Pen and Ink Drawing Art Lesson for High School Cross Hatching Tutorial: A Step by Step Guide to Creating Realistic Surf and Turf Art

YouTube video
YouTube video

Welcome to this guide to creating stunning pen and ink drawings of delicious sushi and mouth-watering burgers. In this step-by-step lesson, we’ll break down the process of creating detailed and textured artworks using the cross-hatching technique. Even if you’re a complete beginner with zero art knowledge, fear not! I’ll guide you through each stage, addressing common challenges and providing tips for both teachers and students. Let’s dive into the world of pen and ink art!

Step 1: Sketch the basic shapes of the reference image

pen and ink drawing

Creating great art is like building a house – it all starts with a solid foundation. Think of the preliminary sketch as the blueprint for your artwork. Use a pencil to gently outline the basic shapes of your subject on paper, focusing on getting the proportions right before diving into the tiny details. It’s kind of like making sure the walls and corners of your house are sturdy before adding decorations.

However, there are challenges artists often face. Some get too excited about the small details early on, which can mess up the overall balance of the artwork. Others struggle to keep everything in the right proportion, making sure it all fits together correctly. There’s also a risk of damaging the paper by erasing too hard.

For art teachers, the advice is to tell students to start with the bigger shapes first – just like making sure the foundation of a house is strong. They should also check proportions before getting into the details and use a light touch when sketching to avoid paper damage. For students, it’s about focusing on the basic shapes, using techniques like the X Grid for accuracy, and sketching lightly to make corrections easier. The preliminary sketch is like a guide, making sure everything is in place.

Step 2: Testing out and selecting your pens

During this process, you’ll experiment with various pen sizes to discover the ones that best match your artistic vision. Different pen sizes allow for diverse line thicknesses, bringing texture and shading to your drawing. It’s like having a range of tools in your artistic toolkit.

Some challenges you may encounter: Using pens that bleed or smear is comparable to the frustration of a wet brush on delicate paper, potentially ruining your artwork. Not having a variety of pen sizes is like limiting your creative possibilities, much like attempting to paint an entire canvas with a single brush size. Skipping the testing phase can lead to irreversible mistakes, emphasizing the importance of trying out each pen on a separate sheet to understand their behavior and prevent surprises in the final artwork.

For art teachers, it’s crucial to introduce students to the concept of line variation and the role different pen sizes play in creating texture and shading. Emphasizing the significance of testing pens on scrap paper helps students become familiar with each pen’s behavior, preventing potential mishaps in their final drawings. Recommending reliable pen brands that are less prone to bleeding or smearing ensures a smoother drawing experience for aspiring artists.

Practical tips for students include testing pens on a separate sheet, experimenting with different pen pressures for varied lines, and investing in quality pens to enhance their drawing capabilities. Ultimately, by carefully selecting and testing pens, artists equip themselves with the tools needed to breathe life into their pen and ink creations.

Step 3: Outline and define shapes and add textures to your drawing

This step involves outlining and defining the shapes of your subject, infusing depth and character into your artwork. Begin by using thicker pens to outline larger shapes, gradually transitioning to finer pens for intricate textures. Techniques like hatching and cross-hatching mimic the feel of different fabrics, allowing you to closely observe your reference image and recreate textures.

However, artists often face challenges in this phase. Accurately capturing textures, akin to replicating the feel of various fabrics, can be tricky when using pens. Applying consistent pressure is crucial to achieving clean and controlled lines, avoiding the pitfall of creating uneven marks on delicate paper. It’s essential to follow a systematic approach, tackling one area at a time to maintain consistency and prevent inconsistencies in the overall artwork.

For art teachers, providing examples of various hatching techniques and encouraging students to closely observe textures in reference images are vital educational tips. Demonstrating how varying pen pressures create different textures helps students understand the relationship between pressure and texture.

Practical tips for students involve following the direction of textures in the reference image for authenticity, using light pressure to build up shading gradually, and working systematically to ensure a consistent and well-defined outcome. Ultimately, defining shapes and textures is akin to adding spices that give flavor to your artwork. By closely observing your reference image and practicing different techniques, you’ll bring depth, details, and life to your pen and ink drawing.

Step 4: Adding background and final touches

Envision your artwork as a stage where your subject takes center stage. In this step, you’re tasked with crafting the backdrop that enhances and complements your subject, similar to choosing the right set design for a play. Shadows within the background add depth, creating a 3D effect and making your subject stand out. Importantly, the background serves as a canvas for improvement, allowing creative freedom rather than rigidly mimicking the reference image.

However, challenges may arise, such as the risk of overcomplicating the background, which can distract from the main subject and create a cluttered feel. Maintaining consistent pen pressure is crucial to achieving a polished and professional appearance, akin to painting a wall with even brush strokes. Additionally, neglecting to step back and assess the artwork as a whole may lead to overlooked details and imbalances.

For art teachers, emphasizing the importance of balanced backgrounds and explaining how shadows and values enhance form can guide students. Encouraging breaks for evaluation provides a fresh perspective for identifying areas needing improvement.

Practical tips for students include selecting background elements that complement the subject, being mindful of consistent pen pressure, and taking breaks to maintain a fresh perspective. The process of adding the background and final touches is akin to putting the finishing touches on a performance, where a thoughtful selection enhances the overall harmony of the artwork.

Hungry for more? You can find these complete pen and ink drawing lessons with reference images, slideshow, video demonstrations, practice worksheets, handouts, rubrics and more in my resource shop!

What’s included when you get the Pen and Ink Drawing Bundle?  In this complete resource you get:

✅ 20 Pen and Ink Surf and Turf Reference Images (Gridded and Ungridded)

✅ Comprehensive Rubric

✅ Lesson Handouts with QR Codes

✅ 51 Editable Canva Slideshow

✅ Practice Worksheet

✅ Video Demonstration

✅ Teachers Instructions

BUNDLE High School Art Lesson: Pen and Ink Drawing Project Surf and Turf

Ready to continue your creative adventure? 🎨


Investing in your artistic journey is an investment in yourself. This lesson is designed to empower you with knowledge, boost your confidence, and enhance your creative expression.

Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity to refine your skills and create captivating artworks that stand out. Hop on this artistic adventure today!

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