Tools: Brush Pens

W14 12 19 BOOBY GURL MIRROR OLD 2I don’t sketch with brush pens often,
because I like a juicy wash and/or pen and ink — BUT I do occasionally, and so, here is my take on them. They are great on the go for quick sketches, thinking sketches.
*But then so is a fountain pen… * 
I use them to add a bit of color (see waterbrushes filled with liquid watercolor
or ink, below) when you can’t pull out your watercolors at all — not even with waterbrushes!  As in, on the sly, like sneaking candy into the movies.

I wrote a critique of my favorite waterbrushes when I was using them all the time.  Bottom line, I still prefer Pentel Aquash because their point stays pointy longer.  The downside is they don’t hold much water.  Upside is they are a bit shorter, hold a point, and will fit into a small pack.  And they are easy to refill!

When capping brush pens, be careful about the brush filaments
lining up as you put your brushes away.  I store waterbrushes filled
with water cap-less unless traveling; they stay fresher.

w16-waterbrush-03I’ve filled several with liquid watercolors (here I am using the last of my
discontinued Luma liquid watercolors), and pop them into my purse in a plastic bag (leaks?? aaack!)  Before I fill them with anything staining, I test them because many Pentels leak!  And yes, you can fill them with INK!  Yay!

Finally, cap carefully as bits of watercolor or ink can spray.

dilution-solutionA note about ink dilution.
I use distilled water to dilute my inks when
I am painting, but am uncomfortable
putting them into a waterbrush as they go bad
(inks smell when they go bad, fortunately).
I have De Atramentis Dilution Liquid
for Document Inks
in my cart.  I want to
try it in my waterbrushes to see if the
ink stays fresh longer.  And report, of course.

I like making my own colored pens because they
are refillable, so less landfill issues.  Every little bit helps.

Jetpens, has four of various sizes for $24.50 (free shipping at $25.)
I do not recommend the one filled with black ink, because it is a pale black, though waterproof (see below).  And while I like to support my favorite stores, but I sometimes find a bundle on Amazon and use it to top off an order for free shipping.
I’d rather spend the $$$ on supplies than shipping!


What about manufacturer’s inked brush pens?

We discussed the Pentel filled with black ink, above.

The pre-inked pen I use the most is the Platinum Japanese Art Pocket Brush Pen.
*It is not an actual brush pen but a felt tip; why do they call it brush tip?*
I drew the piece above with it and added watercolor, nice, easy drawing!  I buy them again and again, and keep one in my purse.  They are pretty.  Nice point, though the point does wear down, eventually, unfortunately, and then off to the landfill.  This bothers me.Platinum Japanese Art Pocket Brush Pen 4475W16 7 5 PENTALIC Ucluelet BC 03

MANY artists swear by the Kuretake Zig Cartoonist Brush Pen No. 22.
It worked nicely for the image above but I don’t like them.
I’ve bought three of the same brush pens from Jetpens, two of which are shown below.
The one on top and the middle below, are the same pen,
bought at different times from
JetPens, which says they are water-resistant.
One is clearly not water-resistant, and the other is.  Both say 22 on them, one in Japanese.  The quality of the ink is inconsistent!  It drives me crazy to not know what I am buying, however, if you don’t care about waterproof, then it makes no difference.

w16-waterbrush-02Lastly, while we are talking about landfills and reusable pens, while not perfect, Preppy is making two more pens I love and give away, though I rarely use sketching.

Preppy makes a refillable eye dropper highlighter!!!!  Yay!  I now have ONE highlighter,  and no more landfill.  The ink above is  Noodler’s Firefly Ink.
I highly recommend the 4.5 oz Bottle with the eyedropper for this application!

Preppy also makes a refillable eyedropper felt tip pen.  I wish it was a finer tip, which is why I haven’t bought more.  I can fill them with my favorite inks (these are DeAtramentis Documents inks)!  You can, of course, use their cartridges — but seems to defeat the purpose for me.  I make them both eyedropper pens.
Goulet sells them too.  See their video on eyedropper conversion below.

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©D. Katie Powell.
My images/blog posts may be reposted; please link back  to dkatiepowellart.

