Recipe 3.6. Pen-and-ink drawing

Pen-and-ink drawings have a charm all of their own. There is a certain crispness and clarity to a pen drawing that can't be achieved in any other way. As a technique, it's quite a challenge to replicate in Photoshop, although by no means impossible. Pen drawings rely on the density of hatched lines to create varying tones within an image, and, where the individual lines are black in color, the viewer's eye interprets different densities of hatching as various shades of gray.

Pen drawings evoke an antique "old world" feeling. The technique seems especially suited to architectural subjects.

To create the pen-and-ink effect, we'll use Photoshop's Graphic Pen filter. This filter has to be used with care, as it's a stock effect, which, when used on a single layer does not produce a satisfactory result. However, combining a number of layers with different settings will replicate the technique employed by artists, who use pen strokes at different angles.

1 To use the Graphic Pen filter effectively, the background color must be set to white, so be sure that this is done before we start (hit D on the keyboard or click on the black and white color swatches near the bottom of the Toolbar).

2 Start by making four copies of the background layer (hit Ctrl/Cmd+J ...

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