Cyber Corner 

Online Resources – Ink 

By Libby Kyer 

Originally appeared in The Botanical Artist – Volume 14, Issue 4  


This is the final entry in my series of four “thinking outside the box” articles. We’ve covered graphite/carbon, watercolor and colored pencil. Last but in no way least, let’s talk about using ink – whether it is applied with a brush, technical pen or dip pen, ink is the master of line. Line for outline, line for tone, line for detail, line for texture. One amazing and versatile creature, line brings home the image with a punch. 

Inspiration This website was created by Roger Hall and demonstrates the wide range of subject matter and technique that can be used with ink, including the addition of color. His Green and Golden Bell Frog makes use of line in all its permutations – thick, thin, broken, stipple – masterfully employed to create a limpid-eyed frog seemingly ready to leap off the page. I’ve actually mentioned this site to members before, but I think it bears repeating. Keith has a style that is bold and graphic, idiosyncratic and evocative. He uses ink as if he’s carving a plate, and color is thrown in at just the right moment. Francesca Anderson works in pen and ink with verve and precision. Her specimens seem completely alive, and never pine for the addition of color. Check out this site to see a number of Fran’s exemplary works – pen and ink the way it was meant to be. 

Tutorials (web editor's note: the following two URL's are out of date) Here’s an interesting piece that explores a variety of line techniques as well as some mixed ink methods. Step by step instruction for finishing pen and ink renderings. 

Materials Materials and methods for ink mixing. Oh so many places to visit, learn, order, share. Instructions on how to make a note card in pen and ink and materials for sale from Daniel Smith. If you tap into any of these websites, there are links and trails to follow for more information, education and materials. You could stay seriously busy for hours. Treat yourself to the liquid sensuous experience of drawing with ink. 

  • Myrtillocactus geometrizans f. cristata Crested myrtillo Ink (C) Joan McGann