Sketchbook work – continuous line drawing straight to ink

The current lesson of the Sketching and Watercolour Journal Style online course that I am doing at the moment is about continuous line drawing done straight to ink.  This has definitely been a challenge both for the prospect of drawing in ink straight away, so no chance of invisible corrections, and also for the continuous drawing where the pen doesn’t leave the paper.

I have surprised myself with the images I have produced for my first attempts at this and am very pleased to have given it a go.  I have also given myself the discipline of drawing from real objects rather than from photos.

Firstly some blue flowers from my garden:


Next another flower:


Then a Frangipani, trying to get some shading detail in the petals for this one:


Finally I decided to add to the challenge by doing a life drawing of my husband:


The potential for this method of drawing for use in textiles is immediate as it can be translated through free motion embroidery and would be particularly effective for pictorial representations of people.

It also reminded me of when I looked at the work of Paul Klee early on in A Creative Approach.  His work Abstract Trio below is very evocative of continuous line work.

Abstract trio

Image: Abstract Trio by Paul Klee from Metropolitan Museum of Art

I have also found the work of Pam Sable online. Her work is very expressive and full of life, frequently featuring musicians or instruments as central images.

Sax Bluess

Image: Sax Blues by Pam Sable from

I also came across this great video for a piece of music called In Context by Field Music.  The video shows a large piece of continuous line drawing being produced.

Continuous line drawing seems to me to consist of opposites: it is both restricting in the inability to raise the pen from the paper but at the same time the repeated lines and motions add a freedom and sense of movement to the drawings, bringing them to life in spite of the restricted way they are drawn.  In my mind it lends itself to images of music, people, animals and birds in particular, and maybe slightly chaotic scenes of crowds or trees in a forest and undergrowth.



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