Chat with us, powered by LiveChat Create a small pen and ink drawing with the theme “Spring” which uses compositional strategies, and expressive mark-making. - Tutorie

Create a small pen and ink drawing with the theme “Spring” which uses compositional strategies, and expressive mark-making.

  • Create a small pen and ink drawing with the theme “Spring” which uses compositional strategies, and expressive mark-making.
  • Use line networks (cross-hatching or hatching or stippling or squiggle line hatching or any combination) to create areas of value and gradations.


    1. Apply compositional strategies and design principles to create an expressive drawing composition.
    2. Apply pen & ink techniques expressively and to create the illusion of depth, volume, and light across form and render in a still-life drawing.
    3. Develop expressive content through manipulation of line, form, value, subject matter, and composition.

Materials & Format:

5 X 7″ white paper (very small! Cross-hatching takes a lot of time!!!), pen & ink


Theme Research:

Come up with a theme for your drawing – My suggested theme starting point is “Spring,” but if you have another theme idea, you may use that instead. Brainstorm with lists and doodles or diagrams or mapping in your sketchbook. Expand and focus on your theme until you decide on your subject and approach.

Expressive Mark-Making Exploration:

Use some form of repeated expressive mark: including cross-hatching, stippling, squiggle line hatching, thumbprint, brush mark, or any combination to create areas of value, gradations, and lines. Use a page in your sketchbook to explore and experiment with expressive marks to discover which kinds of marks you will use.

Collect and Use Visual Resources:

Don’t draw from memory or invention. Use source material such as photographs, and/or actual objects/places drawn from life.

Expressive Drawing Concept:

You may distort, abstract, simplify, or exaggerate. or stylize your images for expressive purposes, but use at least some level of representation.

Expressive & Descriptive Value:

Use value both for expressive purposes, and to create the illusion of depth, volume, and light across a form. Consider your value range – should it be a full range of values, light key, or dark key? Don’t rely exclusively on contour to create edges. But use contour lines only in some areas. Use areas of value to create implied edges in other areas. Must use some gradations.

Illusion of Depth and Volume:

Use linear perspective, atmospheric perspective, and areas of value and gradation to create the illusion of light across forms, and a sense of directional light and volume.

Edge Variety:

Use a variety of ways to create edges, including – value change at an edge with no contour, and also some areas defined by contour line. Consider some crisp edges and some softer edges where appropriate. You must have at least a few places where edges are created with a change of value at an edge.


  • Brainstorm & Decide theme (1 page in sketchbook) 10 minutes
  • Collect Image Source Materials such as photographs or objects to draw. 10 minutes
  • Make a page of thumbnail sketches to decide on a composition. 10 minutes
  • Come up with an idea by visually brainstorming through thumbnail sketches in your sketchbook.
    • Use the theme “Spring” or another theme. Decide on any subject that you think conveys this theme.
    • You may combine source materials such as finding a photo of the ocean and/or looking at an actual shell. The subject can be as simple or as complex as you feel you have time and inclination to tackle.
  • Explore/experiment with mark-making with ink (10 minutes)
    • Make at least one page of ink marks and line networks such as dots, dashes, scribbles, cross-hatching, etc., using various tools such as micron pen, pen & ink, brush & ink, thumbprint, stick with ink, cotton swab, etc.
  • Create an expressive drawing (5 X 7″) 2 hours
    • Use cross-hatching, stippling, cross-hatching random line, or some variation of a layered repeated mark to create areas of value. You may combine methods or use a single method.
    • Use areas of value to create the illusion of light and volume as expressive elements. Decide on a value range, and if it will be high or low contrast, dark or light keyed.
    • How will the values be distributed in the composition to create drama, express a feeling, or create a point of emphasis?
  • You are free to make artistic/expressive choices that will enliven the drawing, rather than have it be strictly representational.
    • Include at least some areas that use cross-hatching to simulate depth and volume using areas of value, edges, and gradations. You may also add some contour lines.
    • Have fun and see what you can come up with.
    • Remember to keep it small (5 X 7″) so that this project does not become overwhelming to complete. Cross-hatching can be extremely time-consuming.
    • Submission Instructions:

      • Photograph and submit your drawings to this assignment page. Please put all of the images into one document.

      What to Submit:

      • One sketchbook page of each (40-60 minutes):
        • Theme brainstorming
        • Expressive mark experimentation
        • At least one photo reference
        • Thumbnail sketches working out the composition
      • Finished Drawing – Ink on 5 X 7″ paper (2-3 hours)

      How to Submit your drawings:

      • Sign your drawings on the front right with your full name, date, method, and number of minutes for drawing.
      • Take good photos of all drawings for submission and discussion posting.
        • Include all edges of the page and include a ruler for scale reference.
        • (Review Submitting Work/Getting Feedback from week 0 which includes how to take good photos of your work)
      • Create one document (Word or Google Docs) which contains all of your images.
      • Save this document as a PDF -not a Zip file.
      • Click on the red “Submit Assignment” button in the top right.
      • Click on the “upload file” tab and upload the file.
      • Push the green “Submit Assignment” button in the top right.
      • I will then assign your grade, and give you feedback comments, which you should view in the “Grades” link in the Course Navigation Bar on the left of the page.

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