Pen and Ink Drawing: A Simple Guide Info

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Pen & Ink Drawing: A Simple Guide covers the essential aspects
of pen and ink drawing and more. It explores basic materials and
instruments; fundamental properties of strokes and pen control; key
elements of shading; and indispensable techniques for creating vibrant
textures. As a bonus, a chapter is devoted to what the author refers to
as, the secret Line of Balance. This book is not just written to
instruct but also to inspire enthusiasts of pen and ink and drawing as
well.

Average Ratings and Reviews
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4.66

796 Ratings

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Reviews for Pen and Ink Drawing: A Simple Guide:

5

December 16, 2015

A Guide That is EASY TO USE, and covers more than most.
This is an excellent beginners guide to drawing in pen & ink. It will take the beginner into all the things they need to learn.

But many books do this - why choose this one? Well, as a person who buys art books obsessively, let me tell you.

A. Dunn does not cover the paper with walls of text. He covers the paper with a plethora of examples with a small amount simple easy to follow text.

B. Dunn has truly considered all the points. A great many books seem to skip things because the subject is too detailed or maybe they think it will be learned by the more mature artist. Dunn doesn't condescend. He tells you. Or more accurately, he shows. There is a significant amount of the book spent on the importance of texture and how to use it, for example. Many books will show you how to do shadow with cross hatching. Dunn takes that a step further and shows you how to develop a shadow using the texture you are trying to illustrate. Hair, animal skin, etc.

C. Dunn takes the learner into the importance of different ways of drawing. Of gesture and detailed drawing and landscape and even doodle.

I think what is important about this book is that Dunn is very aware of how he learned and what his questions were and he tried very hard to make a book that would have helped him. And that makes all the difference.
5

December 11, 2015

Alphonso in my opinion, is the ideal drawing instructor.
I have been following Alphonso for the past few months and his drawing instruction is superb. I have never related to any other instructor or teaching medium as well as I do to his methodologies. He teaches you how to see complex forms as they really are, simple forms made complex. He really has a passion for drawing and that love shows through in everything he does. He has spent most of his time teaching people for free and he put all of his knowledge into this wonderful book. This is a must own for any aspiring arist or even advanced artists who want to increase their competence in pen and ink.
5

December 24, 2015

Pen and ink. A simple, but extremely useful Guide.
You know what, guys?
This book is awesome. And I'ma tell you why.
It's really safe to say that here in this book all the information is greatly structured. You can find all the nuts and bolts which are just vital for anyone who's anything serious about drawing itself.
Just think of the following: if you don't know 'the letters' than how you're gonna write? Here the picture is pretty much the same. It's the alphabet for an artist.
And it's more than just helping you to draw what you see. Here you can find the way how you have to think of in order to draw literally everything. What you should think about when drawing. What you should bear in mind. It's something that you wouldn't find.
Well the book's called 'a simple guide'. Well it is simple and tremendously useful! A real guide!
The author is very generous.
This book can give you a very great start if you are the beginner, and very great tips for further studying as well!
It's worth it. It's valuable. In fact, priceless.

Thank you, Alphonso Dunn. Obliged.
PS: From Russia with love.
5

April 28, 2016

His youtube channel is awesome. He freely gives his time to teach art
I originally purchase this book to support the artist. His youtube channel is awesome. He freely gives his time to teach art. That being said, this book is fantastic. Inspirational, informative and a pleasure to read. I heard he put together the book by himself. The book helped me get back into inking and I enjoyed it more than painting digitally. Highly recommend this book to anyone interested in pen and ink. Here are some of my sketches.
5

December 21, 2015

I came to pen and ink drawing pretty late in life
I came to pen and ink drawing pretty late in life. I have found it incredibly rewarding and impossibly frustrating to learn, but get so much out of the process of observation that I have stuck with it. In that spirit I have been following Alphonso Dunn's video's on youtube for the last year and a half or so. He always presents fundamental information in an intelligent, insightful, and entertaining fashion but ultimately instills in the viewer the idea that with a little bit of practice you can improve. I have watched and rewatched these videos so many times that I made a personal vow to buy his book as soon as it became available in order to take a small step towards repaying him for all of the hours he commits to his fans. What I received was a pen and ink primer that is as beautifully written as the illustrations found within. It is perfect for a beginner and a valuable resource for pen and ink artists of all skill levels. Well Dunn!
5

December 30, 2015

... on YouTube for over three years and everything I love about his teaching there is found in his book
I have been watching Alphonso Dunn on YouTube for over three years and everything I love about his teaching there is found in his book. I have taken MANY art courses and most I paid for, but Mr Dunn's teachings go above and beyond any of the teaching I received else where. What is unique about his teaching is what also can be found in someone who displays good parenting skills. He doesn't just say, "Do this." He says's this is what I do, and I do it because....". He tells you what his thinking process is and that is what is so lacking in most teaching. So often I would watch wonderful artists on line and I was always thinking, " I wonder what is going on in their heads as they make these marks." This peek into the thought process has helped me immensely. So not only so I recommend this book, I highly recommend his YouTube channel. He has a kind, humble spirit which also lends to his ability to "draw in" ( pun intended) a wide audience.
5

