Archive | January 2012

Work in Progress

Work in progress. Ulla Hennig, pen and ink, January 2012

My scanner is not working at the moment, so I had to take a photo with my digital camera.

I told you in one of the last blog posts that I’ve decided to leave my comfort zone and practice things which I am not very good at. Figure drawing is one of these things, so I went for that male figure. The stippling is still very rough, and one of the legs I haven’t properly touched yet.

Pen and ink drawing by Redmer Hoekstra

Untitled. Pen and ink drawing by Redmer Hoekstra

I have been browsing through flickr looking for pen and ink drawings. This one caught my eye. I think it is really special!

Jumping over Walls

I’ve been jumping over some walls lately. Submitting a piece of my art to a video critique on Drawing Tutorials Online is one thing. It happens in a safe place, because everyone who submits wants to learn. The critique is done in an encouraging way, and you are shown on the spot what you can do to make it better.

But submitting a piece of my pen and ink art on WetCanvas was another thing. WetCanvas is a community of artists, and I am – well a to-be-artist or newbie artist or whatever. The other pieces of art presented on the pen and ink forum were really great to look at. But I took my heart into my hands and jumped over the wall. I got encouraging comments.

The next wall I decided to jump over was the monthly pen and ink project. Several photos are offered, and you can choose whatever you like as a reference. Two things were important for me:

  • I had to choose at least one of them, which may result in leaving my comfort zone. I went for the cat, as you could see in my last blogpost.
  • I can see how others do with the same reference. The number of different styles is amazing, and it is a great way of learning what you can do with pen and ink.

So I jumped the wall again. And I know which wall I will jump next: Next time I definitely will choose something which I up to now avoided: buildings and persons…I am not very good in perspective, and I am not very good in drawing people. But I’ve read somehwere that you’ve got to practise the things you’re not very good in. Well, wall – here I come!



Cat. Pen and ink. January 2012, Ulla Hennig

I had a reference photo for this drawing, but decided to interpret it in a different way. This cat really looks wild and a bit like facing its prey, doesn’t it?

Great pen and ink artist – Scott Woyak


Lion. Pen and Ink drawing by Scott Woyak

As some of you might know I have been trying stippling with pen and ink. As I am an absolute beginner I looked out for other artists to learn from. And here is one. He presents his art on flickr, and if you follow the link in the caption you will find a lot of beautiful drawings.

Regarding this lion Scott Woyak shows you the various steps he made as work in progress pieces. I especially liked to look at those pieces because they give me an idea of how he did it. Enjoy!

From pencil drawing to Photoshop shape


Red Horses. Done with a self-made photoshop shape.

First there was a ballpoint drawing. Then I created a vector piece out of the drawing, and used this for designs on Zazzle. But I thought of easier ways to create designs with this horse and wanted to transform the vector piece into a photoshop shape.

Well, I must say, this was no easy way for me. I had to watch some tutorials on Youtube until I was able to actually create the shape. I played around with it in photoshop and made the mistake of not saving it as a csh file. So it disappeared magically when I loaded another shapes library. Grrr!

Fortunately there are videos and articles on the internet which deal with this problem. But either I am to dumb to understand them properly, or my version of photoshop is too old – there was no way I could follow the appropriate steps on my computer. Grrr again. 30 or 45 minutes later I found a way to do it, but I am not convinced that it is the right way. However the horse won’t disappear again. Success!



daffodil - pen and ink drawing

This is my second go at drawing a piece in pen and ink using the stippling technique. Stippling means putting one little dot next to the other. The closer the dots are the darker the drawing is.

The drawing dook me 1h and 45 minutes, and it took me two days to do it. It is important not to get in a hurry, otherwise the drawing will look sloppy. I tend to be an impatient person, wanting to see a quick result but I somehow managed to get over my impatience. I even noticed that the simple activity of putting one point beneath the other got me into a kind of zen-like state, totally absorbed with what I was doing.

From Scribble to Design


Very rough scribble

I made the experience that it is better for me to take a pencil (or a ballpoint pen) and arrange various Photoshop shapes on a piece of paper. Of course the hearts don’t look like proper hearts, but I know that I want to insert heart shapes. I also know that I want to insert small long triangles between them, and hearts and triangles should be arranged around a circle.

Once I am satisfied with the way the various shapes are arranged I take my piece of paper and begin to work with photoshop on my computer. Hearts and circles are in the shapes library, but the triangle I had to produce as a shape. Here you can see the result:

The design in Photoshop



Dragon. Drawn with pen and ink. Ulla Hennig, January 2012

There is a drawing technique which you call “stippling” – putting one tiny dot beneath the other. You can produce light and shadow this way. I’ve never done it until yesterday evening. I wanted to know if I could do it at all, and I sat there and could not get away from it…

Flying Bird

Flying bird. Pen and Ink, January 2012

I tried to get different values with pen and ink (light tones, middle and dark tones). I also tried to create a cloudy sky with the pen strokes. Far from perfect, but I had much fun doing it!