National Library


Drawing has always been the basis of my art, whether in sketches or work for exhibition. I love line-work and enjoy exploring the many ways lines can be created. This demonstration will explore line by looking at the different types of inks available around the world, at different times historically, and the many and varied tools used. Since the tool influences both drawing and lettering styles, some exploration of lettering will also be covered.

We will begin with a demonstration of traditional Chinese inks, ground from ink sticks on an ink stone, and painted using Chinese brushes. We will also explore Indian ink and bottled Chinese inks, and their uses with pen and brush.

I will demonstrate the types of lines, and lettering styles, that can be created using a cut quill pen, reed pens and metal nibs of various shapes. I’ll also show the different effects that can be created by combining water with inks, with both pen and brush.

I’ll demonstrate many of the various felt pens, rapidograph pens and fountain pens that are available, and show the variety of lines that can be achieved. A pointed nib, an italic nib, a fude nib, a flex nib, and others, give sketchers a wonderful range of options from which to choose, and you can see each in action. I’ll cover a range of readily available brands (Lamy, Sailor, Pilot, Platinum) and the differences, advantages and uses of these nibs.

Finally, line need not only be black. I’ll show some lovely possibilities with coloured inks, especially the waterproof, mixable de Atramentis Document inks, and also demonstrate how to use watercolour as an ‘ink’ for drawing.