April 20, 2017

I draw because this man made it so simple. Buy this book and watch his videos.
While creating wedding signs from videos on a Youtube I came across a man Named Alphonso Dunn. I am not sure what it was about his voice but he had this tone that was so encouraging. He made everything seem so simple. I felt like "hmmm...Maybe I can do that!" I started with spheres then trees and now I post regularly on my Instagram and people are asking me for prints. I bought his book because it compiles everything I learned from his Youtube channel and placed it in a neat and cometw package. Unfortunately I don't get to hear his encouraging voice as I go through the learning process but Im so happy to have this book in my tool kit. You can see the first thing I drew after I got this book in the pictures. Line of balance baby! I can't wait to get started on the next one. Thank you for sending down a path I never consider Alphonso Dunn. I owe you my sanity.
5

December 21, 2015

Great for pen and ink, but applies to much more
This book not only covers pen and ink, but valuable composition tips, which sort of go hand in hand when drawing pen and ink (or any medium really) The author clearly understands everything he talks about and explains it clearly. What seperates this book from other is it's emphasis on texture, depth, form, weight variation, and this "Line of balance" concept, to highlight a few. All around Alphonso has made me a better artist through his ability to explain these concepts in a straight foward way.

Aside from content the design is executed nicely. The book is quite big, Including examples illustrated by the text and shown in a step buy step matter. The reader is encouraged to draw within the book, however, there aren't just huge amounts of blank space, just enough so it doesn't feel clustered. it is quite roomy and easy to look at.

The concepts within this book are truly important, and can be applied to most if not all mediums, and I consider this a huge contribution to humans' ever expanding knowledge of art.
5

October 1, 2016

Great book. inspirational
TLDR; Great book. inspirational. Authors has good instructional attitude. Clear and concise. This work is well put together. It has nice illustrations. Teaches pen and ink technique, not the whole theory of how to draw well. What it is, is a book about pen and ink. What it is not is a basic text on drawing in general.

I really enjoyed this book. There are a few reasons that I appreciated it as well as I did: first, the author's attitude is great, his approach to instruction is easy going and inspirational, and while he stresses the value of certain practices he is never dogmatic about them. Second, this book is concise on verbiage and yet conveys well the concepts it seeks to communicate... I really appreciate it when extraneous material is left out of published work. Thirdly the format and layout are really well done, it's always nice to see something which is has been thought through. Fourth, I enjoy the artwork in the demonstrations, of which there are many. It may not be a wise trait but I have to admit that if I dislike the art within an instructional art book, then I probably won't buy it or read it. Lastly it teaches it's own subject and does not seek to teach you how to draw, but the particulars of pen and ink.

This book covers really all of the fundamentals of pen and ink, even some not-so-fundamentals, and clearly illustrates how to apply this medium to works of art. It does not go into all techniques that can be used, but covers probably the most important ones. It also doesn't go very thoroughly into any one topic, but gives you most relevant facts and then encourages you to try them out for yourself. It does not cover in any great detail the intricacies of any one method of applying ink (ball-point, dip pen, fountain pen, brushes, etc.) but briefly hits all of the main ones, so that the reader understands what they are and that they can be applied to making art in pen and ink styles.

I actually really like the fact that so little time is given to such usual art book topics as perspective, light and shadow, composition, anatomy, etc. but if what you need is a basic art book, then you won't find what you're after in this work. Some time is spent with drawing fundamentals but it is far from complete, and the emphasis is on doing it in ink, not the general theory. And I actually prefer that, since those topics are explained really well in other books and this i a book about pen and ink, not the subject of drawing. That said there is rather a lot that you can take from this book and apply to other media.

Finally. I did get this book partially to support the author. His youtude channel ([...]) was a big reason I got started in pen and ink drawing.
5

April 18, 2017

This book will legitimately teach you to draw
Perfect beginner book for drawing, I can't recommend it enough. I watch a lot of his tutorials and as soon as he mentioned a book I knew I was on board.
It is aimed at the beginner, but if you understand everything in here you can easily apply it to more complex forms.
Even if you prefer a pencil, drawing in pen will help you understand shading so much better since you only have one tone with which to give a form volume.
His instructions always click with me, it's mostly non-linear and not a "do this, then this" kind of methodology. Rather he takes you a concept and then shows you ways that you can apply it. This encourages 'playing' which is both fun and will help you get comfortable with a pen, since you immediately feel like YOU are drawing, and not copying some one else.
My drawing has improved a lot - although I study every day - people have told me I'm talented which is untrue but a huge complement none the less.

