ink drawing

What tips do you have for a left-handed person who wants to dabble in ink drawing?

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Drawing with ink as an art form can be challenging. Familiar with the challenges of avoiding ink smudges when they write, left-handed artists may want to learn the tricks of the trade to make their entry into this new art form more fun and rewarding. Continue reading to find out what you can do to avoid smudging your ink drawings as you work.

Julien Raby

Julien Raby

Julien Raby, Founder & Owner of Coffee-Works.

Use an artist’s bridge

An artist’s bridge makes sure your hand is off the surface and not touching the paper. You’ll naturally start painting or coloring from the left side of the paper, and as your move to the right your hand will be over the ink you have just used all over the drawing. Use this bridge so that you don’t ruin your painting or drawing [by smudging the ink]. When you draw, your fingers, wrist, elbow, and shoulder need free movement. To make sure all of these are moving [easily] and your hand is not under much stress, you need the artist’s bridge, especially when you are a lefty.

Bishal Biswas

Bishal Biswas

Bishal Biswas, CEO of the scrabbling website Word Finder.

Two simple tips for you

If you’re a lefty and want to start ink drawing, I’ve got two simple tips for you to follow, and you should be good to go!

  • Draw your doodle or drawing with a pencil.
  • Start to draw onto the pencil lines with an ink pen or ink from the right side and move towards the left. This will help not to smudge or smear the ink of sections that still may not have dried completely.
Jean Campbell

Jean Campbell

Jean Campbell, Spiritual Life Coach at Align Mat.

It’s all about what angle works the best for you

Lefties have different ways to grip their writing instruments. Play around. Try holding the pen with different grips and figure out the most comfortable one. Find your grip and practice it. It may take time, but this always works.

Pen & Nib Combination

Look out for various different pens - the thickness, the style, and the type. Next, mix and match it with the nib that suits your writing. The combination that you may have gone for right at the start will not suit you when you become a professional at it, so keep checking around!

Kristine Daub

Kristine Daub

Kristine Daub, Founding Editor of byCurated.

Use a "smudge pad."

If you are struggling to draw with ink due to smudging (as many do), a cost-effective way to prevent smudging is to rest a small piece of paper under your hand. The paper will prevent your hand from making contact with the ink and smudging.

If the smudge pad doesn't work for you, you could always try out an artist glove, which essentially performs the same function.

Rhea Henry

Rhea Henry, a Content Strategist at

Best abated with the right pairing of paper

Writing or drawing with your left hand means you're more likely to smear or smudge your work as you drag your hand across the page. This [problem] will be best abated with the right pairing of paper and pen to ensure that the paper can absorb pigments quickly, and the pen ink quickly dries.

For pen and ink in general, a paper that's too tooth, or rough in texture, might bleed or feather, meaning that after you draw a line, the ink will bloom through the fibers. Your ink drawings won't have crisp, sharp lines. Most artists recommend smooth Bristol paper for pen and ink drawings, as it has enough strength that it won't easily bend or crumple as you drag your hand across the page.

Pens are a little bit more personal, but in terms of a specific product, I recommend the Sigma Micron. The ink is of great quality, lightfast, smudge-resistant, and not too expensive for beginners. You can get a variety of sizes for everything from brushing to ultra-fine stippling. The Uniball-vision ballpoint pens are also a good option and maybe a bit more affordable as well.

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