How to sketch with a pen

Millie Ho

You practice with pencil first.

Millie Ho

Nothing anatomically correct or even realistic. Outline with pen to familiarize yourself with shape and form (sans pencil).

Millie Ho

Make lines to loosen up. Link them into each other. Eventually they’ll form an image of some sort.

Millie Ho

Walk around. Make random sketches of things you see. The grittier, the better (see Käthe Kollwitz). Use straight lines for shading. Crosshatching is like a magical therapy session.

Millie Ho

I used to live in this area with tons of power towers. The sky was magenta in the summer, and the pavement was always wet.

Millie Ho

These sketches are from an idea I played around with during the summer of freshman year.

Millie Ho

Millie Ho art

Millie Ho

Even if you scribble something out of place, you can trace and retrace until you draw the form (do you like puns) from the page with your pen.

Have fun!

9 thoughts on “How to sketch with a pen

  1. Steve says:

    many memorable moments scrolling down
    and then “became insane after chasing rare plant.”
    that’s what i call it a mesmerizing finale.

  2. Juan Antonio (Palanqueta) says:


    Pen sketching?
    I’m starting with that too.
    But there’s something wrong with me… i’m sooooo perfectionist and i want to had some realism to my works, that i end up with troubles.
    Still learning.

    PS: Magenta Sky? Wet pavement? Nothing to hear but the “BZZZZZZZZZ” coming from the towers?
    Your life must be awesome. (not being sarcastic)

  3. ravila11 says:

    I like this sketches! They are so laid-back, and the characters are so intriguing – I think that with a bit of development, these would make great illustrations for a story.
    Your style here vaguely reminds me of Keith Thompson’s art, probably because of the anatomy and the detailed costumes… if you’ve never heard of him, you should look him up.

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