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Whenever your start something new you are probably a bit apprehensive, therefore, what I have here, is a few pointers to help you. Firstly, go out and buy yourself a cheap, fibre tipped pen (preferably a black one). This should be ample for your needs. They are so easy to carry around and will achieve many different strokes. Depending, of course, on how much pressure you apply to the nib itself. As for subject choice to draw, probably something small to start with. Leaves are good for the detail, eggs, pebbles or stones from the garden or beach, even shells. Anything like this would do nicely. Now you need to create a form and lay a texture. What do we mean by this? You can lay a few dots, lines, dashes, all with more or less pressure giving a rough outline. For example, with your marks close together it will appear darker in intensity. If you want it really dark you can Cross Hatch. What is Cross Hatching? This is when you draw a set of lines, then do another set of lines across them, going the other way. This will give you very dark areas. You can also obtain a rounded effect by making it darker on any dip of a curve of any sort and then lighter as it comes out of the curve itself. Pens adapt well to both smooth and shiny papers, but a wash will lay better on rougher grained papers. Now we have reached our choice of paints. Little block water colours, which need to be diluted, could be the answer. Do not make a thick wash or it will obliterate parts of your picture and when white paper is used the light reflects off it. I personally would recommend that you work with a palette which will hold block watercolours, but yet, can be used for mixing your colours too. It saves valuable time if you have your tools as close as possible. It can help to give a mixed look, if your pen runs into your lines, because it was the water soluble type bought. Many artists would agree with me and say that they actually do like it when the colours run, but if you are a perfectionist you may disagree. Washes are not always perfect. When errors occur it is maddening and problematic to fix. This paint is translucent, so it will not be improved by adding more layers. You can sometimes amend your work with a grainy ink rubber, but do wait until your paint is dry. Do not be heavy handed or it will take away the surface and mess the ink and paint up. So remember, a light touch is needed with the rubber. Leave some white, unpainted, areas on your work to give a bit of contrast!
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