Create Pen and Ink Art from Photos

by Kathena A Posted on June 22, 2010

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My friend Claire used metallic pens to turn a photo of her dog, Rocky, into framable art. I was enchanted with the results and I thought you might like to learn how to create some similar art of your own.

Using Your Photos to Create Pen and Ink Art


1.  Metallic Gellyroll Pens (purchase at a craft store)
2.  White copy machine paper
3.  A photo of your choice


Choose a photo of a favorite subject and make a black and white copy of it on the copy machine or your home printer. Use your metallic Gellyroll pens to mark a series of small lines around the subject. You can make marks on the subject as well if you desire.  Using various colors make a series of crosshatching lines on your paper until you have filled the field around the subject with colorful small lines. Metallic Gellyroll pens will write on both black and white paper so you will be able to easily mark all over the copy of your original photo. Have fun and we can all thank Claire for sharing this fantastic project with us.


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  1. Joey Says:

    Thank you Kathena & Claire for this wonderful, creative idea. I think this is something I might be able to pull off.
    Sounds fun too!

  2. AnnAbbott Says:

    A simple idea to recreate a favorite photo.

  3. ElleSnaps Says:


  4. Tiffany M Says:

    Wow… this is really a neat effect!

more about Kathena A

I grew up in the Bay Area where I soaked up all of the advantages that places like Berkeley, San Francisco and Marin could offer. During the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s I taught grammar school here in California. Over the years I managed to teach all the grade levels and thus I have gained an arsenal of art projects and writing tips, which I would like to share with you. I work as an artist and metal smith now but my former students often visit me and, as you may imagine, some of them now have young children of their own. We often reminisce about a favorite art project that we did at school together. In some cases the original project has been preserved. I recently visited with a former student of mine who is now a college professor in the field of nanotechnology. I was amazed to see an art project that he had done in third grade on display in his parents’ home. Together, we admired his work all over again. With the arrival of Shutterfly’s photo storage capabilities parents can now photograph and preserve those memories and store them online. In addition, they can easily create beautiful memory books as future keepsakes for their children. With this in mind, it is my hope that together, you and I will create some new projects and family memories for your child’s scrapbook.

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  I would recommend this to other readers.