In a world where anyone can pick up a digital camera and take photographs until the perfect image comes out, the line between daily creativity and real art has been blurred. However, it’s easy to see when true artistic talent is present, especially when you’re reviewing certain forms of art that rely on skill no matter how advanced technology gets. For example, pen and ink artwork demands attention to detail and artistic ability whether you’re using the old-fashioned pens of yore or the modern stylus on a computer drawing program. The technology may advance and make it a little bit easier for the average person to get the hang of the art, the humble printer cartridge has helped bring artistic prints to the masses, but what appears on the page still requires that the artist put in effort and imagination.
Just take a look at these examples of pen and ink artwork and you’ll see the exquisite time-intensive detail that goes into this type of creativity.
1. Drawings of Nature [Roger Hall]
This artist has spent the past ten years working on refining his ability to create stunning replications of wildlife with just pen and ink. This has resulted in an enormous body of work that includes over 200 drawings featured in books, magazines and natural life journals. With just the line strokes of a pen, Hall appears to be able to accurately render nearly any animal.
2. Portraits [Noli Novak]
Using a technique called stippling, Wall Street Journal artist Noli Novak creates accurate portrait images of a diverse group of people. This technique relies on using ink to create dots of varying sizes which are positioned in such a way as to create a complete image, in this case the image of a person. Novak has done portraits of everyday people as well as celebrities and has a large body of work featuring both types of images.
3. Portraits [Randy Glass]
Another Wall Street Journal artist who uses stippling to create likenesses of celebrities and politicians is Randy Glass. Glass also does pencil and watercolour renderings of people but it his pen and ink artwork that really stands out as displaying his great artistic talent.
4. Still Life [Battousai777]
This image of a boot shows how powerful the pen and ink drawing can be. It takes an ordinary object and captures it with such fine detail that the drawing itself is elevated to a status above the original object.
5. Hampshire, England Nature Drawings [Mike Budden]
This pen and ink artist lives and works in Hampshire, capturing life through his art. Animals and landscapes figure prominently in the body of work that he has created over the years.
6. Fountain Pen & Ink Art [Jozef Hand-Boniakowski]
Not all pen and ink artwork is done using black ink on a white background (although much of it is). Coloured ink and / or a coloured background can lend a striking sense of emotion to a pen and ink drawing as seen in the work of Jozef Hand-Boniakowski. The subjects of his art work are primarily political figures and events.
7. Marine Life Drawings [Mabel Harri]
This artist manages to capture the images of different underwater life in pen and ink drawings. The subjects of the artwork are primarily small fish brought to life by Harri through great attention to detail and the ability to render that detail on paper.
8. Woman [Birthmark1]
This multi-media artist works primarily in sculpture but was moved to create a pen and ink drawing of this woman’s face. The simple lines make it look so easy to create such a magnificent drawing but the truth is that it requires a lot of skill to be able to draw a human face in a way that shows both motion and emotion.
9. Ships [Ron C. Guthrie]
Guthrie does pen and ink drawings of a number of different subjects, but the most outstanding ones are his drawings of ships. Everything from the shadows to the lines are perfectly drawn so that the image nearly looks like a photograph despite being done by hand.
10. Natural History Drawings [William R. Johnston]
The drawings of Johnston have played an important role in the natural history of the United States. For example, he once did exquisite drawings of a rare tree in New York City’s parks that led to the tree being saved from destruction there. He has also done drawings that influenced the opposite coast such as those related to the nature preserved by John Muir in California.