Posted in color, drawing, ink painting, painting, review, tools, waterbrush | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

NaSkeFiMo, or Fill Up The Journal and Be Done with It!

w16-11-15-naskefimo-01Working to finish up a journal I don’t like.
Not because of the paper — Strathmore paper is good paper.
The journal is not falling apart (I’ve stuck with THOSE.)
No, this is because the Strathmore Journal has a strange feeling cover,
and the pages don’t lay flat so I am always fighting them.
This was an early journal, so I didn’t know what I liked.
I gave all the others away, BUT I had some nice images in this one
and a couple of memories, Nicks in McMinnville and the Catholic Church and
when Mitchell split his thumb on the saw.  I just could not toss it.

Then there is this, below.  Seriously, I’ve had nightmares.
I didn’t have them with Bush, and I didn’t like him… but he was not Trump.
I didn’t have them with 911… I sobbed at the deaths, but was not afraid for my own life
despite what the media was trying to do to us daily.
Trump and his large band of inciting-to-riot cohorts are scaring the shit out of me.

w16-11-20-naskefimo-02 w16-11-20-naskefimo-03Flip video below…

Strathmore Journal,  Jinhao pen with Diamine Regency Blue ink,
Noodler’s pen with De Atramentis Tobacco ink,
Lamy Al-Star with Diamine Ancient Copper,
Platinum Carbon pen with De Atramentis Document Brown ink,
Noodler’s, De Atramentis Document, Diamine Ancient Copper Ink, De Atramentis Tobacco, and Super5 ink.  Okay, some watercolors.  And the kitchen sink.

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USk: Alphabet Tile Home

w16-11-17-naskefimo-02You might remember the sketch
I did of this door and “blue” tiles
at a home the other day >>  It wasn’t the first time I’d drawn the house.  I’m drawn to it: it is close to the studio, the form reminds me of so many homes in Los Angeles, and because of the tiles…

I’d studied the house’s form early on a walk with Mitchell.  First studies were about the building, notes to myself in case I didn’t finish it onsite (I didn’t.)  Studying a building helps me but it can
also help someone who doesn’t have the architecturally trained eyes to catch perhaps quickly the language the building is using towards it grace or grandeur.

w16-10-1-usk-tile-house-001Human scale noted.  The steps were eye level —
this reminds me about the angles up and down (video coming),
and what I am seeing on shadows and balcony ceilings and lighting.
I look for symmetry and exceptions, though in this case, exceptions only in landscaping.
I discovered, by putting pencil to paper, what was so versus what I had assumed about the roof in this building!  Sketching-thinking allowed me to study what I think I am looking at then check it to the actual building.  You can see my initial block, which is higher than the actual roof, which is a bit oriental and steps down due to our viewpoint.
I then blocked it in brown pencil.  These sketches in an Aquabee sketchbook.

w16-10-1-usk-tile-house-004When I went back my point of view changed a bit (higher) and I finished a pencil sketch in the moleskin.  This is about as detailed as I get in a sketch before inking, below

w16-10-1-usk-tile-house-013Inked.  At this point in my moleskin journal I went home to paint —
but not before taking pics for color.

w16-10-1-usk-tile-house-015Art Nouveau Tiles!

w16-10-1-usk-tile-house-019The steps leading up to the doors in this and the buildings next door (matching, built by the same architect) have the most gorgeous Art Nouveau tiles!  The “plain green” is multi-hued, jewel-tone emerald- green but moving in lime and blue directions;
there is an amazing watercolor-glazed effect.

I used the tiles patterns creatively in the
page layout for the building.  I still have space
on the opposing page and have not decided what
I want to place there — perhaps lamp details or notes from our walk or some other discovery.  I drew them initially in a sketch book onsite but then I wanted
this cool border (below) to frame the layout.w16-10-1-usk-tile-house-014

Finally without my writing, below!

w16-10-1-usk-tile-house-024w16-10-1-usk-tile-house-016w16-10-1-usk-tile-house-027The lovely green is Diopside Green by Daniel Smith with touches of Spring green, if I remember.  I also used some of the cheapy Prima colors for the first time…
Not terrible.  I have no idea if they are lightfast — no rating — SO, only in sketchbooks.

