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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 […]


Jury Duty


Above: The first page spread I completed during my recent stint in the jury pool. I was working in a journal I made with Nideggen paper (6.5 x 8.5 inches, approx), using a fresh .1 Staedtler Pigment Liner, and Schmincke Gouache in light washes (with the Niji waterbrush). The gentleman on the verso page was sleeping when I walked in. He was snoring loudly, alternating between wet and dry noises. I worried about sleep apnea! Click on the image to view an enlargement.

Last week I had jury duty. For a self-employed person this can be quite a juggling act. For me it meant working doubly hard the previous 3 weeks to clear time. (It’s one of the reasons I don’t take vacations.) Despite having always been a registered voter I had never been called before. I was always glad of this because of work, and because of the dogs (who were used to me being around 24/7 and could have been left alone, but would have been disgruntled). When my summons came my first thought was, well at least I’ll get it over with before the cycling season starts! (I was determined to be positive.)


Pentel’s Slicci Pen: Lightfast Test

Left: the control (A) and the exposed test sheet (B), for the Slicci pen. (Paper Velin Arches holds up really well to exposure folks!) Read below for comments. Last November I wrote a review of the Pentel Slicci Pen. I know it's an office type pen but it did have some interesting characteristics and I […]


Better News than Yesterday

Left: A lightfast test of some black ink pens—Pentel Tradio Fountain Pen, Staedtler Pigment Liner (which I knew was lightfast but threw it on as a sort of test of my test; and it was an almost dried out pen that I grabbed to make my swatch); the Pentel Pocket Brush Pen (ditto about knowing it wouldn't fade); a Payne's Gray Koh-I-nor Nexus Studio Pens (which I tested because sometimes companies are great at making black inks lightfast but not color ones; sure enough this company is great at both). Click on the image for an enlargement. There was no fading on any of these inks.

I know yesterday was a bit tough, all that fading, all those thoughts of hours spent creating artwork that isn't going to look the same in about, oh a week (just kidding); but you get the idea.

Today I remembered to post a test with a happier result. The caption above lists the various pens I was testing. I purchased them all at Wet Paint in St. Paul, but the links I've provided so you can see photos, are from other vendors. You decide (we know I want you to buy locally from WP!).


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.

The Pen Addict

After I wrote about Slicci Pens I noticed I started getting hits from Curious I went to see what it was. True to its name it's a blog about pens; pens of all sorts. The author had mentioned my review of the Slicci pen, hence the visitors from his site. Besides the pen blog […]


Pondering the Importance of Digits

090109FingercutLeft: The injured digit in a poorly wrapped "knuckle bandage." A sketch from my journal, 1.9.09. I used a .7 Staedtler Pigment Liner and light washes of gouache. Click on the image to see an enlargement.

Trying not to type much these days, but not wanting to break my writing streak so I wanted to post this quick sketch I did of my cut finger. (Nothing gross, Ricë doesn't have to look away.)

Several weeks ago my friend Wendy hurt her hand very badly. I had repeated moments of sympathetic cringing every time thoughts of it popped up in my mind. We all depend on our hands for so much. Whether it is to type this post, or sketch a line, or form a loaf of bread. I won't Rollerblade because I'm convinced I'll fall and sprain (or brake) a wrist (and frankly if you had seen me ice skate in college you'd be convinced too).


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.


Indoor Dog Park—Whose Idea Was this Again?


Above: My first page of sketches at the indoor dog park at the Twin Cities Metrodome. The journal is about 7 inches square. If you want to see the verso page of this spread check out Twin Cities Sketchers for January 7, 2009, where I suck it up and sketch a car. Click to view an enlarged version. Note: the dog in the center of the page, head only is not sniffing the drinking dog's butt, though there was plenty of butt sniffing going on. This is just one of those odd overlaps that happens when you are making lots and lots of gesture drawings and not looking at your paper much! What am I happy about in all these random strokes? The dog drinking water. I got a good sense of him. And the dog lower right, a sweet little brown mixed breed. Shy. I have a sense of her; enough to do a painting. End of page one and I'm not unhappy I came.

Last month my friend Linda told me about the indoor dog park at the Metrodome. We didn't find out in time to go however. But I had plans to go in January and  I asked other folks to come along with me. Seems it wasn't to be a crowd or sketchers, but the Avidors were game; we agreed to meet there.

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