When you have so many mixed media art ideas, acrylic paint and pen and ink might seem like polar opposites that might not work well together. But it’s quite the contrary: acrylic and pen and ink are ideal for various mixed media techniques in drawing and painting.
Photos and artwork via CakeSpy
Acrylic and pen and ink can be combined to create dynamic, engaging art. They can be used together in many different ways, making the combination suitable for a variety of artistic styles. Here are just some of the many pen and ink and acrylic mixed media techniques you can try in your artwork.
Make acrylic images pop with pen and ink outlines
There’s an easy way to make your acrylic painted images pop: add outlines using pen and ink. Start by painting the image as simple blocks of acrylic color and let it dry completely. Using a pen with a fairly thick, sturdy tip, draw outlines around the image and fill it in with detail. You’ll end up with an image that has way more impact than mere acrylic or pen and ink on their own. The final product has the bright color of acrylic but the preciseness and boldness of pen and ink.
Play with line quality
Painted elements in bold acrylic paired with the more delicate lines of pen and ink can create instant intrigue and contrast in a piece. In the above image, you can see how simple heart shapes in acrylic and pen and ink become far more interesting when paired together. You can see how, applied over a large area, this would have a powerful impact.
Make a cool, colored backdrop for ink drawings
Sometimes pen and ink drawings can be so…well, black and white. Acrylic paint can provide a quick solution. Simply paint a block of color on your work surface, either making the edges clean or leaving it a bit uneven for texture. Let the paint dry and continue with your pen and ink drawing on top of the block of color. It will lend a cool, urban vibe to your finished artwork.
Create a supporting scene with pen and ink
Just like an actor has a supporting cast, the main image in your art can benefit from supporting art elements. A central image painted in acrylic can become even more prominent when you use pen and ink to provide texture or supporting imagery. For instance, in the above painting, a simple flower image becomes far more interesting when a grassy pattern is drawn in the background using pen and ink. It draws your eye even more to the central image! You could overlap the pen and ink and paint, too, if desired.
Mix up your media
Acrylic can help you create a base on an unusual work surface so that you can apply pen and ink. For instance, pen and ink would not apply well to a small clay sculpture. However, once dry, acrylic paint provides a surface atop which pen and ink can easily be applied. By painting in acrylic over surfaces that would not normally be suited to pen and ink, you can prime them and enable new multimedia potential.
Fix pen and ink errors
Everybody makes mistakes. Acrylic and pen and ink can work together to fix them. Say you’ve made an error in pen and ink, drawing a line where you didn’t mean to. By using opaque acrylic paint, you can mask the area in question. This can be done in the same color as the paper or in a color that’s in your artwork. When applied and then smoothed, nobody will ever know there was a mistake.