I am playing in the group Thursday Doors, led by Norm 2.0, with others, here!

Have you got a door in your sketchbook?

   Moleskin 8×11 watercolor journal, with a Pentalic HB woodless pencil,
Lamy Al-Star with De Atramentis Document Black ink,
Platinum Carbon Pen with Platinum Carbon ink waterproof cartridges,
Sennelier, Holbein, Prima, DS Primatek watercolors, and Daniel Smith Watercolors.


©D. Katie Powell.
My images/blog posts may be reposted; please link back  to dkatiepowellart.

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VSW: Boyd’s Bread

w16-11-1-pentalic-boyds-bread-03Sketch to watercolor…


Thanks to Randy for this image… Middle of the night drawing.

Pentalic Aqua Journal
Pilot Desk Fountain Pen – DPN-70 with De Atramentis Tobacco ink,
Sennelier, Holbein, and DS Primatek watercolors, and Daniel Smith Watercolors.

Posted in architecture, art journal, challenge, pen & ink, virtual sketching | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tools: Favorite Journals

NOTE: This is about my preferences and why.
Other artists will have other preferences, so reading what they like and
what they say about this or that journal is good.
The only negatives I will write are very bad experiences….
and note I am mostly an
ink (sketched and painted) and watercolor artist.

Okay, so cutting to the chase, my favorite journal is STILL the A4 Moleskin
Folio Watercolor Landscape journal
, above. Closer to 8.5 x 11.5-inches,
I can sketch one large drawing, many smaller drawings, or I can cross over the pages.
I can divide the pages up graphically or run the images over each other willy-nilly.
I like the 200g/m or 135lb  paper: it can take a huge amount of wet thrown at it and no bleeding, and the texture is nice on both sides, consistently.
I can also lift color without pilling.
I prefer clipping the pages to keep them from blowing; no clip marks.
The BIG PAPER envelope at the back is mighty nice too.

W16 5 20 USk PORTLAND UNION STATION 005W16 5 20 USk PORTLAND UNION STATION 006w16 5 fabriano sketchbookSadly, I have SIX Fabriano A4 Landscape, 200g/m. The paper has more tooth, so not as smooth as Moleskin.  It doesn’t have the rubber band to close the book nor the nifty flap to store bits of this or that, yet is priced comparatively.  The most important item is the paper.  Meh.  Inks feathered.  Watercolors floated due to sizing,
I assume.  The paper does not perform well if two+ layers of watercolor are applied.  I cannot lift watercolor without pilling and lifting paper even with a soft watercolor brush.  I often use a brush to lightly “scrub” skies around; this paper does not like that and pills.  THAT is a deal-breaker for me.  Great watercolorists overseas are horrified as they love Fabriano.  Could it be on this side of the pond we get an inferior paper?  Fabriano expressed and sent me replacements; unfortunately more of the same!

w16-11-journals-travel-tote-02I finally realized the big A4 journal can be unwieldy in bed at 3am,
and I like to paint in the middle of the night (insomnia), which is what made me
fall in love with the smaller A5, or 5 x 8-inch landscape journal.
I also can discretely slip the smaller journal in my purse with just a pen,
and that can be nice in hectic situations.

w16-9-30-pentalic-sammy-01I wrote a bad review of the Pentalic (above dark blue, with Jai on the cover) a while back when two journal covers fell apart within a few pages of me working in them.
I wrote them and received no answer, both times, before I wrote the bad review.
My update is that out of the blue they responded to a letter from ages ago, and said they worked on the books and now feel the problem is solved, and comped me two books.
I told them they should’ve said that they realized there were problems early on and the bad review would not have been written…  The book is just a bit bigger *yay* than before
(blue book bottom right) and I have opened it fully and yes, they might have fixed it.
If so, it will be one of my favorite books, despite its conservative dark blue cover,
which I will cover with stickers.  300 g/m and 140lbs.
We will see after I move to that book.

