More with Brush Pens and Direct Brush Painting

August 2, 2013


Left: Partial scan of my 11 x 14 inch Strathmore 500 Series Mixed Media Journal. (It doesn't fit on my scanner.) Pentel Pocket Brush Pen sketch with washes of gouache.


So in June I was watching Perry Mason again, and decided to sketch with the PPBP of course. I wanted to leave details out and try to supply them with washes of gouache. 

The PPBP works great on this paper, as does the gouache. It's a great way to get some sketching practice in. The black and white TV show makes seeing values quick without the distraction of color.

130627TabithaRight: Direct brush sketching with a number 12 round and light washes of Purple Magenta Schmincke gouache. (Tabitha Coffey from "Tabitha Takes Over.") This page too is from the Strathmore 500 Series Mixed Media journal that's too large to fit on my scanner.

In the two drawings of Tabitha Coffey at the right from June 27 I drew with the watercolor brush, washing lines out to shadow areas as I went. In the bottom sketch you can see how I repositioned her ear and rethought the size and angle of the head once I had committed to the nose and cheeks.

Purple magenta is kind of a disconcerting color to use for this monochromatic approach. But I enjoy it. And it was out on the palette.

If you have been working a lot with the PPBP I recommend that you take an evening and work with a watercolor brush and watercolor or gouache, to move away from the dark lines of the ink pen. It helps you rethink where you want to put shading and lines, and that's all useful when you jump back to using the PPBP and vice versa.

(Note: I just created a category for "brush pens" but if you want more posts on them you'll need to look for the Pentel Pocket Brush Pen, Aquash Brush Pen, and Bienfang Brush Pen in the blog's search engine. Sorry I didn't think of this category earlier. Also you could search for additional posts on Drawing with a brush. I'll start you out with this post of drawing with a brush pen and then taking it to a finished painting: "Journaling Superstitions #19: You Can't Journal without Your Journal.)

    • Linda
    • August 3, 2013

    Hi Roz, like the purple brush sketch. hen you start to do this watercolor and brush do you start with a very watered down color? Besides the purple what color would you start with? Thanks so Roz how’s the boy doing ad yourself? Hope all is well:)

  1. Reply

    Yep Linda, I mix up a very dilute amount of color and use it to put in the shadows, when I’ve started with a direct ink brush drawing like the top one.

    When I work just with the brush and watercolor or gouache I make a very dilute amount of color and draw some features in directly with the watercolor brush. As you can see sometimes I have to work in some corrections so if it’s light I can work over things.

    Purple is an odd color to start with, but I like purple. Most people would try this using a neutral color, maybe a sepia.

    I don’t know which boy you’re referring to so I can’t answer that. I’m holding my own.

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