Pen & Ink is packed with page after page of bite-sized creative sketching tips and accessible advice, and offers aspiring artists the freedom to dip in and out for practical information or flick through for fresh inspiration and ideas.
Exploring around 200 pieces of artwork by young contemporary artists, Pen & Ink highlights and examines the different techniques, qualities, and effects relating to each piece. Organized into chapters according to the technique exemplified (e.g.water soluble, mixed media) artwork is featured large and luscious, accompanied by extended captions, insightful tips, and practical advice. A detailed index at the front of the book also groups the paintings according to three main categories: Principles (e.g. composition), Media, Type of sketch (e.g. abstract), and Subject (e.g. nature). Listing each page where similar examples may be found, this category index enables the reader to easily identify and cross reference subjects that have been painted in similar styles.
Throughout the book, useful information and practical tips are provided on a wide range of topics such as tone, perspective, color, and much more besides. Readers are encouraged to discover the various ways in which similar subjects and styles are executed by different artists, while also being inspired to use the tips in the book as a way of building on their existing skills. Offering a bold, refreshing change from other run-of-the-mill art books, Pen & Ink adopts the unique approach of accessing practical information via the images, focusing on the way subjects can be treated using a whole range of different drawing techniques, rather than looking at how to master one single style. This gives the reader a much wider skill set— allowing them to capture or create the essence of any image in a variety of different ways.
James Hobbs is a London-based freelance journalist and artist, and a former editor of Artists & Illustrators magazine. His work has been shortlisted for the Jerwood Drawing Prize, and is in a number of European collections. Prints of his work have been on sale in stores worldwide. He is a board member of Urban Sketchers, the global community of artists who draw on location, and a founding member of the London Urban Sketchers.