Archive for the ‘Brush pens’ Category

Pen Testing

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

I have previously mentioned that a while ago I was lucky enough to be sent some samples of Kuretake pens to try out.

For this doodle I used Zig brush writers and Zig Millennium 005 width (0.2mm) pens.

Zig brush writers are very similar to Zig clean colour realbrush pens in that they are water based and blendable and have real brush tips of a similar size. One difference is that the real brush pens seem to be available in slightly more colours though the colours in both ranges are very vibrant. The main difference though is that the brush writers have a large squeezy barrel that holds the ink. This can be squeezed to increase the flow. This can be used well for wet on wet watercolour like techniques, dripping ink into existing washes etc. Also there is a white ink brush writer available for mixing which can be useful. When mixed with the white pen the inks seem to dry with a slightly more glossy finish.

Zig Millennium pens have similar nibs to many other types of drawing pen like Faber Castel Pitt pens or pilot drawing pens. Zig millenniums’ inks are both archival quality and waterproof once dry. Also they are available in 9 different colours and 6 different nib sizes. A lot of the American bloggers I follow seem to hold Pigma Micron Pens in high esteem. I have been wondering what these are like for a while as they are not readily available in the UK and I finally managed to get hold of some this week. I have come to the conclusion that Pigma Microns are virtually identical to Zig Millennium pens except for the barrel and lid shape. The inks seem to be exactly the same except that the blues and reds are very slightly different shades (you have to look very hard to see the difference) and both sets of pens seem to boast the same properties (archival, waterproof etc). The Pigmas appear to be available in some extra colours in the larger size nibs but one less colour in the smallest nib size and the Pigmas are available in an extra nib size and a brush nib version. However, on the website I use, the Zig Millenniums come in a fair bit cheaper.

I am quite impressed with these pens especially the very fine line produced by the Zig Millenniums but I would love it if there was a darker sepia brown ink available for these the same as the pilot drawing pens whos nibs are not as fine as I would like.

Swirly Faces

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

Not a lot to say about this one… I used to doodle these kind of faces over everything when I was younger so when I started doodling recently, this came out.

a B for Buffy

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

As I mentioned in one of my previous posts here, some time ago now, I was lucky enough to be sent some free samples of Kuretake’s Art and Graphic Twin pens by the lovely people from Kuretake UK.

I have been meaning to use them and to write a review here since I received them but for some reason it took me a long time to work out what to do with them.

Anyway, a few weeks ago Buffy from Kuretake was down in London and I had the chance to meet her. I felt I really must do something with the pens before I met her so I decided to try out a little illustration of the letter B for her. I was also lucky enough to get some more goodies to sample so you will probably see some more Kuretake products cropping up in my future posts :)

Review below the image.

The pens are a little like Tombow ABT Dual brush pens except that the Kuretake pens have a rubber ‘brush tip’ on one end and a fibre felt pen style tip on the other. The rubber tip is much more flexible and therefore performs more like a real brush than fibre ‘brush tips’ often do and also as it is rubber it cannot fray like fibre tips do (however I must point out that I have not used them long enough to see for myself if these tips do degrade in other ways).

The ink is water based and can be blended easily with itself or using a water brush. Kuretake also make a specific blending pen with similar rubber tips for their water based inks but I have not yet had the chance to try this out. On the right paper (eg. pressed watercolour paper) they can be used as watercolour pens and be blended or faded out using a water brush pen. If you use a lighter weight absorbent cartridge paper you will not be able to blend them using a water brush in the same way but they will blend with each other to an extent.

The reason I found it difficult to find a use for these pens was not down to them being difficult to use. This was simply because I already use and love Kuretake Clean Colour Real Brush pens. These use very similar ink to the Art & Graphic Twins however as the name suggests they have real bristle brush tips with very fine points. As I tend to work quite small with a lot of detail, the precise points of the real brush pens suits me better and I am yet to find anything that I can do with the Art & Graphic Twins that I can’t personally do better with the real brush pens. However I would imagine that if you are working larger the Art & Graphic Twins would be more suitable as they have larger, firmer tips.

I notice that the Art & Graphic Twins are available in 80 colours compared to the 48 colours in the clean colour real brush range. Both pen ranges offer very vivid colours (my scans do not do them proper justice). I have not yet tested myself how light fast these inks are and I haven’t been able to find out elsewhere so far but I would be very interested to know. This is not really an issue anyway if the work is in sketchbooks, scanned or if you are having prints made from the original.

Swirly Man

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

This was a bit of an experiment to cover up more pages where the ink had bled through the paper in my pocket moleskine. The main colour was added by gluing in tissue paper. I then doodled all over it with black Muji brush pen, black Pilot G-Tec C4s, gold and silver fine Posca markers and Posca brush pens. I’m not convinced that I like the result but it was good to try something a bit weird.

Like Particles into the Night

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

Well, it’s been a while hasn’t it?… Sorry about the lack of service here recently.

