Coming Back to a Brush Pen

August 8, 2014


Above: Gradually over the days my use of the Pilot Lettering Pen and the sepia Pentel ColorBrush for washes, let me to pick up the black in brush pen again (I used various ones) and restate some very hard lines. (Face on the left shows what happens when you try to pick up too much of the sepia dye-based ink from this paper—you get ghosting.)


Left: Here's a detail of the face on the left.

As we saw on last Wednesday's post I moved away from brush pens and brushes in general immediately after International Fake Journal Month 2014 was finished. One of the physical problems I've been battling for over a year now is both tennis and golfer's elbow in my right arm (I play neither, but you know I do a whole heck of a lot of other similar motions in my life with the constant typing on the computer for work or writing. I wanted to give my arm a rest from reaching for the brush either for paint or ink, or from squeezing a brush pen. But I gradually started picking up the black ink brush pens again and this post shows a few of the images in which it happened.

140512_C_BrushPenSepiaMaleLeft: Direct brush pen sketching using the fine-tipped pigment ink-filled Pentel ColorBrush, then I applied sepia using the Pentel ColorBrush, and lightened washes and spread washes with the Niji waterbrush.

From there I moved again to just using the black ink pen to sketch. There is something about that black brush line that I love so much. I tend to slow down and think about where my line is going to go and then speed up and put the line down very quickly because the brush pens just slide along on the surface of the paper. It's heaven. And then to splatter sepia ink everywhere, and then water to pick up the sepia ink. More heaven. Too much fun. I actually get giddy doing this.

140512_C_BrushPenSepiaMaleDetailLeft: Here's a detail of the single page portrait. If you're like me you wanted to see the detail of the ink on the page. Sometimes I move the ink around with a paper towel.

The paper in these notebooks is a bit gray, these aren't bad scans. But I'm happy to put up with that, as well as some slight paper buckling, just because it is all so fun to work on.

With all the splattering I did in May I ruined the top of the chair I sit in and further degraded my various pairs of painting paints. But the chair's seen its last days anyway so I have not a bit of guilt behind the silly smile I wear when I do this.

Go have some fun with your brush pens.

If you can't tell the difference between one Pentel brush pen and the next, go look at this post.

    • Julana
    • August 8, 2014

    Do,you mean painting pants? Thank you for the info.

    • Tina
    • August 8, 2014

    I’ve used and liked Pentel brush pens but found them a bit over-priced. I’ve lately been filling ordinary waterbrushes with water-soluble fountain pen inks in different colors… so much fun! I dilute them at will, mix different colors to make new colors, refill them as needed, etc. Fun, fun, fun. Someday you should auction off those pants (to benefit a favorite charity)… I bet your blog readers would pay a good price to have Roz’s painting pants!

    – Tina

  1. Reply

    By painting pants I mean the pants that I wear when I paint, and therefore get all covered with paint. This has come to mean all my pairs of pants so it’s a bit of a joke.

  2. Reply

    I sometimes put Noodler’s inks in a waterbrush, but I really love the inks and even the dyes they put in the various Pentel Colorbrushes so I keep using them. I find they last a long time and I get lots of sketches out of them. Also you can buy the bodies to “refill” them and then I find I can get 2 bodies through a tip before I wear it out for fine line work. So I have a series of these staged in “wear” order and the replacement bodies are less expensive. (Difficult to find and I’m down to the end of my stockpile.)

    Naw no one wants any of these pants! They are also all very worn. I was just upset the other day because my last pair of 20 year-old sweats that I love, love love from Title Nine (no longer make them) is almost dead, and Dick said, “No one wears pants for 20 years.” It’s hard to let go of them. They have been through the brambles while tracking with the dogs and still held up all these years and washes. Whereas a pair of sweats I bought recently from LL Bean haven’t been out of the house and have been washed 3 times and already have a hole on the back near the top—not a wear hole. SIgh. ANd they cost 2 x a much.

  3. Reply

    ROZ: in my family any clothing item that lasts over a decade we call ” MY VALUE____”. To determine if you have a value item it has to have ” paid for itself 5x over’, and be pretty irreplacable.

    My dad had a ” VALUE SWEATER”: a woolen ski sweater, tended with care over time, 30 years old. No moth holes no visible wear. Handed down to my brother as I guess our understanding of a family heirloom!

    My brother in law has one of those navy/white flecked classic LLBEAN sweaters that might be hitting the 15 year mark.

    Mine is a red corduroy EDDIE BAUER shirt that has hit 18 years,great for the FALL when a jacket would be too much. Good for layering.

    I believe you have an enviable COLLECTION of VALUE SLACKS! YOU WIN!

  4. Reply

    I love that Ellen, I do indeed have a lot of “value pants” And T-shirts.

    Years ago I was a member of a t-shirt club and for $30 for 3 months each month you got a t-shirt printed with the most wonderful etching collages of Freddie Baer in San Fancisco. One shirt each 1/4 would be black with light printing but I don’t wear black shirts (can’t see ticks on them) so I have those put away as wonderful as the day they were made. The others I wear all the time but sadly after almost 25 years the collars are giving up and the sleeve hems are getting holes. It’s amazing how long you can make cotton last if you was it in cold water and then rack dry it!

    I am desolate that my two favorite pairs of Gramiccis that I now only wear at Fairs and such (because they are truly covered with paint and worn, are giving out. In fact I was wearing them regularly to the zoo and other city venues not caring how I looked, but then after washing one last year the crotch simply gave out (threadbare) in a way that isn’t fixable (I’d resewn the seam stitches a lot). So now I only wear the remaining one for the State Fair. I suppose it will rip to shreds in the cow barn one day when I kneel!

    They have deep pockets in which I can organize my sketching tools so I don’t have to keep moving my fanny pack around and annoying the animals with movement.

    I’ve bought all sorts of other pants in an effort to replace them and Gramicci seems to have changed how they make all their styles. EEEEE.

    I’m actually thinking of making a bag or pocket to hang from the fanny pack’s strap, to hold my markers and such this year—because YES I’ve decided to take some of the really fat markers I’m using and you can get one of those in a pocket. SIGH.

    I have to seriously take myself in hand and decide what the plan is for this year—it’s hard because I don’t know how many times I’ll actually get to go because of family stuff.

    ANyway thanks for telling me about the Value Clothes.

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