Ink stippling is basically drawing – well, in a sense. It is really a value study but is done with a series of tiny little dots of ink. The lightest part of the value scale would be represented with no dots, and the darkest part of the value scale would be represented with very dense dots. This is a skill of patience and planning.

One of my favorite assignments for students of stippling is to draw and stipple a shell. I have a whole collection of interesting shells the students can choose from. The first consideration, of course, is size. For a stippling project with students, it is probably best to choose a smaller piece of paper, say a 6×8 or no larger than 9×12. Otherwise, the student will take forever to finish. Remember, these stipples are very tiny. If the area is too big to cover students will get impatient to finish and rush for the job to be less than acceptable. We use an ultra fine Sharpie black pen.

To begin with, there has to be a shape to stipple for. Teach students to fill their paper with the shell shape. This makes for a more interesting presentation. Account for the light source and lightly pencil in the area of the shadow. This will ground your shape with a stable connection to a surface. Sketch in all of the ins and outs of the shell so it is apparent where the shadows will be. Keep in mind the lightest, 

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