Front Door Study in Ink & Pen

We have worked on sketching the extra’s positioned in front of my door.  We are now proficient with sketching a geranium and a pot of geraniums.  Now we are going to put these individual pieces together and do a whole scene using my front door as the focal point.  In this lesson we are talking a lot about shading with “hatch” marks.  This is going to be a very important technique to master and in our next couple of lessons we will be working more with this skill.



  1. Strathmore Sketchpad
  2. Pentel Mechnical Pencil
  3. Sakura Gelly Roll Gel pen in white
  4. Staedtler Pigment Liner Sketch Pens
  5. General kneaded eraser
  6. Fine mist water spray bottle
  7. Ziploc plastic sandwich bag
  8. Arteza Water based Real Brush Pen Set
  9. Black and white photocopy of the reference photo for a tonal study
  10. Click here for Door 1 reference photo
  11. Click here for Door 2 reference photo



  1. We start off by examine the photos of my front door.  By doing this I am blocking in my big shapes and making sure I am seeing what I need to see in order to draw my door.  I am also making sure that all of my key pieces will fit together.  I talk you through this part of the planning in hopes that you will be able to take a picture of your own door to draw.
  2. In pencil I will draw my door and tweak it until it is exactly the way I want it.
  3. We switch to our ink pens.  I am using a .5 tip.  After I get the door and bricks on the page I start on the geraniums.  Even though we practiced those for 2 lessons we will not go into great detail in drawing them here.  
  4. Next comes the shadow and shading in ink.  We will be using “hatch” marks.  Someone my mouth kept messing that up.  Hatch marks are not coloring in with ink.  It is making small repetitive marks in order to shade and shadow.  
  5. Lastly, we will use the ziplock bag and watercolor brush markers to add the color in our sketchbooks. 

This technique is called pen and ink.  A lot of artists will do cityscapes using this method.  We used our sketchbook which has inexpensive paper.  Once we have worked out exactly what we want to do with our door sketch we can switch to a more premium paper.  When using a premium paper after you have the ink on you will be able to use traditional watercolors to finish it.  In the coming weeks we are going to delve further into using “hatch marks”.   Understanding shadows is the most basic part of mastering sketching.