My latest fascination and experimentation with image-illustration, i.e., a mix of collage and illustration techniques, speaks to my sense of free-style art and love of bold designs like the piece I created above…a graphic 70′s inspired layering of illustration and paper art. As a self-taught artist, most of what I do and create is simply by trial and error (and many trash cans full of ugly!), however, when it came to illustration techniques, I soon realized that I desperately needed to learn some basic illustration/pen and ink techniques.
So this week’s “Technique Tuesday” is a little different from previous weeks, because I want to share a fabulous resource for anyone who is interested in learning some indispensible — and very do-able — illustration techniques!
“The Technical Pen” by Gary Simmons is one of those rare technique books that is worth more than what I paid for it. The book teaches basic pen strokes and demonstrates how lines, dots and patterns can be combined to create volume, texture, value and color. Besides the fact that the book is full of beautiful pen and ink illustrations, Gary does a great job simplifying the techniques and providing a number of different illustration styles.
Gary includes “The Monk” image outline (above right) as an exercise sheet to practice combinations of the 30 basic pen strokes he teaches in the fourth chapter. My first attempt at “The Monk” (above left) included six different pen strokes.
Basic Pen Strokes used in “The Monk”
top row: continuous lines, clusters of hatched lines, crosshatched lines; bottom row: symmetrical weave pattern, merging and radiating lines and pointillism dots.