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Introduction to Drawing with Ink and Wash (Online)

Course Times & Enrolment

This course is currently unavailable.

Course Summary

This course will focus students on techniques, handling and applications to produce a range of imaginative and inventive complex compositional drawings using ink and wash. Students will learn specific drawing techniques and approaches through initial demonstration and practical exercises. Students will work from a home studio set up as well as primary and secondary sources such as photographs and their own drawings and sketches. Through group discussion and presentation the notion of compositional design as a tool to develop a more inventive and imaginative approach to subject matter will be a major consideration. In the final session of the course, students will be challenged to create a series of related, more resolved and complex drawings based on a Personal Theme-using the drawing techniques and approaches taught within the course. 

Short 1:1 sessions with the tutor will be offered to students once a week within the times outlined below:

Thursday 9:30-11:30am.

Course Details

Pre-requisites for enrolment

This is a Level 7 course and as such is seen as an introductory course and no previous knowledge is assumed.

Special Information

  • A range or set of drawing inks-include one small bottle black waterproof drawing ink and a bottle of Nut brown/Peat brown 

  •  a small selection of other drawing materials such as watercolour, gouache, chalk pastel and charcoal.

  • A range of ink containers 

  • Ink droppers or pipettes 

  • A range of small brushes and larger wash brushes

  • A range of dip pens or scratch pens (e.g. pens with a nib).

  • Some twigs or sticks

  • Sketchbook A3

  • Cartridge paper sheets A3-heavyweight 

  • Other papers such as watercolour paper-buy smooth hot pressed rather than cold pressed rough.

  • Pencils 

  • Kitchen towel

  • Putty rubber

Materials you will need for the first class:

  • Dip or scratch pens

  • Indian Ink (Bottles of black and Sepia/brown or other neutral colour)

  • Range of wash brushes (have some flat headed brushes plus a couple of tapered ones)

  • A roll of Masking tape

  • A3  sketchbook or A3 sheets of cartridge paper

  • Pencils, putty rubber, small ruler

  • A roll of kitchen towel

  • Jars, tins or small pots for water

Content of Course

Week 1. Introduction to materials,  techniques and mark making followed by practical exercises, experiments and observational studies.

Week 2. Composition and Collage -to gain confidence in making pictorial decisions and developing ideas.

Week 3. Quink Ink and Bleach-lifting out, creating areas of light plus a range of controlled and 'accidental' effects.

Week 4. Working with Colour and incorporating mixed media drawing materials to explore further possibilities.

Week 5. Personal Project and Thematic development-creating a series of personal, related works on the theme of your choice, using the techniques and skills learned over the past weeks.

Outline Content

This course will focus on two main areas; 

· A range of specific drawing skills and approaches using dip pens, ink and wash

· pictorial compositional design derived from primary and secondary source material.

This course involves a series of creative skill building, such as:

· Introduction to using a dip pen and ink techniques.

· What is pictorial composition and what makes it work?

· Using primary sources and home studio set ups to trigger imaginative and inventive responses through drawing and composition.

· How to record compositional ideas in a sketchbook.

· Introduction to using ink lines with wash with muted colour.

· Developing compositions from sketchbook work and secondary sources such as online imagery.

· How to consider light sources and tonal range.

· How to incorporate mixed media drawing materials with ink and wash

· Consider mood, subject and context of compositional drawings.

Teaching method(s)

Ideally you should have;

  • An up-to-date web browser (Google Chrome recommended) 

  • Microphone (ideally headset) and Webcam 

  • Strong Internet connection

Teaching will be fully online and will typically include a range of practical exercises, introductions to techniques, processes and concepts, and set projects which lead to more focused and personal exploration. Over the course, students’ progress will be monitored and supported by the tutor.  Teaching will include practical demonstrations, one to one tuition, group discussions and critiques. For students taking a course for credit you will be required to undertaken work outwith the class, which your tutor will outline, including practical directed study activities and by keeping a reflective Learning Journal. Directed study will include developing further practical work alongside research into a range of suggested artists and their associated movements to engender a contextual awareness. Students are expected to demonstrate how their research has informed their work through annotated sketchbooks and reflections made within a digital learning journal. 

Learning outcomes

On completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Use dip pen, sticks and brushes to make line and wash drawings effectively and with confidence;

  • Use drawing to develop a range of complex compositions derived from primary and secondary source materials;

  • Resolve and present a series of intensive and coherent compositional drawings.


Core Readings

You might like to research some of the ink drawings made by the following artists:

· William Gillies (Scottish Colourist) ink drawings with wash and often watercolour

· Kate Downie, 'Coast Road Diaries'.

· Richard Diebenkorn-strong tonal work

· Joan Eardley

· Elizabeth Blackadder

· Van Gogh-look especially at the pen work in drawings such as 'Peasants Working, Arles 1888’, ' The Fountain in the Garden of the Hospital, St. Remy 1889' and 'Farmhouse with Sun, Arles 1888'.

· Emile Nolde-ink, wash and watercolours.

· Giorgio Morandi-still life drawings

· Kathe Kollwitz- figurative works

· Marlene Dumas-contemporary, figurative and political

· Yoyoi Kusama-modern, abstract.

· David Hockney - draughtsmanship and an ever-enquiring eye.

· Turner-atmospheric sketches and studies 

Recommended Reading:

  • Stobart, Jane. 2011. Extraordinary Sketchbooks, , A&C Black, Bloomsbury Publishing plc, London.

  • Masked M, Sothern J. 2014. Drawing Projects an Exploration of the Language of Drawing, Black Dog Publishing, London.

Web Sources

National Galleries of Scotland

The Museum of Modern Art, New York

Tate gallery, London and other

Royal Academy London

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

This is a gallery and education space in New York showing contemporary works.

This is a London gallery space and resource centre. Here you’ll find lots of information such as an artists’ directory, archive material etc.


If you have questions regarding the course or enrolment, please contact COL Reception at Paterson's Land by email or by phone 0131 650 4400.

Student support

If you have a disability, learning difficulty or health condition which may affect your studies, please let us know by ticking the 'specific support needs' box on your course application form. This will allow us to make appropriate adjustments in advance and in accordance with your rights under the Equality Act 2010. For more information please visit the Student Support section of our website.