Line art of two fish, face to face

Paint Line Art Like Matisse With Ink on Paper

If you can’t write right, draw! says Hallmark

Lines illustrate ideas. Simple, black lines on white paper can be profound and ever so lovely.
In 1804, when President Jefferson sent Captain Meriwether Lewis on a journey to cross the continent — from Washington D.C. to the Pacific — he sent him with bottles of India ink and piles of birch paper – the best ink and paper of the times – to record his discoveries.

Hallmark’s Cowboy Philosophy

Hallmark says to draw. An imaginative Hallmark greeting card artist painted a cowboy ready to duel, standing in the middle of a one-horse town, boots planted firmly in the ground, bracing for a fight.

Saloon in the background, this wild-west clad cowboy wore a genuine cowboy hat, chaps, boots, spurs, and a 2-gun holster. Hands poised above his holster, ready to draw his guns to settle things
Draw!” the cowboy says.

Open card. “If you can’t write, right … Draw!

Giggle. A card I sent a friend hoping for return mail.

If  you can’t write, right – draw!

Draw a Matisse line art painting

line art Ink painting in the style of Henri Matisse and his work titled Full Face
My copycat art of “Full Face,” by Henri Matisse

I took a lovely Drawing I class at MSU, taught by Jerry Hatch. He taught form and technique of world-renowned artists in a class section called, Learning from the Masters.
Jerry lectured on art techniques, showed slides of famous artists and their art, and taught us how to make a bamboo pen for drawing with ink.
Our assignment: replicate artwork of a master artists employing the technique of our choice, i.e., learn as a copycat.
For brush and ink, I chose to mimic Full Face by French artist Henri Matisse. Matisse painted on a large sheet of paper (25 5/8” by 19 5/8”); myself, on a small sheet (9” by 12”). His was painted in 1952, mine in 1979.
Why not get out your pen or brush and ink a Matisse.
View a collection of Henri Matisse art, curated on Pinterest.

Drawing is putting a line round an idea. -Henri Matisse

Line art and copycat ink drawing of Matisse's "Deux Femmes"
My “Two Ladies” copycat. A pen-and-ink, contour drawing of the original masterpiece by Matisse, titled “Deux Femmes.”

Contour Drawing Verses Traditional Drawing

My favorite drawing assignment was contour drawing. I chose to copycat Matisse’s Deux Femmes.
You have to be in the zone to create a successful contour drawing. The technique demands concentration. Fix your eyes on the subject while you draw. Don’t look down at your media. Replicate the spaces as if you are drawing contours of the subjects.
When you put a line down on paper with ink or pencil, it makes a home on your paper. No erasing or white-out.

I took baby-steps with my contour drawing.
At times, I would lift my pen to view the progress of the drawing and to check the spatial progress as it related to my subject. Each time, I would sharpen my mental focus on the subject, re-ink my pen, set my pen to paper, and continue to draw with my eyes focused on my subject and not on my paper.

My copycat of Deux Femmes is a personal favorite. I love the art process. I enjoy the thick and thin lines from my hand-made bamboo pen and the ink splatters as I scrawled out my drawing.
Contour drawing is drawing blind, almost as if you cover your eyes and draw.

Rose O’Neill Ink Line illustrations

Illustrator Rose O’Neill was an amazing draftsman. Her traditional drawing style of ink and charcoal on paper is masterful.

She begins with wonderful pencil sketching to compose her idea. She adds a smidgen of wit and humor, then whips out her pen and inks.

With a myriad of lines Rose creates a world of wonder as in her garden party illustration, Means to an End. You want to jump into the painting and join the conversation.

Garden party art of Rose O'Neill titled Means to an End
Rose O’Neill’s traditional drawing with ink and charcoal on paper, “Means to an End”

Art is not only a passion, but it is a very present expression of thought. We move our lives forward with art because we are ever evolving, drawing lines around our newest ideas.

Make Your own art Gallery

Lines and shapes are essential elements in art. They separate values and create form. How you extend your technique and the lines you include in your final art determine your personal masterpiece.
Be creative and have fun.

My Line Art Gallery