Where to start? Well, you could start by purchasing just an ordinary black pen with a fibre tip. These are stocked in all stationers, art shops etc, they are very cheap, but they will do the job.
This will be fine to do various strokes and is easy to carry on your person. Obviously, how you use your pen makes a difference and what I am meaning here, is how much pressure you put on, or, do not put on the nib. Now you need to choose your subject. Don’t get too ambitious, start small and progress later. Shells, leaves, pebbles, stones are all good, simple choices. You need a bit of detail.
What about form, texture and cross hatching. If you lay a few marks down, dots, small dashes and basic lines, you have a bit of form. Marks close together will make the sketch look a bit darker, but for real darkness cross hatching is the answer. Remember the effects are influenced by the pressure on the pen.
Cross hatching can intensify your work. What actually happens, is you actually draw one set of lines and continue by drawing more lines the opposite way across it, making it much, much darker. Other effective results can be made by giving a feeling of roundness. If you have a crevice on any curve and you make it dark, but then lighter, as you come away from the curve.
Pens adapt well to both smooth and shiny papers, but a wash will lay better on rougher grained papers.
Now we have reached our choice of paints. Little block water colours, which need to be diluted, could be the answer. Do not make a thick wash or it will obliterate parts of your picture and when white paper is used the light reflects off it.
Some people use water soluble pens for the original line drawing so it will seep into the wash. As for paints, if you use block paints, these will slot into your palette. This is sensible as you can always replace them. These palettes are ideal as you can also mix your paint on them, have them at your side, enabling you to work quickly.
Washes are not needed to be particularly accurate. When one colour runs into another, it can often add to the effect and become an advantage. Mistakes with pen and ink are a bit of a problem. It does not work to put more layers of paint on, as the paint itself, you could say, is translucent.
You can sometimes amend your work with a grainy ink rubber, but do wait until your paint is dry. Do not be heavy handed or it will take away the surface and mess the ink and paint up. So remember, a light touch is needed with the rubber. Leave some white, unpainted, areas on your work to give a bit of contrast!