If you are just starting out or want to iron out some weak fundamentals this is a perfect book in my opinion.
2

February 10, 2018

This rating is a lie, I just want you to read my review.
Okay this is a lie, I really like this book. I wanted you to read why. I bought this a year ago, close to when it came out. I've followed Alphonso Dunn on youtube. I'm a lifelong doodler and occasionally try to draw something cleaner. When I got the book I was a little disappointed it seemed very basic. I drew some of the harder, end of the book creations and was happy with they came out. I put the book aside.
I started doing more drawing and watercolor painting. I did Inktober drawings for myself and have improved a lot. I can sketch a proportioned head from his youtube instructions. They are pretty good, better than some I'm improving.
Then I picked this book up again. It makes so much more sense now. Why? Because I can understand his recommendations to repeat and practice and I have the desire to do that now. I want to make smoothing shading lines. I want to concentrate on features, light and textures. Before it seemed like the information was simplistic now I understand how important and useful the information is. It's a great book.
5

Jan 18, 2018

I purchased Alphonso Dunn’s book mostly as a way of saying thanks to him for his generosity in creating his exceptional YouTube tutorials on pen & ink drawing. I also thought that having his book in hand would help me better structure the order in which I could view his many tutorials.

Then, when I finally got my hands on his book (it was on my Christmas list!), I realized that FINALLY I found a book that could actually teach me how to draw with pen and ink. This medium ended up being my I purchased Alphonso Dunn’s book mostly as a way of saying thanks to him for his generosity in creating his exceptional YouTube tutorials on pen & ink drawing. I also thought that having his book in hand would help me better structure the order in which I could view his many tutorials.

Then, when I finally got my hands on his book (it was on my Christmas list!), I realized that FINALLY I found a book that could actually teach me how to draw with pen and ink. This medium ended up being my favorite by the time I reached young adulthood—and then dropped drawing all together when starting college.

Like many others, I was naturally drawn to art since very young. Then, after decades of leaving art behind, I wanted to draw again but found myself completely intimidated by the whole process. I had no idea where to begin. I dabbled here and there but could never find a launchpad, so to speak, to start to get back the skills I left behind. Alphonso Dunn has given me this. ...more
3

March 11, 2017

Beautiful artwork, but not detailed enough
I love his instructional videos on YouTube, and have learned quite a bit from them. It was those that motivated me to get this book, but I found the book to be not as good as the videos. The art itself is breathtaking, but It's just too generic, and needs to be two or three times the length, maybe split into separate books for each sub-category, like he does with his videos.
3

March 11, 2017

If you're looking for the very basics, this is a book to get.
Initially I really wanted to support Alphonso because of his youtube channel. He's a very patient teacher, and explains his art process very well, but when I received the book I was surprised by how thin it was, and the paper quality leaves much to be desired. The book itself feels pretty cheap, comparable to other art guides I've bought on Amazon. I'd rather support Alphonso's patreon to show my appreciation, but I had to return the book.
3

January 26, 2017

Three Stars
Not enough content to make this a great buy...
5

Jan 26, 2019

Many drawing books take you from stage 1 of a circle to a middle step no one understands, and then jump to Mona Lisa. I really appreciate Alphonso's book (and his workbook) for the way in which it breaks down the drawing process. My friend and I have been drawing every Saturday morning for the past year and half, using his book at first and now his workbook - it's been an amazing journey and I've learned a ton. If you've ever wanted to pick up pen and ink drawing, and if you have the patience Many drawing books take you from stage 1 of a circle to a middle step no one understands, and then jump to Mona Lisa. I really appreciate Alphonso's book (and his workbook) for the way in which it breaks down the drawing process. My friend and I have been drawing every Saturday morning for the past year and half, using his book at first and now his workbook - it's been an amazing journey and I've learned a ton. If you've ever wanted to pick up pen and ink drawing, and if you have the patience and perseverance, Alphonso will show you the way. Highly highly recommend this! ...more
5

Dec 23, 2015

Best pen and ink book I've read, and I've read about 3. Useful and clear info on various tools, pens, ink, paper. A brief intro to the rules of perspective, quite a lot on lighting/shading, and a very useful section on textures. Doesn't go into detail of anything, really, but it is a very good starting point.
3

December 18, 2017

Three Stars
Good book but poor paper quality
5

May 29, 2018

I can’t think of a better book to introduce yourself into the mindset of drawing with ink. Simple and straight to the point.
1

February 4, 2016

One Star
Not great book at all.
2

March 15, 2016

Two Stars
very basic information
3

July 23, 2018

A Disappointment
After watching Dunn's YouTube tutorials I enthusiastically ordered his book. It arrived today! A lot of good basic drawing instruction emphasizing unique qualities and demands of pen and ink. But the quality of the book's printing was a real disappointment. Dunn's tutorials are better teaching aids than the book. I bought also the Claudia Nice book, "Drawing with Pen and Ink" and prefer it to Dunn's. I'm not sorry to have bought his book, but I'm disappointed with it.
3

April 30, 2017

Not really.
Sorry, this book is all about Alphonso and doesn't really impart any useable information for someone to learn from. I sent it back.
3

April 28, 2017

Three Stars
Disappointed, as I was looking for book on truly learning how to get started using ink for drawing.
4

December 18, 2017

Have pen will ink
Great starter book for pen and ink. It looks at basic techniques and lets you build up from there with discussions about how technique supports and influences the desired look and feel of a piece.

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