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  1. After somebody saw my Stairway to Heaven drawing, I was asked how to draw such a stairway and I though I would explain it step by step in this post. A stairway can be very effectively used as a main element leading viewers eyes towards focal points in a drawing and adds great visual appeal to a drawing. In this post, I will show how one can be drawn using very simple strokes. So, follow along and have fun. Step 1: Draw the Main OutlineMain aspect of stairway is that the stairs become smaller in size as they move away from viewer due to perspective. To account for that, draw tapered sides as shown below. Theory of perspective is quite involved and I won't go into its details here, but most importantly, make the taper believable (not too much, not too little). Also, a stair in natural setting, like here, is more forgiving from perspective point of view than a perfectly proportioned stair in an architectural setting. Step 2: Draw Stairs OutlineDepending on angle of view, the step (horizontal part) of a stair is either visible very less (when viewer is located below the stairs looking up) or if the viewer is in same/higher plain than stair, then the steps are visible more. Following shows how to draw stairs with less visible steps and when steps are more visible. In this post, we will use the first case, when steps are less visible. Stairs are drawn in this case as shown below for the outline drawn earlier. Decrease in size of stairs again follows perspective. Decrease the size (vertical distance) so that it feels plausible. Step 3: Darken the Side of StairsSide of stairs usually receive lot less light and so should be darkened as shown below. This also helps to bring the stairs out against a dark background. Step 4: Draw Horizontal StepsIn the case when horizontal steps ate not visible, we still need to give some indication for them. This is done by irregularly darkening the horizontal lines and making them bit thicker. This serves to indicate stair steps. Step 4: Texture Vertical RisersFinally, use a mix of parallel lines and tapered crevices to texture the vertical steps (risers) as shown below. Click on the drawing to see details. Make the edges zagged to give it bit broken, old feel. The amount of details also depends on the size of drawing. My Stairway to Heaven drawing is bigger in size and hence has more details on the stairs. Step 5: FinishA stairway needs to be usually complemented with other elements on its side. To give an indication of curved side, use curved parallel lines as shown below. Other elements can then be added as shown below to give it a finished feel. Very quick pleasing drawings incorporating stairs can be done as shown in following 2 examples below. A stone embankment provides a great side element with stairs leading the way between them as shown below. Drawing stone embankment is illustrated in vol. 3 of my pen and ink drawing workbooks. Following is a more involved drawing with stairway in a forest setting. Drawing forest and wooded area is discussed in detail in vol. 5 of my pen and ink drawing workbooks and also in these tutorials and this step by step drawing post. Once you learn to draw a wooded area, try incorporating a stairway in it to give it a different feel. This completes this post. Hope you found it useful and inspiring. Doing such simple drawing with pen and ink is very relaxing and rewarding. Give it a try. Check out my Free tutorials and pen and ink drawing workbooks to further learn drawing pen and ink landscapes. Pl. share this post in your social media and with others to get others to enjoy this incredible art. Happy Drawing, Rahul Older Step by Step Pen and Ink Drawings FREE Pen and Ink Drawing Tutorials Subscribe
  2. With its varied texture and limitless possibilities, tree bark is always fun to draw with pen and ink. Though it looks intimidating in the beginning, with simple strokes and techniques, pen is ideal medium to draw bark. Grab a good gel pen and follow along to do this pleasing pen and ink drawing. Step 1: Draw OutlineUse interesting shape and zagged edges to draw the outline as shown below. Step 2: Draw Bark PiecesDraw individual bark pieces as shown below with bigger towards the centre and smaller near the edges. Use zagged line and keep their distribution irregular. Step 3: Initial TextureUse dots and ticks as shown below to initially texture the pieces. Click on image to see details. Step 4: Darken One Side MoreTo bring out the form (curvature) of bark pieces, there has to be change in level of tone (darkness) across a piece. Light doesn't fall uniformly on a curved object with side away from Sun more darker than side towards the Sun. A simple technique is to make one edge of every bark piece darker to bring out the form of each bark piece. Use more of ticks and dots to darken left edge of every bark piece. Notice how the pieces below have more form compared to step 3 drawing. This is the basic process. Continue in this manner to texture the bark. Following are some more illustrations of adding more tone on one edge to bring out the form. Step 5: Add More CrevicesFollowing is how the drawing looks by using simple dots and ticks to texture bark pieces and darkening one side more. It already looks finished and you may decide to stop here. Further tone can be added using ticks and dots along the edges to give more impression of deeper grooves as I have done below. The contrast of more darker grooves and lighter areas makes the drawing more visually appealing. I have darkened the bark even further below with with deep crevices. There are no rules here but make sure that there is no feel of 'straightness' in your texturing. In other words, the edges and darker areas should all feel irregular. Keep your hand moving from one stop to another to achieve this. In the final drawing below, I added further grooves and crevices to give it a feel of old bark. There is no limit to such variations that can be done. This completes this post. With just dots and ticks, you can also draw the bark as done here. The possibilities are endless by using different overall bark shape, individual bark shapes and texturing of grooves and crevices. Give it a try. Hope you liked the post and if so, do let me know. You can also check out my FREE pen and ink drawing tutorials and pen and ink drawing workbooks to get started drawing pen and ink landscapes. Happy Drawing, Rahul Older Step by Step Pen and Ink Drawings Subscribe

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