Archive for the ‘Art Supplies’ Category

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Pentel Touch Pen Meets A Midori Traveler’s Notebook

08/20/2016

The Pentel Touch Sign Pen (SES 15C) with a flexible nib is amazingly smooth on Tomoe River paper. That means the Midori Traveler’s Notebook (013) is a good mate. Note there is ghosting as happens with most pens on such thin paper. Bleed-through only occurs when I overwrite to darken the color. Otherwise, there is none.

My review from a few weeks ago was on Moleskine, but I wanted to show how well the Touch Pen and Tomoe get along.

The full set of pens is still on my list, but for now, the black, sky blue and yellow ochre make a nice trio. At least one of them will work on every paper in my stationery collection. That makes my three pens practical as well as a lot of fun.

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Pentel Touch Brush Tip Felt Pen

08/07/2016

Pentel has a real winner for calligraphers with the Touch line of felt tipped pens. That is something I already knew from YouTube and Instagram videos before I got my hands on one. What was a genuine surprise is how little effort it takes to make a mark with a Touch. Just skim the paper with the pen and bold lines result. Banish hand fatigue though writing large is the best I could do.

The two on my desk came from a local art store and are not equal. They were in an open display and one tip has suffered mild abuse making delicate lines elusive. The other pen has a dream tip that glides effortlessly. It is an absolute delight to use for lettering though I have no hand for true calligraphy. You should see the colorful notes all around my desk. They draw my attention to what must be accomplished today and that is a good thing.

Worthy of note is that the Touch pen did not feather and produced only a few tiny dots of bleed-through in my new squared Moleskine journal. Ghosting was its only flaw, no surprise on Moleskine. That brings up the Moleskine caveat: Their journals are possessed by fickle paper so your results may not be comparable to mine. Even printer paper suffered zero bleed-through and less ghosting than the Moleskine. My other journals handled the Touch without complaint.

The Pentel Touch is a fun-to-write-with pen that comes in a variety of colors. There are two versions so look for the brush tip if you want the one reviewed here. Amazon offers individual black and blue pens among other colors as well as a twelve color set. Local stores did not stock this pen except for the one, distant art store where I purchased my first two. The full set is on my wishlist because the Touch is so much fun to use. Plus it has all those colors and I am always a sucker for color. The notes around my desk will never look the same.

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World Watercolor Month And Supplies To Get You Started

07/02/2016

Yesterday was the first day of the very first World Watercolor Month. It might not be on your calendar, but don’t let that stop the celebration. Angela Fehr sent an invitation to participate and I’m game. Check out Doodlewash for inspiration and use the #worldwatercolormonth hashtag when you post your watercolor sketches.

If you are new to watercolor painting, Angela has a YouTube channel that can help you get started. Her style is to let the paint do the talking without using pen or pencil to draw a scene first. It’s very loose and exciting to see the colors mix together on the paper.

Another method is to draw a subject and use paint to fill in the color. It reminds me of a coloring book and works very well in a journal. Teoh is an urban sketcher who does it that way.

Want to give it a go? All that’s needed is paint, brush, a container for water, and of course water. Here are some products from Amazon.com to get you started.

If you want to minimize your investment, Cotman is as good as it gets for student grade paint and it is much better than the stuff sold for kids. Student grade can have more fillers and be less lightfast than artist grade, but it’s good enough to get acquainted with watercolor painting. The box can be refilled with artist grade colors as needed.

Just as important as the paint is the quality of the paper. Crummy paper will yield unsatisfactory results even with top quality paint. Buy the best you can or you may never know how much fun painting can be.

For a newbie, a synthetic brush can offer more control than natural hair and provide a good transition from writing and drawing to painting with watercolor. If you are only investing in one brush, buy one with a good point for lines and details. You can always paint with the side of the brush when more coverage is needed.

So there you go. World Watercolor Month and the few tools needed to participate. Are you on board?

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Links From Roadkill To Satellites To A Flexi Pen

06/26/2016

An odd mix of links overseen by a skeptical Macy…

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Easy-Peasy Way To Add Color To A Journal

04/28/2016

Adding a little color to a journal is easy with watercolor dots, a brush and some water. Contrast or complement with fountain pen ink for a unique twist to doodling in a journal.

American Journey is a line of watercolors from Cheap Joe’s and rumored to be produced by DaVinci. Whatever the source, it is artist quality and reasonably priced. Not long ago Joe began offering small dots of paint to get acquainted with the colors. Then last week one of the Essentials Sample Color Sets jumped into my shopping cart just to show me what I had been missing. At less than $6, it was an offer too good to refuse.

