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Drawing Lesson 26, Part 1 – How to Draw a Vessel

How to Draw a Vessel – A Cityscape Drawing in Pen and Ink

Video Lesson Description

In this video lesson, you will discover How to Draw a Vessel in Ink. This drawing is featuring a cityscape, done in black ink and watercolour wash.

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Drawing in Ink – The Drawing Subject


How to Draw a Vessel - Drawing Academy Video Lesson
The subject of this “How to Draw a Vessel” is taken from the scenery of the St. Catherine’s Docks in East London.

These docks are in close proximity to the most famous bridge in the United Kingdom – The Tower Bridge.

In the middle of London, next to the River Thames, many yachts and boats are moored. They are surrounded by residential properties.

How to Draw a Vessel – Paper Toning

For this drawing in ink, I used a watercolour wash to tone the drawing area. A very light grey-brown wash is applied. I want the wash to have a sepia look and that is why I go for such a tint.


How to Draw a Vessel
The brush I am using is a round natural squirrel brush that is very soft and holds water well.

Watercolour paints are made in St Petersburg, Russia. This is one of the highest quality paints available on the market. These paints even have natural honey as an ingredient. Of course, that doesn’t make them edible.

How to Draw a Vessel – Drawing Transfer

When the first watercolour layer is dry, it is time to transfer the outlines onto the paper to be used for drawing in ink. Usually, it is faster and easier to draw straight on the paper; however, for a watercolour medium, it is not advised. Any erasing of graphite lines can damage the paper surface and after watercolour application, all such damaged areas will become very apparent. To avoid such an inconvenience, a preliminary drawing can be done separately and then transferred with the use of tracing paper.

How to Draw a Vessel – Watercolour Underdrawing

With the drawing in graphite fully completed, the underdrawing in watercolour can be started. For this task, the Red Sable Brush #4 of Windsor & Newton, Series 7 can be chosen. Red Sable is one of the best brushes for watercolour. They hold water very well while keeping their snap. Snap is the brush’s quality to return to its original shape after making a brushstroke.

The rule of aerial perspective is applied in the underdrawing. Objects located further away have less contrast and look lighter than objects in the foreground. According to the aerial perspective, colours of objects change as well. The further away they are, the more bluish or cold they become. However, I want this artwork be almost monochromatic and therefore, will keep the difference in colour very minimal.

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