Wash & Ink: Preclass

I’m excited to share one of my favorite techniques for creating pen and ink drawings with loose washes — and it doesn’t include watercoloring AFTER. That leads to color washes that aren’t nearly as loose as what the techniques in this class will create. We’ll do the watercolor washes first, and each of the watercolor sections will be in realtime. Part of the pen and ink part will be too, but once you see how the lines are made in real speed, they do get sped up since much of the rest is a repeat of the first steps.

See a video demonstration of the kind of thing you’ll learn in this course at the bottom of this page.


The lists below contain alternate options—you dont need all of it. A kind of paper, watercolors of some kind, a big and small brush, a pen.


Since the projects in this course are underpainted with watercolor, then watercolor paper is recommended. And 100% cotton is especially recommended. If you use student grade papers or others that aren’t good paper, you won’t get the “edges” created that allow for easy tracing the shapes. You can see by the photos below that some of the projects are on hot press, cold press or rough (the strongest textures are on the rough). Generally people working in pen like super smooth papers, but I found rough to work best to create the paint edges, hot press just didn’t achieve it well – so a good compromise might be using cold press, which is in between them.


In general, I’m more a fan of the higher end natural brushes, but for a project like this – use what you have! You’ll want a nice big brush like the ones pictured below (#10 or #12 round), and in just a few spots, a small brush (like a #4) for elements like the tentacles on the jellyfish. But if what you have is aquabrushes – use those! There’s also a use for a nice big flat brush if you’ve got one, but there’s also ways around that.

Other items

You’ll want to have a spray bottle (any kind) on hand, baby wipes, paper towels. Any hard surface can be used to anchor the paper, I use hardboard, and the tape I prefer is artist tape.) You may also want to have a hairdryer or heat gun handy to keep things moving! But you can also let your paper air dry.


Here’s another place you have lots of flexibility! In the demos, an extra-fine fountain pen is used; there’s also a very fine Pilot listed below if you’d like to try that out. Inks here are waterproof in case you need to add a dash of watercolor on top; but you can use non-waterproof inks/pens on top of the watercolor if not painting on top.


You can use traditional watercolor, as the demos use – any brand, and any hues. Any of the projects can be done in any colors too – change up as desired! You can also try other watercolor media – like liquid watercolors, inkpad reinkers, or even watercolor powders! For these watercolor washes, it’s the water being painted underneath that creates the shapes that color can just be dropped into. See the grid below for photos with the Daniel Smith colors used if you’d like to replicate these (colors will be listed in each lesson too.)

Cobalt Blue + Quin Rose mixes

Phthalo Blue Turquoise, Cascade
, Green Gold, Cobalt Blue

Green Gold, Cascade Green, Sap Green

Lunar Blue, Phthalo Blue Turquoise

Quinacridone Rose, Anthraquionoid
, Hansa Yellow Light, New Gamboge


As published on YouTube.

I'm an artist, papercrafter, instructor, Youtuber - and all around creative geek! I love all the mediums and experimenting with styles. I especially love seeing others take a step on their own creative journey...whether for the first time, or leaping into new territory as a creative veteran!