Tuesday, 29 March 2011



Brush pens with Ecoline watercolour inks and India ink.

Brush pens in colour

I decided to fill a couple of the Tria brush markers with Ecoline liquid watercolour inks.

filling brush pens

I don't know how other people go about filling the reservoir of their brush pens. I use this very ad hoc method - a small glass of rice to prop up the reservoir, and a straw to transfer the liquid. I suck the liquid into the straw, cover the top with my finger to keep the ink inside, then transfer the straw to the reservoir and let the liquid out.

filling brush pens

Do you use brush pens? What method do you use to fill them up?

tria brush marker

Pressing the sides of the pen a few times and wiping the tip with an absorbent tissue gets the ink flowing. I think I need a couple more of these pens - a yellow would be nice and maybe Burnt Umber or Sepia.

Café Faust on Saturday

cafe faust


I took the brush pen on an outing, meeting up with my sketchbuddy for lunch then moving on to this cafe for a cup of tea/coffee. The two lunch guests I was sketching popped by our table as they were leaving to check what I had been doing - they seemed very pleased.

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Be quick

S brushing her teeth

S brushing her teeth, sitting on the kelim in the livingroom - jotted her down real quick then added a bit of pattern to the rug after she left.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Another kind of marks

The ink-flow is still somewhat erratic today and not that smooth.

garden corner

rope-ladder swing

I bundled up in warm clothes and did a couple of quick sketches in the garden. Lots of bare branches and twigs make for a different kind of marks.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011


I gave the brush pen a re-fill last night. And just to see how the fibres of the brush were doing I also gave the tip a rinse - no discoloration or dried ink there.

Today the ink-flow has been sort of erratic, so perhaps the rinse was not such a good idea. The first drawing I did today started out with the paler, slightly diluted ink (residual water caught in the brush), and then the brush just became progressively drier until I could hardly get a line out of it.


I tried squeezing the reservoir and repeatedly wiping the brush tip until it was saturated in ink again, and after a few similar treatments the ink-flow was more or less back to normal.

kitchen corner II


Coming up next week - the bag trials, hopefully without leaking!

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Steady pen

The pen is still working. Some drawings from the past three days:

window sill

cat sketches

kitchen corner

not so easy

No re-fill so far as there is still ink sloshing around inside. No drying out, but the brush does act slightly differently after days saturated in the ink. There is more of the dry brush effect going on from time to time, and I can't quite predict what makes it happen - apart from rapid sketching. It might in part be due to the reservoir being low in ink.

Perhaps a re-fill and some carrying the brush around in my bag is due - taking the trials to the next level, and checking how the pen holds up to leakage and drying when treated a bit more roughly. To safeguard my bag and contents I will have to keep it in a sealed plastic bag until I am sure it won't leak, so that might influence the rate of drying.

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Brush pen trials day three

The pen is still going strong.

fruit plate


The ink even seems to be flowing slightly easier today. Or perhaps I am just getting more used to the brush pen.

The brush pen trials are turning out to be a very efficient motivator, and I am doing a lot more sketching than I have been for a long time. Uninspired? Stuck in a rut? Try picking up some new materials and the world might suddenly look quite different.

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Brush pen trials

A sketch from last night:

lights and shadows
- one of those puzzle-like drawings where I end up trying to fit everything in. The pen seemed to begin drying out a bit at the end, but there was still ink in the reservoir and I decided to leave it until today and see how things went.

The ink is definitely starting to dry in the brush today, and runs much slower than before. It's difficult to get a clear strong line unless I draw quite slowly.

news from japan
After drawing for a little while the flow increased slightly.

There has been no leaking, and the brush tip hasn't dried out, but then the pen has just been lying horisantally on my table when not in use - things might look a bit different if I had been toting it around in my bag.

I am going to leave the pen until tomorrow and see what happens.

Friday, 11 March 2011

Playing games

assassin's creed III

The pen still works just fine today - no sign of drying or clogging. Am getting the hang of varying the line weight.



Tria brush marker with India ink in A4 sketchbook

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Brush pen try out

I filled one of the Tria brush markers with India ink today. I had to wet the brush to get the ink flowing, and that is why some of the lines are a little pale here.

try out

The fibers of the brush are not very elastic or springy, which means it's hard to do dynamic and energetic strokes. But the line variation is good, and the ink runs okay - not fast enough to keep up with a broad, sweeping stroke, but then that adds a lot of texture with the paper peeping through.

let sleeping cats lie

I definitely look forward to experimenting more with this, and hope the brush doesn't clog up with dry ink!

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

New materials

new materials

I bought a few things during my lunch break today, including three empty Tria brush markers - I want to fill them up with ink or liquid watercolour for sketching on the go. I'll risk waterproof India Ink in one of them, and see how it goes - I love drawing with that.

Monday, 7 March 2011

Simple accordion sketchbook

I am experimenting with making the absolutely simplest kind of accordion sketchbook - a long strip of paper, folded accordion style, and framed by a piece of thick cardstock at either end.

simple accordion sketchbook

I cut a large sheet of Fabriano drawing paper into 16 cm wide bands, folded them, and stuck the sections together using a glue and narrow strips of strong thin paper. Next time I will use a spray mount instead of glue - the moisture made the paper buckle in the glued folds.

simple accordion sketchbook

For the covers I cut pieces of thick, archival quality, acid free card stock slightly larger than the pages of the book - these extend 5 mm beyond the edge of the sketchbook pages.

simple accordion sketchbook

It is possible to leaf through the pages, or to open the book completely into a long strip. Without a back the sketchbook is quite wobbly to sit with or hold in one's hand, and it works best with a flat surface to place it on while working.

simple accordion sketchbook

I am thinking that a loose cover sleeve, with pockets for the stiff end-cards, might work when sketching out and about.

Sunday, 6 March 2011



S drawing in her room. Coloured pencils and ink pen.

Friday, 4 March 2011

afternoon nap

afternoon nap

Sakura Pigma Micron pen in large Moleskine sketchbook.