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Mixed Media: Pen, Ink & Watercolor

with Matt Rota
Mixed Media: Pen, Ink & Watercolor
Create captivating, expressive artwork defined in ink and brought to life with luminous watercolors.
Explore fun, approachable exercises with guidance from professional illustrator Matt Rota and discover the thrill of creating a composition and completing it with color, texture and contrast. Learn to use a pen and nib to create a variety of marks and line widths, each with its own visual language. Add the brush to create washes, tones, and drybrush textures, then add watercolor to the mix to lead the viewer’s eye into compelling atmospheric space. Master these fundamental techniques and more while you discover the secrets to successful still lifes, portraits and landscapes!
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Lesson plan


Lesson 1. Getting Started

  • Meet Matt Rota and learn about pens, ink and brushes and how to handle them. He’ll also help you avoid some common mistakes.


Lesson 2. Line

  • Discover the line variation and mark-making possibilities of pen and ink as you define a sketch with inked contour lines.


Lesson 3. Value & Tone With Pen

  • Learn to build form and dimension with hatching and crosshatching. Choose to work from Rota’s provided portrait or use your own.


Lesson 4. Value & Tone With Brush

  • Explore smooth brushwork as you create texture and shadow with dry-brushing and ink washes.


Lesson 5. Exploring Depth

  • Using both pen and brush, explore space, depth and scale as you render a landscape.


Lesson 6. Watercolor Wash

  • Enhance your pen and ink drawings with watercolor. Rota demonstrates how to use color in harmony with linear marks to add emphasis and mood to your piece.


Lesson 7. Compositing an Image

  • Combine elements of multiple photographs to create new, imaginative compositions that tell a story. Rota shows how to choose your horizon and work from there to build up your drawing with both pen and watercolor.

"Matt's professional presentation is exactly what I have been looking for to help amp up my 'plein air' studies for a more successful and enjoyable result. He articulates purpose and clearly demonstrates the components of a successful composition, including value, shape, and line using pen and ink as well as simple watercolor techniques. You could not learn as much in a week-long workshop! This video is definitely a worthwhile investment that I will refer to often. Thanks, Matt, for taking the time to share your knowledge and talent. Not everyone can teach...but you do it eloquently!"
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