Adding some color to my beloved pocket brushes
I learned color from my favorite professor in undergrad, Stan Sporny, who made me mad by forbidding black paint in the studio. (I tried to sneak some in but he could totally tell in my painting). Instead we used colors like ultramarine blue and burnt umber to make “black” which we could balance out warmer and cooler to get more realistic darks. That forced me to really see color in everything because I couldn’t just rely on the same black paint to darken colors and create shadows.
I also use a syringe to fill my pens, best method! My variation is filling waterbrushes — the kind intended for watercolor — with ink. They hold more ink than a cartridge, and come in a variety of brush sizes. I also had that greyed-out ink problem — I found that Noodler’s X-Feather Black, with just a tiny bit of water, is as black as the Pilot.
I love this idea of refilling the spent cartridges of the Pentel brush pen and creating less waste! I love that pen too. One of my hacks is using the Sailor Pen with Fude nib. I THINK "fude" means "bent". In anycase, this pen can give me a wide range of line widths. Plus, it comes with cartridges of water soluble ink. With this pen and ink combo I can sketch outlines and do some hatching then use my water brush to activate the ink to get shading/ I like to sketch while out nature walking but I don't want to have a heavy kit so this I why I like this pen. Just one pen, a water brush and my sketchbook and I have everything I need in my pocket. Using your hack means I can experiment with different colors instead of gray scale.
Love this post! I'm nuts about color. For writing in my journal I use a set of 8 Pentel Sign Pens (the classic one, not the brush pen) in various colors. For my journal itself I use a Rollbahn grid notebook - different cover color each time. Rollbahn has one of the best color palettes among stationery brands.
I learned color by osmosis- I’m Indian and every aspect of our culture involves color - food, clothing, religion. My mom also is into art and took me to lots of art shows as a kid.
Omg, those CYM brush pens are everything! I love that you DIY’d them to reuse what you had too. My grandma was an artist and she had all sorts of art supplies she would make herself. She also used this thin, clear, dark red tape for everything. I have no idea where she got it but she must have had 1,000 rolls because she never ran out in the 25 years I knew her. She just used what she had.
My journey in color happened in one of my most favorite classes in college - an intro to painting class. We spent a few weeks doing color studies and it blew my mind. We had to do a still life of eggs (just the white kind from a grocery store- not even the pretty brown ones) I thought it would be so boring until the professor said we couldn’t use black or white paint. We had to LOOK and use the colors we saw. Suddenly I was seeing pinks and blues and yellows. I’ll never forget it. I never used my art degree for art, but the most foundational thing it taught me was how to look and see for real. I use that all the time :)
I love my pocket brushes. I make fiber art, but the pocket brushes are the best for my sketch book. I think the best way to learn about color is to USE color. Learning to see color is not only really fun, but very informative for artwork. I authored a color wheel set and book about color theory. I'm no expert, but color is my favorite part of making art. https://www.amazon.com/s?k=katie+fowler&crid=1CIPZZJRDB8DS&sprefix=katie+fowler%2Caps%2C142&ref=nb_sb_noss_1
I just discovered these Sennelier brush pens. Their zillions of colors are crazy and rich, the brushes are lovely. Give them a whirl, Austin. https://amzn.to/3EuFMY8
I learned about color from my quilting. After using hundreds of fabrics over 20+ years (and getting advice from talented quilters :-) ), I can tell now if a fabric combination will work for what I have in mind. This knowledge doesn't directly translate to paint because it's a very different medium, but it gave me a base to work from. I've been painting for about nine months, and it's a blast. Love your ideas about the Pentel brush pen--just starting to explore them with fountain pen inks I have on hand.
I stumbled across another great hack on Lynda Barry's YouTube channel. She creates a gray ink for shading by adding water to a cartridge with just a bit of black ink left in it. Of course you could do this with any color!
Well, I am just beginning. My first year and I am trying it all - lol. But one thing that is really teaching me alot is just using one color. Taking Connie's Monopalette classes (once a week for a year and they are free). This month we are working with Shell Pink besides the color we are working with we can also use white and black. It is really teaching me to be very experimental with color. Also I have a hard time starting, knowing what to do and one of the teachers that I have through other workshops has told me just to experiment with everything I had - separately, together and build up my consistency. oops - sorry - back to color. So, I am still learning color - found that my Christmas cactus (which only takes one month off during the year) gives me a BEAUTIFUL rosy pink that I can use as watercolor or build into Titanium White for Acrylic ;). Blueberry tea gives me a nice stormy color. Curry gives me a beautiful deep yellowy color ;)
I learned a watercolor paint hack: instead of dealing with messy tubes, I bought watercolor sticks and empty watercolor pans, cut off pieces from the sticks, and mashed them into the pans. Also, I attach 12-14 half pans inside an Ice Chips mint tin with rubber cement to make my own little palette (Ice Chips come in tins with white insides, making it easier to see what I'm doing when I mix colors).
And +1 on water brushes. They're so handy!
As a podcast junkie, I’ve listened to countless shows of the Pen Addict. Even having attended a Pen Show in Los Angeles, I didn’t get bit by the pen or color bug. Nor did the adult coloring craze get me. This got me to ponder my monochrome lifestyle.
There is almost nothing I like more than color. I guess I learned by playing first, as a child, in coloring books, then studying color theory…I have a collection of color wheels, and have made many more :-) regardless of tool …thread, graphite, paint, ink, pastel…I can never get tired of blending color to get as much of a seamless flow …one color to the next…as possible …my happy place.
Also, I think color transparency is fun. You can get a whole new world of variations when you layer transparent colors.
I can’t think of any hacks at the moment … I like using unconventional tools for mark making, and stamping. I have brush pens…I’m going to make your CYM colors.
Great post! Thanks!
I learn color all the time from my Mom who is a beaded jewelry designer (She sells a lot on Etsy, so I know she knows what she's doing.) She has an eye for which colors of beads go together. So, before I start something that's going to take a lot of time / expensive supplies I get her on Facetime, so I can point at my underpainting primordial pencil sketch and talk about color palettes.
Cool! I'll try this, that brush pen is my favourite too.
Dunno if it counts as a hack, but I've been using a Blackwing pencil of late and it makes drawing in pencil so much more satisfying. These days the "messier" the tool the more I like it. So Blackwing pencils, the Pentel Pilot pocket brush, and a cheap fountain pen. They really make a mark and get my hands dirty.
Not colourblind, but I learned colour via photography, by taking pics and seeing what I liked.
Love this idea to customize brush pen ink, I’m looking forward to trying this. Fun craft project: to customize the exterior of my brush pen I borrowed my daughters nail polish (watch ‘water marbling technique’ videos in YouTube or TikTok) to dip my pen and ‘paint’ a cool marble design on the pen. It was fun to combine my interest in pens with my daughters interest in painting nails. Be forewarned, watching finger nail polish design videos can be mesmerizing!!