In the meantime, I will talk about other books,
even some not yet tried.

w16-11-journals-travel-tote-01*BTW, the waxed paper tip-in (top) I use to keep paint from transferring
if I get the other side sopping wet… thin and it works!
I don’t do it all the time but if I have a bright image next to a muted image, yesh…*

Moleskin comes in the A5 size (bottom left), and I know I will be happy with it for all the reasons I love the A4.  I didn’t know that this A5 was landscape, so only just bought them.

The green book center left above is the Hand•Book Journal Trav•e•logue series.  I did my first review, and have a bit more to add.  I bought this via mail so didn’t feel the paper.
I don’t like the feel of the slightly off-white paper but my pens liked it.w16-0-handbk-review-03Hand•Book advertises it can take light watercolors, doesn’t say the weight *hmmm*
Hand•Book’s paper took a wet ink buildup shown left, without badly buckling.
However, the ink washes show the color on the revers side —
it is not quite a bleed-through but it isn’t what I want in a sketchbook.
My Aquabee Super Deluxe Journals with 150 gms paper can take watercolor.
I’ve decided to use only one side of the paper, in any event.
And, Hand•Book’s paper is ?soft? so every time I use a clip it leaves a mark —
not true on any of my other sketchbooks.
For this price I can get a Moleskin, which can take anything I throw at it.
*oh the back has a plastic flap and i hate it*
Also, note this is not Hand•Book’s 200gm book,
which I may try unless people tell me that it is the same…..

A totally virgin *exciting* book center right is the Nostalgic by Hahnemühle.
190 g/m 90 lbs, I am curious to see what it can take.  Roz Stendahl says it is a good ink journal, and with my recent intoxication with ink painting, I had to buy to try!
Smooth paper, nice feel to the cover, no envelope, no rubber-band.
Priced to compete with Moleskin.

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©D. Katie Powell.
My images/blog posts may be reposted; please link back  to dkatiepowellart.

Posted in acrylic, art journal, color, journal, paper, sketchbook, tools | Tagged , , , , | 14 Comments


w16-11-gratitude-1 w16-11-gratitude-2

I am also thankful for my blog and
the connections it has brought into my life.

The wonder of the new and unexpected
should be appreciated through new eyes!
Have a day filled with Gratitude…

UNKNOWN Watercolor paper –scrap, and all INK!
Lamy Al-Star with Diamine Ancient Copper ink,
KWZ Ink’s Foggy GreenJ.Herbin Vert Olive ink.

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 ©D. Katie Powell.
My images/blog posts may be reposted; please link back  to dkatiepowellart.

Posted in art, cards, ink painting, memory, painting, pen & ink | Tagged , , , , , , | 19 Comments

CA Trip, 1: Telegraph Road, Santa Paula

w16-16-handbk-santa-paula-01I’ve been processing a wild and woolly trip to So Cal.
I’ll be posting items out of order, that is for sure.
I’m adding color to many, and some are images from photos taken.
Starting with Tooling around Mitchell’s home town, not the first time we’ve done this,
but the first time we’ve done it alone, and we had a good time doing it.

Telegraph Rd. runs right through farming country.  The look of that area spells home to me, and is much the way Dana Point looked when I first moved (it is a couple hours south of Ventura County).  Farming is still valued.  Dana Point was orange groves and fields of strawberries and corn and the Ventura area stayed that way to a great degree.

w16-15-handbk-santa-paula-01Houses like the Faulkner House, top, are hidden behind groves and
you see the tops of palms and avocado trees (yum) and Morton bay fig trees.
Live oaks are way up in the hills, and yes, home home home to both of us.

“Memory is more indelible than ink.” Anita Loos, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.
“I think not….”  Me… why I journal!

Handbook Journal, Pentalic 2B woodless pencil,
Platinum Carbon Pen with waterproof cartridges,
Lamy Joy with De Atramentis Document Black ink,
Pilot Desk Fountain Pen – DPN-70 with De Atramentis Tobacco ink,
Pilot Metropolitan with KWZ Ink’s Foggy Green,
Platinum Carbon pen with De Atramentis Document Brown ink.

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 ©D. Katie Powell.
My images/blog posts may be reposted; please link back  to dkatiepowellart.

Posted in architecture, art journal, drawing, ink painting, journal, landscape, memory, painting, pen & ink, watercolor | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments