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Yet Another Paper with Sepia Brush Pen

October 9, 2017
Working with the Pentel Sepia Color Brush Pen on Stonehenge paper. (6 x 9 Inches).

After posting about using the Pentel Sepia Color Brush Pen on a couple other papers last week, I kept picking up the brush pen while working.

The other day I sketched this gentleman on white Stonehenge Paper. I thought it would be a good time to post this image because the other post might still be in people’s minds and they could refer back to “Same Pen—Different Papers.”

I find that on this drawing/printmaking paper the ink sinks in quickly, but you can still lift washes from the dark areas of application and “moosh” the ink around a bit. 

As you can see in the detail portion below, there is a nice range of approaches useful on this paper. Here are some of the things you can see in this piece:  wetting dark patches to let them soften (left eyebrow, our left); you can dry brush with dilute ink on water brush (right cheek leading to highlight area); dry brush with ink brush tip (left cheek below eye); restating darks when earlier wet washes are damp (inside edge of nose and right eye). Not visible in the detail image, but possible on this paper, is lifting this ink by wetting with clear water (bottom of mustache and various places in the beard). (The drips and splats of ink are something that happens just because I’m working quickly, juggling an ink brush and one or two water brushes.)

Detail from today’s image shows a bit more closely how the paper reacts with this ink. The surface of Stonehenge is very smooth. It’s not a watercolor paper, but washes have their own charm on it.

Lifting the ink is not as easy on this paper as the papers tested and reviewed last week because the ink settles into this paper faster. But the surface allows for so much variation that I would rank this one of my favorite papers for use with this pen. 

Stonehenge is available in a wide selection of colors. All of the papers in this line have the same great, smooth surface. Yet because it is a drawing/printmaking paper, there is a nice tooth to surface, making it suitable for dry media like pencils, color pencils, and various crayons.

Besides working on this paper with brush pens, dip pens, and other ink methods, I enjoy painting with gouache on the Kraft surface, which is a rich “grocery store bag” brown. And while Stonehenge isn’t a watercolor paper I use watercolors on the whites and creams in this line all the time. I enjoy working with the extra drag on the brush, and fiddling with washes that aren’t going to smooth all over the paper as they would on watercolor paper.

I’ve found that the newer colors, Polar White, Kraft, and Pale Blue do not fold well even with the grain, and crack horribly. (This link to a book I bound with Stonehenge Kraft will show you what I mean.)

I recommend if you want to bind books out of this paper that you purchase a couple sheets in the color you want to use and test the foldability before committing to it. I have found that the cream, fawn, natural, and the original white all fold with the grain with only minimum cracking, which makes it possible to bind books with them.

I’ve resolved the folding issue by simply using this paper flat in my loose sheets journals. In fact it was the paper I used the most in my “Saying Good-bye to the Bell Museum” project, because of its versatility—working great with everything from pen and ink, to watercolor washes, to gouache.

I think it’s a paper you would enjoy working on whether you work in pen and in or mixed media. And now you can see how it works compared to the other papers tested last week with the sepia brush pen.

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