Many of you have neglected black pens scattered around your house that are still full of ink. Whether they be ballpoint, felt tip or fine liners, they sit around waiting for you to use them. But your creative juices aren’t quite flowing and you don’t know what to draw. Well, many other artists experience this regularly, and it can be a real pain. But fear not, as we have taken the liberty of compiling 5 of the best black pen drawing ideas for beginners that you can do at home with just a pen and a piece of paper. We will also link a couple types of pens that you can use for drawing, such as the Staedtler Pigment Liner pens and Sakura Pigma Microns, so stick around for that.
We’re starting off with a slightly more unusual idea, but a great one nonetheless. The best thing about buildings is that they are all around you, so no matter where you look, you will certainly find inspiration. Your own house, your neighbour’s house, or even a block of flats can be a technically challenging task that will leave no room for boredom. Drawing straight lines and watching them meet up is an oddly satisfying experience, and you can take a lot from it.
For example, you will learn how to create one-point perspective drawings with correct architectural form. Once you have accomplished this feat, you can move onto two-point perspective drawings. RapidFireArt has a great article on this topic which you can find here: https://rapidfireart.com/2017/
In order to achieve a good result, you will need to have a reasonably sufficient grasp on perspective, as it makes up all of our 3D world that we live in. So get your pens and sketchbook and look out of your window for reference. Try to vary the types of buildings you draw, such as a shop, mall or even your school. There is a lot of scope with the architectural form aspect of this idea.
We now move onto a more conventional approach, one that is less suited to still life and more focused on form and anatomy. Drawing human beings is hard enough as it is with just one body part, such as the face or hands. But combining together all aspects of the complicated body and you can get a very frustrating experience.
However, like most things, the more you practise it, the better you get. So don’t start hiding those hands behind other objects, and instead embrace the mistakes you make. It will make you a better artist overall, especially when it comes to anatomical line drawings. If you have trouble with a specific body part, then use a mirror or a family member as reference when drawing so you get the most accurate depiction you can.
When drawing full-body portraits, always remember to break the subject down into simple shapes, such as spheres for the head and cylinders for the arms. Focus on building up the correct proportions and create a solid base before adding any sort of detail. Gesture drawings are a great way to practise drawing the human form. When done correctly, this black pen drawing idea can be very rewarding, particularly when done with ink illustrations. If you want more in-depth detail on how to create portraits, check out our article here.
This one is one of the cooler ideas, as there are so many possible subjects you can sketch. Some animals are cute, some are threatening and some are just plain weird. Which is why it is so fun to draw them. Sketching a variety of animals also helps to improve your ‘art dictionary’ meaning that you van start to draw them without any reference when you become good enough. Even without any range of colors, and with only a black pen, you can create beautiful sketches for this ink drawing idea.
Much like humans, animals should be broken down into simple shapes that represent their anatomical structure. Basically the shape of their body. Keep in mind things like the bone structure and muscle shape and size. Although animals are less commonly seen around your home than humans, a quick Google search can bring up a large variety of pictures that you can use as reference.
Lastly, you need to focus on texture. With just a black pen or fine liner, you can create many different line weights and lengths using different drawing techniques. This affects how the texture will look. For example, short, sharp lines indicate a stubbly feel, while long, flowing lines suggest a softer texture. Play around with these different strokes and see what fits best. Look at your reference for general guidance on how to accomplish this.
Objects in nature
If you look around you, there actually is an endless supply of drawing material. Simply by peeking outside your house, you can get your next drawing idea. However, sometimes people don’t realise this and insist on only drawing a specific item or scenario. Drawing objects from nature can drastically increase your observational drawing skills and thinking.
When people think of drawing trees, for example, they sometimes focus on trying to sketch out every single leaf. Not only is this very time-consuming, it doesn’t look very natural either. Instead, focus on the shape of the object. You can do this effectively by squinting your eyes and looking at the unfocused image. Like building a human body, you start with the skeleton and then flesh it out with other details, and the finest details should be drawn last.
This strategy can apply to everything, even textures such as stone or grass. Try your best to experiment with different materials, and create little ‘samples’ of them in your sketchbook to really get a feel of how to sketch them. Use observational drawing to create similar proportions. Since you are only using a black pen, you can lighten your sketch at the beginning, and go over those lines later to produce a bolder appearance, perhaps with a brush pen or even fountain pens.
All of the previous ideas involved using real-life references to sketch with. However, with this idea, you have complete and utter control over what you can draw. You can draw anything from dragons to mermaids, and even the anatomy of them can be slightly tweaked because they’re made up!
When drawing imaginary situations or characters, make sure to produce thumbnail sketches of what you want to create before you get onto your final sketch. These can vary in mood, shading and composition, so get creative and make lots of them. This broadens your mind and allows you to draw things you may not have thought about drawing before and the final result can actually be better than what you planned.
When drawing human-like creatures, you can use a human body as reference to make sure that the proportions are generally correct. Although fictional, sometimes characters need to be based off real life so that your creative juices can start flowing, and so that the poses don’t look awkward or stiff. Creating from memory is good, but only when you can do it well enough.
Now that you have all of your ideas, you might want to have a pen that fits the role. A pen that not only draws smooth black lines, but expressive lines as well. Drawing pens can either be very expensive or very low quality. But at Art Fare, you don’t have to compromise. We have found the best black drawing pens that are not only great value, but great quality as well for your drawing sessions. Even with regular paper, you can create sketches to be proud of.
The first pen we have included is the Sakura Pigma Micron Pen. The product below is a multi-tip set, meaning that you can create different, clean lines simply by switching pens, adding variety to your art. With consistent lines, you will produce fantastic sketches on the go. For an enjoyable drawing experience, use these Sakura pens.
The second pen that we have is the Staedtler Pigment Liner pens with assorted line width. They are waterproof and have a long metal tip making it a perfect accompaniment for rulers and templates. The ink is erasable when used with tracing paper and doesn’t bleed when highlighted. The Staedtler Pigment Liner pens provide a highly enjoyable drawing experience that won’t let you down, even with limited art supplies.
So with that, we conclude the best black pen drawing ideas. These ideas can be thought of at random, or planned in advance. The main thing is that you use these ideas to your own benefit, practicing them whenever you can. But remember to always have fun with your art. If you want to see quality products that you can use regularly to accompany our guides, visit our products page here.