Tips: Types of Media Used in Drawing

by Jollyon Hooley
(Fort Carson)

Pen and Injk

Pen and Injk

If you have anything that makes a mark on paper can be classified as drawing media. Today there is a vast array of drawing material available for artists…I am tempted to try out anything that is available especially if it can give different creative effects!

You know that with your personal experimentations is a great way to get originality to the forefront. People love to see little creativity in line drawings as they can be (usually) very boring. Imagine creating effective lines never been seen before? It would get your imagination roaring in several directions.

It is always best to start off your drawings using the traditional methods. Once mastered, like doing a set of Rembrandt’s drawings, you then branch off into the media you fancy. My suggestion is to stick with grey or black and then branch out into color.

Using color for the first time throws you into an entirely different game. For example, with color, your values change. Try converting your colorful drawings in all grey in photoshop and compare the two.

Charcoal is a great medium for strong work where you want deep blacks contrasting against white and very light shades.

Charcoal can provide very subtle shades to an intense black so it is good for landscapes and even if you are drawing a powerful portrait.

Using charcoal has its ups and downs—it breaks quite easily, it smudges too easily and dust usually lands on those pristine areas you wanted in absolute white. So a fixative has to be used which I do not like due to the fact that once the fixative is used you can’t lighten the tone or value.

One of my favorites; pen and ink. With this medium you have a wide range of nibs available. Thin, broad and medium widths. Also with inks, you can dilute to create very soft lines. Also with inks, you can use water colors over the lines without them bleeding.

As with most mediums, you have to consider the paper you are drawing on. Example; for charcoal a rough surface works best and for graphite pencils you’d use a medium paper with a slight “tooth.” Ink can work best on all papers except it can’t be too rough.

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