D is for Drawing Pens: A-to-Z Challenge

My favorite drawing pens are Faber Castell Pitt Artist Pens, shown right as the top three pens with their caps off.  I love them because they are wonderfully waterproofed India ink, and work best of all the pens on shellacked paper, which I am loving in my journal. pens1 Their range is excellent, shown above, and can be subtle, bright, or layered, even on shellac!  I normally work in Dark Sepia, Sanguine or black to sketch, in sizes XS, S, F, and brush.  I have two complaints: They only make the white pen in the ultra fat size, and the colors of their tops and cases are deceiving and inaccurate.  I have a coral color that looks like a dark red cap, and the red looks pale.  Oops!  It can lead to mistakes so I must be very careful.

For watercolor pens, I love the Tombow Dual Brush Pen (the orange double tipped pen bottom right with both caps off); I used them in my early years as an architect, and they are wonderful, well-priced, last long, and the tips hold up to a lot of work.  Their colors are great and the caps are much closer to the real color!  I like them best in a sketch journal, fooling around, shown below.  they do not work on shellac.

yhst-131221940731303_2272_192366941Currently I am starting to play with the Cocoiro Lettering Pen.  One general problem I have with the Pitt and Tombow is the waste — lots of plastic going into landfills.  With the Cocoiro you keep the outer pen, and just replace the insides in whatever color and brush type you want; I like less waste in the landfill.  I bought four pens, brush black, black hard-tip, sepia hard-tip, and blue-black hard-tip.  The prices are good!

One problem with the design is that the caps do not stay on tight.  SO, I think they always need to be in a small plastic bag when traveling, or caps will fly off and my purse will be ink-stained.  Also, I wish they were India ink or waterproof ink, but watercolor artists like them because they will wash and the color will move.  I tried using my waterbrush on them and the ink immediately moved.  A new toy for me to get used to as I move into watercolors!

DSC09848Soul food Cocoiro pens on a card made for my husband, where I used Neocolor II crayons and a waterbrush to move the color where I wanted it.  He could not tell these guys were owls, but lots of owls have ears.  He liked it anyway!


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About dkatiepowellart

hollywood baby turned beach gurl turned steel&glass city gurl turned cowgurl turned herb gurl turned green city gurl. . . artist writer photographer. . . cat lover but misses our big dogs, gone to heaven. . . buddhist and interested in the study of spiritual traditions. . . foodie, organic, lover of all things mik, partner in conservation business mpfconservation, consummate blogger, making a dream happen, insomniac who is either reading buddhist teachings or not-so-bloody mysteries or autobio journal thangs early in the morning when i can't sleep
This entry was posted in art, creativity, drawing, journal, painting, process, shellac, sketchbook, watercolor and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to D is for Drawing Pens: A-to-Z Challenge

  1. Raquel says:

    Awesome post. Also yesterday, I couldn’t see your art bc your photos didn’t load for me, but now I can and yes, I adore your stuff! The shapes, the colors, everything. Lovely.

    Right now I have Faber Castell which I work with paintings. My big problem with them is I can’t effectively layer over watercolors. They catch the watercolor which stops the ink flow. And I’ve been too lazy to experiment this season–do you know of any good pens that can be used over watercolor and will run smoothly? Just wondering if you had an idea.

    Perhaps I should try the watercolor pens, after all, they should work *with* watercolors. Hmm…


    • zenkatwrites says:

      I’ve used the Cocoiro pens over watercolor (in the last image on this page, in fact) to delineate line work after a wash. My Faber-Castell Pitt pens and my Tombow pens also work over watercolors. Of course, they can pick up the watercolor so I have to clean them by working them to the side before moving on to another drawing, or there may be a bit of blue on that yellow Tombow! thanks for the awesome! Kate


      • Raquel says:

        Thank you so much, Kate. I will look for Cocoiro pens next time I’m at the art store. The Faber Castell do sorta work for me, but the ‘working it’ can really take away from my ‘zone’ of creation so it will be nice to find something smoother. Thanks again!!


  2. macjam47 says:

    Great post. Love your pictures.


  3. Annette G says:

    Lots of smashing artwork here. Happy PPF, Annette x



  4. Annabelle says:

    Great post Katie,lots of great drawings.Love the Pooh quote!
    Thanks for the information on the pens, very informative.

    Annabelle : )


  5. Sammy D. says:

    Ah Ha, Kate (or do you prefer Katie), I got you to do a little picture of your handwriting LOL. This is such useful information, and I wonder if you put reviews of your tools online where the supply companies can learn which instruments are working and which need tweaking. I’d sure want your feedback if I was the company selling these products. The portrait of the man on the left in the hat bears a marked resemblance – teeth included – to a delightful gentleman I used to compete against at the bridge table. And that kitty – trouble with a capital T. Love it!


    • zenkatwrites says:

      Kate or katie, no matter. i would love to have the companies be interested in me… they tend to give you things to try! the man in the hat recently died, but he was one of the dalai lama’s teachers, and i had the pleasure to take two weeks of classes from him. laughed his head off! and yes, our old man has attitude and thinks he owns the studio. he goes back and forth with us, home to studio! see you tomorrow!


  6. Tracey Fletcher King says:

    Great post… I will be interested to see if I can get those pens here in Australia …. I am not a fan of Pitt pens but I didn’t know they could go over shellac… Might have to pull my box of them back out… Happy painting…xx


  7. Cindy Dauer says:

    Wow, so much to look at. I love to hear about the tools different artists prefer (and photos of them is a bonus!) So much wonderful art – I particularly like the portraits. (And it’s totally obvious those are owls!) 🙂


  8. I love the pictures of the owls. Very fun and whimsical work.


  9. happytiler says:

    Very nice pages!! Such a versatile style…well done!

    Hugs Giggles


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