Wash and ink Q&A

Is wash and ink mixed media? Yes…and no. Much of the traditional definition of mixed media is around collage, sometimes including paint, cloth, paper, wood and found objects. But in its most basic definition, using a wash of color and adding lines in pen IS the combination of more than one medium. So yes.

What mediums work with wash and ink? Watercolor or colored ink is most typical, but alcohol markers, water-based markers, pencil, and pretty much anything that can accept ink pen lines on top of it can be used. Experiment!

Are lines placed on top of or color or underneath? Either! My preference is adding line work on top, because then the color shapes below can be adjusted with lines.

Is a fountain pen required? No. A fountain pen IS a wonderful drawing tool, but any black pen that works atop the color medium beneath it is great.

All artists are willing to suffer for their work. But why are so few prepared to learn to draw?

Banksy, artist

Get started with wash and ink

Worried that you don’t have drawing experience? Set that aside. 

Beautiful art can be made with simple patterns, doodling, and loose sketching in courses below.

When applying the color first, the pen can be the “repair” of the color below, and not having blank white paper staring back at you can make pen and ink much less intimidating! 

If you’re interested in trying out a fountain pen, my workhorse, still after all these years, is an Eco pen by TWSBI. It comes in an Extra-fine, Fine, and Medium nib; the Fine nib is a good starter pen, and pair it with waterproof Platinum Carbon Black ink.

Ink Sketching 

Pen and ink may be less forgiving than pencil when sketching, but a pencil guideline can make that process easier.  

Ink Sketching Techniques

Learn a variety of pen strokes that can turn into buildings, trees, paths, and more as you create one drawing across an accordion sketchbook!


Wash and Ink: with traditional watercolor

Market Street Sketches

Go for a walk on Market Street and create detailed buildings – learn to draw bricks, windows, dormers and doors, then watercolor them in a realistic way. All from provided templates that you can customize!


PowellsWood Sketches

Visit a suburban garden and learn to sketch flowers, plants, and even a creek with a waterfall! This Level 2 class (no prerequisite req’d) will teach you the basics of simple color mixing, brushstrokes, and line work with a pen. 


Mini Course: Wash & Ink

In this mini class you’ll learn to splash some watercolor onto a page and add ink to turn it into a work of art!


Spooky Mansion: Wash & Ink

Create a building in perspective from a photo – first in watercolor, then add the great line work.


Wash and Ink: Markers and more

Travel Sketches I: Natinoal Parks(ink + aqua marker)

Using water-based markers and an ink pen, create a sketchbook full of national park drawings.


Mini Bible Journaling Course: Stained Glass Designs

Bible journaling lends itself to wash and ink techniques as well – especially the bold lines of stained glass.


Copic Art Journaling

Create designs with markers, then detail them with fun pen lines to create inspiring pages in your journal!


Color & Line: Marker + Pen and Ink drawings

Fill a sketchbook with color in several mediums – and draw with pen on top of what you’ve created.


Whimsical Sketching

Learn to draw by doodling – whether simple shapes to draw, or patterns that can be relaxing to create.

Whimsical Sketching Jumpstart

Draw some fun and relaxing pictures with simple black pens – you’ll be suprised how easy these lessons are!


Whimsical Patterns

Create beautiful patterns in gel pens on black paper for a class filled with inspiring repeat doodles!


Stay tuned for more wash and ink courses

Given that I love adding line work on top of color, know there are going to be more courses in the future. Be sure to subscribe to our monthly-ish newsletter so you’re the first to hear when there’s an exciting new course to sign up for!