Detailed Brush and Pen Drawing – Getting Started

This is the first part of a series that will show you how to make an artwork in ink using a mixture of brushwork and pen. This lesson will show you how to establish the drawing using light washes of diluted ink.

You can use the same reference as me by downloading it here:


  • Watercolour paper
  • Small soft round brush
  • Indian ink
  • Water pot
  • Pencil


  • Begin by lightly sketching in the approximate shapes of the lily using pencil.
  • Don’t press too hard as we will be erasing the pencil later.
  • You should also find any definite dark or shadow shapes as well – to make sure that you don’t put any ink where we will be leaving the petals white.
  • Then use the ink diluted with a lot of water to wash in the dark shapes from your pencil sketch.
  • You will probably find that you mostly need water rather than any ink as it is very strong.
  • Try to elaborate on the pencil sketch but keep the dark shapes fairly flat for now.
  • Finally use less diluted ink to crisply outline the shadow shapes.
  • This will create a very solid basis to work from next week as we begin to render in more detail with the brush.