Pen and Ink Drawing of Magnolias

Recently I did this demonstration of a pen and ink drawing of Magnolias. Technically this is as much a painting as it is a drawing but for now I will continue to call it a drawing. The demonstration was videoed and a speeded up version of it has been posted on YouTube. A link to the video appears below. I have produced this article to help you understand the basic steps I used in this pen and ink drawing. Continue reading “Pen and Ink Drawing of Magnolias”

Pen and Ink Drawing of Sydney Harbour Bridge

With the pencil drawing completed and transferred to the smooth side of my watercolor paper I am ready to begin the pen and ink drawing stage. In addition to using pen and ink to draw with I also use some brushes to lay down washes of various ink tones. Some of these washes are produced by using a brush with just water with which I touch the wet ink I lay down with my pen to cause the ink to flow. Other washes are produced solely with a brush and diluted ink applied directly to the paper.  Figure 5 shows you how I use the various containers to mix different strength black mixtures of ink and water.

Continue reading “Pen and Ink Drawing of Sydney Harbour Bridge”

Pen and Ink Drawing Demonstration – Sydney Harbor Bridge and The Rocks

The Rocks is an old part of Sydney near the harbor with great views. I chose this subject for a pen and ink drawing as it featured the Sydney Harbor Bridge rising up out of the buildings in “The Rocks” area below. I have painted this scene a few times, both as a pen and ink artwork and as a watercolor. The Bridge is so impressive dwarfing the buildings below.

Continue reading “Pen and Ink Drawing Demonstration – Sydney Harbor Bridge and The Rocks”

Finalist in Hawkesbury Art Prize with pen, brush and ink paintng

This week I received the good news that I am a finalist in the $10,000 Hawkesbury Art Prize.

Historically, the Hawkesbury has a strong association with art and artists, which dates back to Australia’s earliest European settlement. The art prize is also a commitment to recognise these historical ties, and strengthen the cultural artistic community with contemporary creative ideas.

The Hawkesbury Art prize

Here is some information from the organizers:

The Hawkesbury Art Prize is a national competition calling on artists to enter their representation of contemporary Australian identity.  This year’s entries have initiated from all states of the country. Three high profile judges have selected 50 finalists, and on Saturday 17th November 2012 the winners will be announced.

First prize will be donated by patron Maggie Scott and sponsors Turtle Landscaping Supplies, Tina Dwight Real Estate and private donors will present highly commended prizes. Federal MP for Macquarie, Louise Markus, will officially open the event at 6.00 pm. Musician Rhiannon Lawson will present her musical compositions throughout the evening. Please join us to celebrate the opening of this important Hawkesbury cultural event –The Hawkesbury Art Prize at Purple Noon Gallery. You will be enlightened and inspired!

If you can’t make the event, the exhibition and sale will run until the end of the year. The competition is set up as a not for profit project and further details about the project can be found at

My painting was produced with pen, ink,and brush and was done on a full sheet of Arches cold  pressed 300 gsm  watercolor paper. The painting which you can see below is of the Hawkesbury plains as seen from Streeton Lookout at Freemans Reach.

My entry into the Hawkesbury Art Prize

I have painted this scene a number of times but in the past I have used watercolor paints. This is the first time I have done it using ink.

See you at the gallery!

Pen and Ink and Wash workshop at Fay Boyd’s Fine Art School

Next week I will be running a five days workshop on Pen and Ink and Watercolour wash techniques at Fay Boyd’s Fine Art School in Grafton. It should be a lot of fun.

I have spent a few weeks preparing my material so that my students can progress throughout the week in the right sequence i.e. simple work at the start and more complex at the end of the five days.

The focus on the week will be developing drawing skills, designing a work of art, watercolour techniques, and having a lot of fun!

Why Pen and Ink?

Pen and Ink is a great medium for helping you develop your drawing skills. As it is permanent it forces you to think through each step before committing the mark to paper – otherwise you are usually stuck with it!  It is a great medium for watercolour artists as you cannot create mud with it unless you include a watercolour wash in your paintings. The fact that you have to think through each step before drawing is also a great help for a watercolour artist as doing so will also help you with your watercolour painting.

Figure 1: Old farm house in pen,ink, and wash by Joe Cartwright

Tones are also very easy to see and understand when you paint with ink as there are no colours to confuse you and all you see are tones.

If you are interested here is the materials list the students will need for my workshops:

Workshop: Pen, Ink, and Watercolour Wash


Tutor: Joe Cartwright

Drawing Nib and Holder: I use Hunt’s Drawing Nib #99 along with a plastic holder.

Artists Black Ink, water resistant – I use Art Spectrum brand

Arches 300 gsm Cold Press watercolour paper either as a pad ( 26cm x 36 cm) or loose full sheets (76cm x 56 cm) which can be cut to size. Three full sheets should be sufficient for the week.

Masking tape approx 2.5 cm wide

Small water container

Board to support paper e.g. waterproof ply board or Gator board

Old towel: used to take moisture out of your brush and pen

Box of plain tissues

Kneadable eraser

HB or 2B pencil, I use a .7 mm Pental HB clutch pencil

Watercolour pallet

Old watercolour brushes to be used with ink. If you have some good watercolour brushes which can be used for the watercolour washes please bring them along too. The watercolour brushes I use are size 24, 16, 12 and 8.

Spray bottle – trigger spray bottles are no good; you need the press down type which must have a fine mist spray

Watercolour Paints – Artist Quality only (I use Winsor and Newton)

Required colours:

French Ultramarine

Cobalt Blue

Cerulean Blue

Permanent Alizarin Crimson

Cadmium Red

Cadmium Orange

Cadmium Yellow Pale


Yellow Ochre or Raw Sienna

Burnt Sienna

Raw Umber

Cobalt Turquoise

If you don’t have these exact colours we will work with what you have, but make sure they are Artist’s Quality.