A little before Christmas Kuretake UK contacted me through Twitter. They had seen a couple of the drawings I had done using their Zig Clean Colour Real Brushes and asked if they could feature them on their website gallery and their Facebook Page. They also asked if I would be interested in producing some drawings for them for trade fairs etc.

As it happened I had already started work on the A4 size drawing below, again using the Real Brush pens and so I happily agreed for them to take this to show at Paperworld in Frankfurt.

Kuretake have also very kindly sent me some samples of their Art and Graphic Twin pens to try out. I need to think of a way to use them but I hope to post something up here soon.

This drawing has been running around in my head for a while. It is inspired by the song Pop Art Blue by Zero 7 featuring the beautiful vocals of Martha Tilston. The title is taken from one of the lines of the song. Those of you with Spotify can listen to Pop Art Blue here.

Recently I have been considering getting some drawings properly drum scanned and have some archival prints made to sell on Etsy or somewhere. I was thinking that this drawing might be one of these. What do you think? Please comment if you think this is something you would give wall space to…

BTW Mat pointed out that the fella in this picture looks very like him. I completely hadn’t realised but it does bear quite a resemblance to Mat. He even has the hair cut Mat had around the time of our wedding :) Funny what happens in my head without me even knowing :)

It’s finished but could this be more girly?

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

I promise I really have never been very girly so I really do not know where all this pink keeps coming from, and flowers and butterflies?!? Huh? I must be posessed by some cutesey nice fairy. I feel the need to draw something unwholesome now to compensate.

Not sure about the colours on this now that it is finished. I scanned the linework before I started adding the colour so I might have a go at digitally colouring it. This will give me a chance to try out Gimp which I have just installed on my laptop. I may even use the opportunity to get rid of that flower at the top in the middle that keeps screaming at me ‘I’m a big ugly sore thumb!’.

Sneaky Peek

Friday, December 10th, 2010

I just wanted to put a little post up here to let you know I’ve not dropped off the end of the earth and I haven’t been completely idle either. Have been finding this winter very hard going and really struggling to keep finding things to draw but I am getting there slowly so there will be more up here soon.

To prove it here is a little sneaky peek for you at something I am working on at the moment.

Bloody Big Monster

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

This started as a larger test for my Kuretake brush pens as I now have a full set of 48 pens and I wanted to try them all out in a large drawing in my new A4 Moleskine to see how they blend etc. As per the title this very slowly became a monster in more ways than one. From start to finish this took around six weeks to complete, working for a few hours at a time most evenings and weekends. Once I had got about half way through adding the colour I was beginning to wonder why I had started in the first place. I still love the pens, their vivid colours and the way they blend but I don’t think I will tackle a drawing this large with these pens for a while.

Unfortunately the A3 scanner I have access to does not replicate colour very faithfully so this doesn’t show how bright it really is.

As this drawing took so long and I wasn’t sure if the colour would work well once the line work was finished I decided to scan it a few times during the process and I thought I might as well include them below.

While I was already working on my dragon one of the bloggers I follow, Jessica Doyle, posted her own beautiful dragon. Just thought you should know!

My London

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

I finished this a little while ago in my pocket moleskine. I used pilot G-Tec C4 pens for the buildings and the outlines. These gel pens are great for small detailed work like this because they produce such a fine line. I then added the colour on the Thames using my Kuretake Zig Real brush pens. This drawing took quite a while to complete and I was completely absorbed with it until I was finished. It was a good Job I had to go out to work while I was doing this or I probably wouldn’t have put it down at all even to eat or sleep. The finished product looks nothing like the original idea I had but I am really pleased with it. I think this may be my best drawing yet :)

I have now completed my set of Zig brush pens and have the full set of 48 colours. I’m currently working on a similar but larger drawing to really test them all out in my A4 moleskine. It is very detailed and is just as absorbing as this was so you may not see the finished product or anything else from me for a while. Here’s hoping it is worth the wait.

Drawing on Location Meetup Hackney City Farm

Monday, October 4th, 2010

I have been looking around online for some other people who sketch in London and I recently found a Meetup group who meet once a fortnight to go drawing on location around London. The weekend before last I went to join them at Hackney City Farm and then Victoria Park. Two places quite close to home, the first I did not even know existed and the second is a place I’ve been meaning to go sketching for a while. I had a play around in grayscale at the farm using three shades of grey Kuretake Zig Real Brushpens and then did a little conte crayon sketch of the Victorian water fountain at the park. We finished up in a pub to check out each others sketches over a few drinks. It was great to meet some other sketchers, all in all a very enjoyable day.

this piggy in the middle snored very peacefully the whole time I was sketching her

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Amy Stace published on is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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A Week in December
Tickling the English
The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ
The Little Stranger
Thinking In Pictures and Other Reports from My Life with Autism
What Alice Forgot
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Twilight: The Graphic Novel, Volume 1
The Gargoyle
The Girl Who Played With Fire
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Gentlemen and Players
Breaking Dawn
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The Book Thief
The Matchmaker of Perigord
The Lollipop Shoes
The Day of the Triffids
The Subtle Knife
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