Pen & Ink Wildlife Illustration

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Pen & Ink Wildlife Illustration – adding colour

I’ve been a fan of pen and ink illustration ever since I can remember. Starting with classic children’s book illustrations by artists such as Arthur Rackham to scientific illustrations to technical drawings, they all hold a special appeal. These robin fledglings with their serious little faces make great subjects for that children’s illustration look I think!

LSpino_robin fledgeling

Sometimes though colour can add a lot of information to an ink drawing, especially in the case of animal or botanical subjects.  Traditionally, this has been done with watercolour and this is a popular method which yields a classic look that is still sought-after. The example below uses watercolour washes over an ink sketch.

LSpino_pen & ink & watercolourNowadays we have another option – adding colour digitally!  There are a lot of benefits to this because the original ink sketch can be done traditionally and scanned  or it can be drawn digitally.  In addition colours can be changed at will because the original ink sketch can be saved separately.  Saturation and brightness can be pushed to the maximun too.  Here is an example using the robin fledgeling ink drawing which was done traditionally on paper and scanned.

LSpino_pen & ink & digital colour

Experimenting like this is a lot of fun!  If you’d like to try your hand at pen and ink illustration be sure to check out Claudia Nice’s books.  

As always feel free to contact me with any questions or comments!