Brush pen art, my new lockdown hobby

Being stuck at home, I decided to try out a hobby that would help to flex my creative muscles

Week 147 was posted by Charanjit Chana on 2020-08-17.

While I've always wanted to learn how to use brush pens, I never felt like I had the time. I still don't, but with lockdown taking such a toll on everyone mentally I thought a creative hobby would be a good way to unwind. I've ended buying a bunch of stationary to get started and it's been quite fun learning how to use the tools and discovering resources to help refresh or improve on the techniques I first learned so many years ago. There are a lot of product recommendations this week, but if you're interested in brush pen art or looking for a new way to stretch your creative muscles, I hope they help.

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Brush pens

After deliberating for days, I decided to just go for it and I bought a pack of 12 brush pens by Stationary Island which came with the crucial aqua brush , but had they been in stock I probably would have gone for this 24 pack from Arteza and a separate aqua brush.

Brush pens

Watercolour paper

Plain paper doesn't really cut it when it comes to working with water colours. You need something with a high gsm value, at least 200gsm I think. I first bought the cheapest (and smallest) Moleskine I could find, this 9x14cm watercolour album. It does feels very small when you use it but it's actually perfectly sized for practicing different techniques and keeps you focused. Once I had filled the book, I bought an A4 watercolour pad which feels absolutely huge and as I don't yet have the skills to paint any masterpieces, I've ended up drawing boxes so that I can use the paper multiple times. That, or I end up doodling all over the page and trying different ways of colouring them in.Other stationary

A good pencil is a must. Turns out HB pencils are not always the easiest to remove from paper but a 2B pencil is just about right. If you want to outline your art then you'll want a multiliner. You can draw before or after and it won't smudge when you apply water. I assumed letting a normal pen dry first would be enough, but you only make that mistake once. The multiliner has been great for doodling and accenting.

Other resources

Arteza has turned out to be a great resource. Their newsletter shares links to both artwork you can download to colour in and tutorials. I'm more comfortable with colouring pencils so perhaps my starting point should have been their set of watercolour pencils, but the brush pens pushed me to try more things out.

There are lots of tutorials and inspiration you can find on Instagram and YouTube, here are some links to the ones I've found to be the most useful as a beginner:

I'll look at publishing some more of what I come up with on Instagram where you can follow the hashtag #cchanabrushpens. I've been practicing writing with the pens too, but that's going to take me some time to get my head around. For now, you can enjoy this piece I did for the business my wife runs, Your dDesigns.

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Tags: art, brush pens, hobby, art, brush pens, hobby

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