How much is my pen and ink drawing worth?

Communicate directly with a qualified specialist and get a fair market valuation of your item, typically in 48 hours or less.
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Mearto Specialist:

Anne M.

Anne has been providing collectors with fine art appraisals and authentication research for the last 10 years. She specializes in the identification of forgeries and has worked alongside some of the world's leading experts in the field of provenance research and scientific analysis. Her extensive experience includes collaborations with major museums, foundations and auction houses in Europe and the United States, ensuring the integrity of high-value transactions. As an online appraisal expert, Anne enjoys the diversity of items submitted by Mearto customers and takes pride in sharing her knowledge and passion for fine art.

Have you recently inherited or purchased a pen and ink drawing and want to know its value? Mearto provides quick and affordable online appraisals of pen and ink drawings. All you have to do is click on the “Start Appraisal” button above and follow the steps to send us information about and images of your pen and ink drawing. One of our qualified and experienced specialists will review and get back to you with a fair market and insurance value, typically within 48 hours.

Have questions about the valuation provided, or would you like some advice about selling your pen and ink drawing? We are here to help! Our platform allows you to chat back and forth with a specialist to ensure that all of your questions are answered.

Different Pen and Ink Drawing Techniques

Pen and ink drawings are created by applying ink to a (usually) paper surface. They are usually characterized by the bold contrast of using black ink on white or lightly colored paper. Here are four traditional shading techniques used in pen and ink drawings:

  • Hatching: Using straight parallel lines to uniformly represent the volume and light values of a drawn object.
  • Cross Hatching: Similar to hatching, but a second set of parallel lines is drawn perpendicular to the first set, creating a darker sense of shading where the lines intersect.
  • Stippling: Creates volume and shading by laying numerous small dots close together. Dots placed closer together give a sense of darker, deeper shading, while dots spaced further apart give a sense of more light or dispersed shadow.
  • Smooth Shading: Best achieved by using an ink wash. The artist uses water to dilute the ink and create smooth transitions between dark and light shades.

Notable Artists Working in Pen and Ink

Pen and ink drawing, historically used for studies, has also become a medium for final masterpieces. Notable artists include Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Peter Paul Rubens, Vincent Van Gogh, Egon Schiele, and Kathe Kollwitz, whose pen and ink works are highly valued.

Potential Damage to Ink Drawings and Washes on Paper

Ink can be applied to paper in various ways, and pen and ink drawings are susceptible to different forms of damage:

  • Foxing: Common and unavoidable paper affliction appearing as reddish-brown spots caused by iron in the paper and mildew spores.
  • Acid Burn: Caused by wood or wood pulp coming into contact with the paper, resulting in browning. It can be reversed by a professional paper conservator.
  • UV Damage: Paper is sensitive to light, and UV light can cause fading or yellowing.
  • General Filth: Unframed paper may accumulate grime or filth, which can be cleaned by a professional paper conservator. Framing behind glass helps prevent build-up.

What our customers say:

150,000+ satisfied customers

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I received a response and information regarding my items in less than 48 hours, which I appreciated. The appraiser was very knowledgable.

Kristal Hicks Torpey

I highly recommend Mearto if you're curious of the value or background of any item in your home.
The appraisal I received from Mearto was detailed and thorough.

Austin Phillips

I received a quality appraisal in less than 48 hours. I also acquired a second opinion of an industry expert who concurred with Mearto's appraised value.  

Todd Roper

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