Sometimes when I’m under the weather the best thing I can do is test new tools and materials. I find that it takes my focus aways from any aches, pains, or in the current case coughs and general systems failures. (I don’t have Covid, I just have a bad case of bronchitis which even with doctor’s care got all creative and out of control.)
So about 5 days ago I ordered a couple pens, and one of them was the Pilot Shunpitsu Pocket Brush Pen, hard solid fiber tip, with black ink.
The ink is supposed to be fast drying (check) and water resistant (check—will vary depending on the paper you’re using it on and the sizing on that paper).
It’s a rich black ink and it makes a lovely black line.
I decided to test it and the video that appears at the end of this post is that test.
The video lasts about 60 minutes. During the video I talk a bit about the pen at the start, do the first sketch on Strathmore 400 series Plate Bristol, watercolor that sketch, and then do the second sketch which is here at the opening of this post. That sketch uses the same pen, but I’m sketching on a piece of Starthmore 500 series Mixed Media paper, which is their 100 percent cotton fiber sheet in their Mixed Media paper line. Readers of the blog know that paper is my current favorite paper. (All other favorite papers except for TH Saunders/Waterford watercolor paper have pretty much been discontinued.)
If you’re interested in my findings about the pen I’d watch the sketch portions, fast forward through the painting portions, and then catch the summing up at the end. Pay particular attention to the bleed through issues example at the end of the video if you intend to use this pen in a journal and work on both sides of a paper. This pen will bleed through both Bristol and the Mixed Media paper, though other pens I use have inks that DO NOT bleed through those papers. For that reason mostly, and the fact that the pen is a bit small for my small hand unless I post it (and I don’t post caps as explained in the video) I won’t be using this pen. In fact I’m giving my pens to a good friend so she can test it out without having the tip worn down.
But many of you might find that this pen with its ink have a lot of characteristics that you would love in a pen. Because of that I encourage you to watch the sketching portions of the video and then think about testing the pen for yourself on your favorite papers to see what happens.
Please note that the video was made while I was ill and coughing quite a lot. I have tried to edit or mute all my coughs, so the weird cuts in the video are from that. No part of the demo has been cut out. I like to do demos in real time so that you can see the decisions being made and understand how I work around a piece while letting washes dry in another area. I also like to leave the fast forwarding to you. Yes if you do that you may miss interesting comments about my childhood, or as in today’s video a discussion about the fashions in a certain Cary Grant movie. You be the judge of what’s important to you.
Photo References Used in Today’s Demo
I edited this the day after I sketched so one of the models didn’t respond to my request to use his photo in the public video. For that reason you’ll only see the second portrait’s reference photo side by side with my sketch as you watch this video.
However, you can see the original photo references at the following links to the galleries in the app formerly known as Sktchy, and now known as Museum.
You do not need to have the app to view the photos. Simply click on the link while reading this post on your computer and the image will open. You can then position it next to this browser window and watch the video with the photo reference right there.
I’ve already thanks both “muses” for their fun photos to sketch from, but if they end up at this post—thank you once again. Your faces were the perfect subjects for me to test this pen.
Want to Watch More Video Demonstrations?
If you find after watching this that you would like to watch more video demonstrations I encourage you to subscribe to my Patreon site.
That link will take you to the sign up page where you can subscribe month to month for a long or as little as you like.
The great things about subscribing now are:
1. I have been posting there since December 2019 which means there are 21 plus monthly demos (some months I post additional demos depending on the level you subscribe at). There are also creativity posts each month. These include exercises and suggestions for your drawing practice or work in a particular medium. And of course if you join at the Tier 3 level everything on the site opens for you the moment you subscribe.
But most exciting
2. September 2021 is going to be even more fun than usual because I have several videos on different approaches to working with ink so that people thinking about doing InkTober can use September to plan and practice. And I also have a video on planning successful projects (something I believe is important for the growth and sanity of every artist). In other words September is a bonanza month! Come and join me for a lot of fun and inspiration to take into your drawing and painting practice.
Additionally, material that appears on my Patreon site is currently not available anywhere else. I’ve told subscribers that material will not appear anywhere else for at least six months from publication date, but in the 21 months I’ve been doing this I haven’t reposted any of it.
Regardless of whether you subscribe or not I hope you have some fun doing pen tests!
Here’s the demonstration video: