Shay Portrait workshop

Sketching in INK with Simon O'Carrigan

Drawing in ink for beginners to intermediates

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Simon O'Carrigan is an experienced and talented  illustrator, who shares the many ways to use ink to create interesting drawings in this 3 week workshop.

This workshop builds confidence, generates courage, and breaks down the intimidating process of drawing with ink into easier steps.

Melbourne artist Simon O’Carrigan will teach you the many ways you can use ink to make marks on paper to create interesting drawings. You will develop confidence to work without drafting & erasing in pencil first. We will use a mixture of linework, wash and silhouette, and you’ll find a combination of these that creates your own style of drawing.

We will explore different drawing concepts such as line, shape, silhouette, tone, contrast, gradients, fades and negative space. We will use brushes, straight ink, diluted ink washes, pipettes, ink pens and traditional dip pens. The class uses observational drawing as a starting point to explore basic tools and concepts, before developing and combining these skills and understandings into more developed works.

With demonstrations followed by ample practice time, you will test out different tools and techniques and experiment to see what is possible with the medium of black indian ink.

All skill levels are welcome.

WEEK ONE: 6th June

In the first week, I will introduce the class to the basics of working with india ink on paper. We’ll do some experiments with a variety of tools, experiment with a variety of mark making methods, and develop the language to discuss our techniques and visual elements. We will do a little introductory observational sketching to start to build confidence, and use different types of line. This is when we learn to embrace our mistakes!

 WEEK TWO: 13th June 

This week we will delve more deeply in to what makes drawing in ink so unique and so rewarding. We’ll extend our skills with using washes and layers in brush use, and learn to make gradients and fades. We will learn about silhouettes, negative space, and seeing without lines. Sketching we do this week will focus on improving our observation, but also making design decisions that improve the overall appeal of our drawings. We will now be feeling much more confident at drawing without drafting.

 WEEK Three: 20th June 

In the final week, we will complete more in depth drawings and on a higher quality paper stock. An introduction to stretching paper with gum tape will be part of this class. As we put together the elements we have learned so far, we will focus on choosing which part of our new found visual language is best used for which part of our drawing. The result will be balanced, rhythmic, and dramatic final works. Also in this class we will discuss the various types of paper available, and I will offer advice for materials selection so that you can add to your art kit and build on your ink drawing skills into the future.

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What you will learn
  • How to use the basic ink tools, techniques in using washes, layers, etc. Development of your visual language ; understanding elements of visual design and drawing. Plus more.
What you will get
  • Practical experience drawing and working with ink, demonstrations from experienced illustrator and cheese & wine

What to bring
  • Simon will provide a set of basic ink tools for you to borrow and work with during the class, and this will be enough for the first class if you are unsure. Once you know which tools you like, advice will be given as to what you may wish to purchase to add to your kit. The tools available for use in the class include: • Pipette (eye dropper) and Mixing cups (medium & min) • Brushes (#4 round nylon) • Dip pens (Hunt drawing nib style) • Uniball Eye Micro rollerball pens • Paper towel You will need to provide/bring along to each class: • A good pile of A4 copy paper (don’t be fussy!) • A book / pad of watercolour paper (I recommend “hot pressed” which is smoother) [A few demo sheets will be provided in the first class if you are unsure what to buy ahead of time] • An A4-A3 drawing board (a solid wood clipboard works, as we will tape paper down to it) • Objects to make textures with (such as clean sponges, cotton buds, tissues, etc) • Any pens or brushes you’d like to use beyond what will be provided (you may like to bring a larger and smaller round brush, experiment with a Chinese bristle brush, you may like a square brush, different types of drawing nibs…)
What to wear

Casual, but maybe bring an apron, you could get messy!

Appropriate for

Anyone interested in drawing with ink, both experienced and beginner welcome.


Cambridge Studio Gallery

Vendor since 2015

Situated in the stimulating Collingwood Arts Precinct, Cambridge Studio Gallery was established in 2007 and is located in a heritage listed building that utilizes its unique space to present art in an intimate manner. 

Cambridge Studio Gallery encourages the importance of taking part and experiencing the arts in its myriad forms.  The gallery believes that interaction with the arts is integral to our national identity and psyche. To support this Cambridge Studio Gallery holds Artist Talks, Art Classes and an Annual Portrait Prize that provides emerging artists with the all-important opportunity to exhibit. The gallery also assists the intellectually disabled community by providing a regular exhibition space.

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Refund & Cancellation Policy

Anyone partaking in any classes or coming to any events at Cambridge Studio Gallery or organised by Cambridge Studio Gallery must agree to these terms and conditions.


I agree to take on full responsibility for any damages, injuries and for physical and/or personal property, which I might incur whilst participating in classes and/or events organised by Cambridge Studio Gallery.


I agree to give Cambridge Studio Gallery unrestricted publishing rights for any photographs or videos taken at Cambridge Studio Gallery classes and events or on Cambridge Studio Gallery's premises. (For use of Cambridge Studio Gallery marketing materials).


Cambridge Studio Gallery requires 48 hours notice in writing prior to the class for a full refund or transfer. 


In the event that a class is cancelled, students will be notified via text message or email and entitled to a full refund or credit.

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Terms & Conditions


Enrol on or before the enrolmentdeadline to secure a place. Allenrolments must beaccompanied by a completedapplication form and the fullcourse fee. Cambridge StudioGallery (CSG) reserves the rightto change or cancel any coursedue to unforseen circumstances.

Course Cancelation

CSG will undertake to provide atleast 3 days notice in the case ofa course cancellation. Notice ofcancellation will be by phone oremail. Please ensure all contactdetails are correct on enrolmentforms. All student fees will befully refunded.


No refund is offered on CSGclasses due to materials andmodel hire expenses. THISINCLUDES MAKE-UP CLASSES.(none of which can be offeredanymore)

Students with Disabilities

If you require assistance, pleasediscuss your needs with CSGbefore enrolling.

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