Discovering the simple things

It’s such a joy when you try something new and it works for you.  This weeks discovery having been made even sweeter by it’s simplicity.

And it’s name is the Pentel Aqua Brush (or Brush Pen).  I’m smitten.

Brush Pen

Such a simple idea.  It works sort of like a fountain pen – except with a brush not a nib and water not ink.  For me it’s so liberating! 

My old favourite pen – the Rotring Art Pen I love so much to doodle with. 

 Rotring Art Pen

Look at that shape!  But you can’t fill a fountain pen with waterproof ink so if you try to add some colour quickly like with watercolour – you end up with a runny muddy mess.  I considered calligraphy ink but would need either lots of pens for each colour of to carry bottles and dip pen.

Hmmm.  I need to be compact. 

I tried coloured pencil – but it’s just not the right tool for me.

I spent hours trying to figure out how everyone does these wonderful pen and wash drawings that I like so much – and now I figured out an answer that works for me.

It’s simplicity.  One pen (waterproof, acid-free ink, fine nib), one set of watercolours (sitting around not used for literally years) and one brush pen (filled with water).

Sketch Tools 21 Feb 2007

Draw in ink – waterproof. Then simply dab the brush pen into the watercolour to pick up paint.  Work it longer for more water and a lighter wash.  (If I dab colour then hold the brush pen wrong way up for a second or two I can get the paint dry and sticky too). Then a couple of dabs onto a tissue or kitchen roll and the brush pen is clean – ready for my next colour. Really – dab, dab and it’s clean.

Absolute joy!

(I just hope I can now produce some sketches that I’m not ashamed to share!)

I’m ready to sketch on the move … someone take me somewhere 😉


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