Three cedars, in ink

The falling snow is magical today. Big fat snowflakes that weigh down the branches of my cedars. I considered doing this sketch just in fountain pen, but a brush pen is so useful for the large dark areas. If you’re interested in seeing some of the other ways I play with ink (and wash), I just released a new free demo on my teaching site called “Ink and Wash Ideas for Sketchers“. You’ll find a dozen ways to get your hands dirty, and maybe something will inspire you to get out your dip pen and draw.

34 Comments on “Three cedars, in ink”

  1. brubakerr says:

    On Sat, Feb 27, 2021 at 2:20 PM Shari Blaukopf’s Sketchbook wrote:

    > Shari Blaukopf posted: ” The falling snow is magical today. Big fat > snowflakes that weigh down the branches of my cedars. I considered doing > this sketch just in fountain pen, but a brush pen is so useful for the > large dark areas. If you’re interested in seeing some of the other ” >


  2. Frank Bettendorf says:

    Great demo!!! I enjoy seeing how you use color and create the “looseness!”



  3. Denise says:

    Thank you for this latest learning video- fabulous and fun to watch! Never knew an ink bottle could have so many “personalities!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Christine Belanger says:

    Hello Shari,
    Pen and ink is one of my favorite mediums and this is a lovely sketch. When doing a pen and ink sketch do you begin with a light pencil drawing or maybe a few tick marks for placement? I have been criticized for doing so and wondered what your thoughts were on this.
    Thank you.


    • Hi Christine. Thanks so much for writing. In answer to your question, if the perspective is really tricky I will do some light lines in pencil. But prefer the spontaneity of working directly with ink on clean paper. I find that if I use pencil, it ruins the fun of that. Yes, there will be lines that I am not happy with, but there is always tomorrow. Or I can make a new line on the same drawing. I am trying to be less judgemental about my drawings these days : )


  5. iblindacherry says:

    Hello, Shari!  I signed up for your Sketching Boats class but can’t access it today. I think I typo’ed my email to It should be.  Linda.M.Cherry@att.netCan you help me get in? Thank you. Linda Cherry

    Sent from AT&T Yahoo Mail for iPhone


  6. Riseup Admin says:

    thank you for the gift of all this great info………there are so many courses to purchase out there on the web that it is now making the head swim………. I have purchased and almost worked through many of your fine instructional programs.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Shari, I really miss the snow. It is so hot and humid in Queensland at the moment. The best time to paint is the middle of the night! Thank you for the free workshop on pen and ink. I just happen to have some dip pens on my desk and a selection of ink samples waiting to be used. I love how you can sketch the snow in pen and ink.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Linda Uphus says:

    LOVED the demo! Do you have specific brushes that you use when painting with ink? … or can I use any of my watercolor brushes? Will ink harm my watercolor brushes?


  9. karim waked says:

    Beautiful black & white. Love the trees!

    514 9944433


  10. What fun! Thanks for the great video. A lovely gift on a winter’s day.
    Lovely drawing of the cedars. They are certainly more interesting to draw when they have snow on them, eh? I love all the patterns and textures.


  11. Nice snow scene done in ink! I’m off to watch the demo.


  12. Unique Tales says:

    I like your drawing but I have an intollerance/phobia of snow. Sorry.


  13. jankto says:

    Thank you for the Ink and Wash demo gift. The splatters really add energy to the colourful little ink bottles. It’s inspired me to get out my dip pens. Jan


  14. Jane Haddock says:

    Loved this demo. I’ve been taking an ink making online class with Maiwa and have some lovely inks to work with. This gave me inspiration. BTW, I was signed up for your Madeline Island Santa Fe class in May. I’m sorry that we won’t be able to do that one.


    • Hi Jane. Wow, ink making sounds fascinating. I love that idea. I will have to look this up! As for Santa Fe, yes, it doesn’t seem wise to leave this on the schedule since I don’t know when the Canada US border will open, nor when I will be vaccinated. But we have rescheduled for 2022 so hopefully we will meet next year instead!


  15. Betsy says:



  16. John Penney says:

    Dear Shari,

    First post after following your posts for some time. I love the straight-on view of the background structures and how they, in combination with the background tree, create abstract textures that set off the cedars. Very nice.


    • Thanks so much for writing John. I really wanted to separate the foreground and the background. I am not sure I did it successfully but this is what I was aiming for: a very high contrast foreground using only the brush pen for the cedars and a much more textured background that was more of an even grey tone created with a web of lines. Did it work? I guess I was somewhat successful if you detected that separation. Thanks again.


  17. Suzanne says:

    I am in awe when I see so many, many strokes. I would like to know how you avoid pain while working this medium. Do your wrist and hand move as one? Do your fingers change position? Do you keep your pen grip, forearm, shoulder loose? Does your hand hover over the paper or does it sometimes rest on something? I’m sorry for so many questions especially since I haven’t viewed your course yet.
    I asked a massage therapist why her hands did not ache as mine, especially given the hard work she does. She told me they were taught hand exercises at the massage college to not have these pain issues.
    Surely you must ache after some of the beautiful art pieces you create.
    Thank you, Shari ❤️


    • Hi Suzanne, I never think much about any of this. I guess if I have no pain to begin with, I never consider that I could have pain. About 5 years I fell on ice and fractured the wrist on my drawing hand. I wore a cast and then a splint for weeks until it healed. Occasionally some pain comes back when I draw a lot and grip the pen too tightly, but when that happens I just put the splint back on. I also do workouts with weights, so I guess that helps to strengthen everything! I guess my answer wasn’t much help, but at this point a detailed drawing causes no pain!


      • Suzanne says:

        Thank you Shari. Well it helped in a sense. I learned that you don’t suffer while exercising your passion and that is very good news!! In my next life I will not spend my work life at a computer and will not use my thumbs for heavy lifting. 😅


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