The packaging is simple but functional with a box that feels like a cardboard egg carton and a paper label that slides on easily to keep it closed. It is very portable though it lacks a mixing area. That can be overcome with a piece of Yupo trimmed to fit inside the lid. Or just allow the colors to mix together on a journal page by placing them next to each other for a variegated effect.

There is a sheet of paper inside the box with the names of the paints, characteristics, and pigment codes with enough room to paint a small sample of the color. It is printer paper so use a minimal amount of water, but it is a handy way to know which color you are grabbing.

The paint dots are small so a round brush is best for lifting color. The website claims it’s enough to make a painting. Heh, maybe a small one. However, it is enough to see the color though limited for making mixes when you consider how many you can create with a dozen colors.

Single pigment colors are preferred by most watercolorists and there are six in this set. The six multiple pigment paints are fine, but can make color mixing more complicated.

  • Aureolin lacks the brown/gray aspect of other brands of Aureolin and for me that is a plus. It’s more true yellow which is better for mixing purposes, the primary use for yellow. It is a multiple pigment paint, but the two pigments are both in the yellow family. So Aureolin behaves more like a single pigment paint.
  • Joe’s Yellow is benzimidazolone, a watercolor sold by Winsor & Newton as Winsor Yellow. It’s a good mixing color and useful as is for florals.
  • Gamboge (hue) is a double pigment color that is achieved with a single pigment in the Daniel Smith and Winsor & Newton lines. At least both pigments are yellow and the combination does produce a more even color transition from orange to pale yellow than what some companies produce. I could get used to the AJ version.
  • Raw Sienna is slightly less red than many brands, but it is single pigment and makes very smooth dark to light gradients. When diluted to its palest form, it can be used for skin tones in landscapes where features are not defined.
  • Rambling Rose is made from the same pigment as Daniel Smith Quinacridone Rose and Winsor & Newton Permanent Rose. It is a versatile color that can be used in place of red and mixes well with a wide range of colors.
  • Joe’s Red is pyrrol red like Winsor Red and is closer to a true red than Rambling Rose.
  • Brown Madder (quinacridone) is similar to Transparent Red Oxide though a touch more orange.
  • Quinacridone Gold Deep is more golden than some similarly named paints. Like Raw Sienna is can be diluted to make a flesh tone for landscapes. This version is made from a yellow and a red pigment so if you add blue, it will produce gray.
  • Ultramarine Blue is exactly what it should be. It mixes well with the yellows in the set to create lovely greens or with Raw Sienna to produce gray. Try it with the reds for some lovely purples.
  • Blue Stone was reluctant to release color and never became as saturated as the other paints. It resembles Daniel Smith Lunar Blue though more green. It is not an essential color. Joe’s Blue (phthalo) or Cobalt Blue would have been better choices.
  • Royal Amethyst is a beautiful dioxazine purple and rightly called amethyst. Add yellow to make neutral and warm browns.
  • Skip’s Green is a yellow biased spring green and is a novelty color rather than an essential. I think the set would have been better served with a more useful green.

Add a #4 or #6 travel brush or a waterbrush to the Essentials Sample Set for a simple kit of basic tools to decorate your journal. Dots, dashes and doodles are all it takes.

Note: Daniel Smith offers watercolor dots on 8.5″ x 11″ sheets that aren’t nearly so portable. However, if you really want to fool around with a lot of different colors, it’s another way to go. There are three other American Journey sets, if the Essentials selection isn’t right for you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Roundup Of Watercolor Links And Art Supplies Resources

04/01/2016

Ana at The Well-Appointed Desk has written a post called “Art Supply Review Blog/Podcast” that deserves a look if you are interested in painting and supplies. Thanks for the nod, Ana.

Watercolor has fascinated me for years. Late in the day when it’s time to wind down, visiting my favorite sources for watercolor inspiration is a welcome shift from the day’s activities to a few minutes of relaxation before sleep. I never tire of seeing how creative people can be and I also enjoy learning about the processes and techniques that make them unique. Some of the links and images I’ve collected can be found at

My posts and reviews are available through the Watercolor link in the sidebar. Further down there are lists of art resources, blogs and supplies. Hardly comprehensive, but hopefully useful nonetheless.

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Swatches For The Color Addict

03/22/2016

A few watercolor swatches…

Daniel Smith, Winsor & Newton, American Journey and Jackson’s watercolors.

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