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If you love doodling and have a creative mind, grab a pen and get sketching! With the right tools and a little practice, you can turn your doodles into a work of art. Art supplies, pens more specifically, come in all shapes and sizes with different uses as well. For any beginner, finding the right pens and brands even can be a daunting task. If you want to create stunning visuals with just the means of ink, here’s where you can get started.

Test Out Pens

Pens are made in various brands, weights, color of ink, and tip size. Finding the right pen isn’t always easy, and that’s why you have to test it out. Once you find a good pen that’s comfortable and gives you the results you want, you can move on to the bigger picture.

Nina Nandy Art Jester

Nina Nandy: Jester, pen and ink

Starting testing out your pens by simply drawing straight lights to compare. This is what’s called creating a “chart” to compare and contrast your pens. This helps you discover if the pen is dried out, how thick the tip is, and what color the ink of the pen is. It’s totally okay to piece together a collection of pens you like and want to work with.

For very fine lines, you want a pen such as a .20mm, but if you want much thicker lines, a 1.0mm or even a brush tip will give you much different results. If you’re still unsure, here’s a list of great drawing pens for those interested in sketching.

Outline Your Work First

When you begin your doodle, or now work of art, start with the bigger picture. Outline all of the larger things you want to draw. Before you spend time crafting the tiny details, you need to work your way there from the larger details.

For beginners that want to sketch with pens, remember that pens aren’t forgiving. Unlike pencils you can’t erase mistakes made with pens. Draw controlling lines with pencils first until you have an outline that you want. Then go back in with a pen over those lines to enhance the overall picture.

Go Back In with the Details

There are many ways an artist can draw with a pen including techniques such as: hatching, cross hatching, cross contour, stippling, and more. No technique has to be perfect, which is the beautiful thing about sketching. There are endless amounts of pens and pen techniques that you can draw with.

Once you have your pens and the general outline of the work, you can go back in and add the details. Remember you don’t want to go overboard, and sometimes less is more. You can use multiple techniques or just one, but once you’re satisfied with the details of your picture, voila, you have a work of art!