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Washi Tape (I Just Don’t Understand Some Things About Myself)

See the full post for details.


Lightfast Tests on Four Japanese Brush Pens

Left: a lightfast test on 4 Japanese brush pens reviewed in January. (A) is the control and (B) is the exposed sheet. On January 25, 2009 I wrote a review "Four More Brush Pens to Consider." At the same time I also put up a lightfast test because my acupuncturist who is Japanese, told me […]

Audible Sigh of Relief: Derwent Drawing Lightfast Test

Left: Lightfast test for Derwent Drawing. (A) is the control, (B) is the exposed portion of the test. I'm relieved to say there was no visible fading. Click on the image to view an enlargement.

After being burned badly by Derwent Graphitints I decided to test one of my favorite Derwent products which I had always just trusted: Derwent Drawing.

These thick colored pencils with a muted color range and elegant clear varnished barrels, were first introduced in a set of 5 or 6 (it's been so long I really can't remember; the Dick Blick site says they were first introduced in 1986; I found them after reading an article in Step-by-Step Graphics on illustrator Peter de Sève). The set contained the essential drawing colors such as Ivory, Chocolate Brown, Sanguine, White, Yellow Ochre—you get the idea.

I always loved these pencils because they were drier and less waxy in their feel and application than regular wax pencils. They still had a waxy binder so it wasn't like using pastels (which I can't use because of allergies and asthma). They were always a happy drawing medium for me. Something that married well with watercolor. The black made an excellent pencil for sketching Emma and Dottie (black and white Alaskan Malamutes). When I photocopied those sketches to use as transfers for making carvings the lines were always crisp and clean. If I scanned those sketches and turned them into bitmaps they retained their pencil stroke quality when printed out in photocopier artist books.


Another Look at J. Herbin Encre de Chine


Above: My lightfast test for J. Herbin Engre de Chine, Marron (brown). The left half of the sheet was the protected sheet. The right half of the sheet faded when exposed to light. See additional comments below. Click on the image to view an enlargement.

Many of you may recall my original post on J. Herbin India Inks. I expressed some concern about the cost for a small bottle (minute bottle actually) and wording in the company's description of this product. Specifically what bothered me was the statement that the ink had "great permanency of color."


Fading in the Fast Lane: Art Kure Brush Pens

Left: Lightfast test swatches made of three Art Kure Brush Pens: Delft Blue, Blue, and Brown. I no longer have the pens so I don't know the exact name of the dark blue and brown. I labeled the Delft Blue strokes with DB everywhere as I wanted to be sure to know after the fading test which blue was which. Click to view an enlargement.

Friends and students know I love to use the Pentel Color Brush even though it isn't lightfast. You can read my comments about that brush pen in my January 15, 2009 post which also contains links to artwork made with it.

Well a couple years ago when I first saw the Art-Kure Brush Pen in a supply catalog I thought, since they referred to it as a "watercolor system," that it might actually be an archival tool…

THESE PENS ARE NOT LIGHTFAST as you can see from the lightfast test. Don't be lured in by their snazzy nomenclature in the promotional copy. This is not a "watercolor" tool or "fine art" tool. This tool produces fugitive results. You need to be aware of that to make a choice about whether you use it.


Four More Brush Pens to Consider


Above: Apologies for the glare filled photo but the light would not cooperate today! These brush pens are from the top— A) Kuretake Fudegokochi Brush Pen – Gray Ink (KURETAKE LS5-10) = $3.15; B) Pilot Brown Barrel Brush Pen – Hair Brush (PILOT SN-30FM-B) = $4.50; C) Kuretake No. 30 Double Sided Brush Pen – Hard & Hair Brush (KURETAKE DY151-30B) = $7.50; and D) Zebra Disposable Brush Sign Pen – Fine (ZEBRA WF1) = $2.25 (Click on the image to see an enlargement.)

I'm perfectly happy with my Pentel Pocket Brush Pen, but I do like to know what is out there, so recently I ordered a few pens, not available locally, through JetPens. In the photo caption above I have copied the name as it appears on my invoice so that you will have ordering and price information.


Pentel Brush Pens: The Pocket Brush and the Color Brush


Above the Pentel Pocket Brush Pen and the Pentel Color Brush (top, gray cap; the cap color denotes ink color). Note that the orange tape around the Pocket Brush Pen is just something I do to identify old pens from their younger siblings.

I get a lot of questions about which Pentel brush pen I am using. Consequently I try to always be specific when I post a journal page using one of these tools on my website journal postings

This post is my attempt to be even more crystal clear about these two pens and their attributes so that if you are interested in trying a brush pen you can know exactly what you are getting, and what results or working capabilities you can expect.


Commercial Sketchbooks: A Test of Kunst & Papier’s Watercolor Offering


Above: A test spread from a Kunst & Papier Aquarellbuch/watercolor sketchbook. Click on the image to see an enlarged version.

Today marks the third month of my blog with daily posting, but today there is no contest to enter. My time the past few weeks has been taken up with label making and sign making for an upcoming show. I had a couple contest ideas bouncing in my head but no time to refine them. There will be contests on other days.

For now I'd like to share a product review on a commercially made sketchbook. I know not everyone makes his own books, nor even wants to. I also know at some point I won't be able to. (It's a rather physical enterprise and I wonder how long the hands and knees will hold up.) Consequently I'm always on the lookout for good commercially made journals.


Pentel’s Slicci Pen

Left: Test sketch with Slicci pen on Nideggen paper which has a  laid pattern with a wavy chain. See notes below about this drawing. Click on the image for an enlargement. Later there is also a close up.

I like fine point pens and Tim at Wet Paint knows this. So the other day when I was in shopping he showed me the Slicci Pens from Pentel. They have three point sizes: 025, 03, and 04. I don't really understand what the numbers relate to (could it be millimeters, it seems smaller than that and I didn't ask), but I can tell you when you write with them they are fine, superfine, and microfine. I asked Tim what he would call this type of pen: "Is it a roller ball?" And Tim said, "I call it a needlepoint gel pen." When you work with the pen you'll find his description fits. There is a smoothness to the pen that many ultra fine points don't have. (Oh, and everyone at Wet Paint has decided to pronounce this "slick-ee.")


Altered Book Round Robin Part III


Above: a page spread from my altered book on "Mysteries."

In my two previous posts about the preparation of my book for the MCBA Visual Journal Collective's Altered Book Round Robin I talked about selection of a book and the altering of the cover. Once the cover is completed (or put on hold until the end of the project, which is another way to go) it's time to get inside and start altering those pages.

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