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Pen and Ink Drawing

.5 Technical Pen
4H or 7H pencil
Photocopy of image

Students will create a 9-step value scale
and a monochromatic image using one of
the marks from their samplers separate
sheets of 13"x13" paper. Using the 4
concepts (overlap, size, line thickness, and
density) they will vary the mark to create the
9 tones. This image will be the actual size
of the image that you are working from.


Value Scale

1. Center a 1" x 9" rectangle on a 13” x 13” sheet of paper, and tape around the exterior
edge. Set this aside and draw out a practice strip of the same dimensions. with at least
an inch above and below.

2. Number the boxes from 1-9.

3. Establish the ​lightest value (value 1)​ and the ​darkest value (value 9)​. Your darkest
value might not be an absolute black, it will be determined by the mark you choose. I
suggest leaving value 1 blank until the end, and then deciding what it needs to feel like
part of the scale.

4. The next step is to establish the ​middle value,​ value 5​. Estimate the darkness of this
value by imagining what it might look like to blend 50% white with 50% black.

5. Once you have drawn in more values on the scale, it will be easier to tell how accurate
you were, and darken or lighten value 5 as necessary. Try to get this step as even as
6. Now that you have an estimated middle value, you can choose to either begin with value
3 or value 7 and work inwards towards value 5.

7. Each time you begin working on a new value, you should be trying to find the halfway
point between two tones. Always stop, take a look at you work, and ask yourself if the
tone that you have created is equidistant from your two reference points.

8. Fill in the box evenly enough to get a sense of the overall value. Do not leave a white
edge around your square, and do bring your shapes to the edges, cuting them if need be.

9. Continue filling in values 2 and 4, or 6 and 8 on your scale. Constantly evaluate the
accuracy of your existing values.

10. Take time to adjust the values in order to space them evenly. Before marking, always
ask how it will affect all of the squares together.

Image Transfer

1. Look at your image carefully and identify your tonal range (order: 1,9,5,3,7,2,4,6,8).
Lightly mark each tone in pencil (just one patch). This will be you reference point as you
work on your image.

2. Using the vellum sheet, outline the shapes that the different tones create. Make sure to
close all shapes using contour line. Squint to see the tone when you are distracted by
texture. You may use the light table to help.
3. Mark your vellum sheet (lightly) to note what tone goes in each shape. Use this time to
compare your tracing with the image and to adjust shapes accordingly and close any
shapes that were not fully enclosed.

4. Transfer image to paper (make sure to set up guide lines and to center the image on a
13" x13" square. Mark your clean sheet with corners to help align your image. Lightly
coat the back of the vellum sheet and then trace over your original lines, using pressure
to mark the clean sheet with the charcoal.

5. Clean up transfer, erase excess charcoal and, using your image (and the value
swatches that you have identified on it) to number each shape on the vellum.

6. Look at your image, take some time to make sure all of the shapes are complete (if they
are not, just lightly draw the broken lines, using your image as reference) and to clean up
any excess charcoal.

7. Tape your pictorial frame on your paper.


1. Now that you have done all of the prep

work, it is time to begin the drawing!
Begin with your value 9 (darkest dark) in a
larger area. Be sure not to outline the
area of your shape first. Instead, work
across the shape.

2. Avoid scratching the paper’s surface by

not pressing too hard with your pen.

3. Be sure to use your value scale and your

numbered image as your references as
you work.

4. If you notice that your hand is rubbing

away your image, take a minute to redraw
the lines that are fading, and consider
using a clean sheet of paper to rest your
hand on as you draw.
5. Once you have finished, gently take off
the tape and begin cleaning your image
with your eraser. Be careful when
working on top of the ink, going slowly to
make sure that you’re not rubbing it away