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Playing With Arteza Real Brush Pens

January 9, 2019

I bought a set of 24 Arteza Real Brush Pens for my birthday back in November 2018.

There was a video advertisement on facebook that attracted me the pens as it was demonstrating the watercolor effects that can be achieved with them. I’ve been in love with watercolors since I was 15 years old, but using them properly requires space I do not have and peace which children do not give me…. So when I saw the pens I thought… “OOOH I could cheat!” and it turns out, I was correct.

However, to use them the way that I wanted to I needed to gather a few new materials and that is why it has taken me until this week to finally try them out.

I’m really happy with the results so far, and below I’ve shared some photos of my completed pieces,  as well as a few step by step pictures detailing my process. 



Here are the materials that I used: 

  • India Ink (proper waterproof stuff applied with a calligraphy pen)
  • Calligraphy pen with fine pointed nib
  • Arteza real brush pens
  • Masking tape
  • Watercolor paper
  • Bic mechanical pencil
  • Eraser
  • Water applied via water pen or paint brush
  • Salt grinder
  • White Gel pen for signatures/details (optional)

It may look like a long list, but each item is important for specific reasons I’ll get into more detail about…

First use masking tape to secure a piece of watercolor paper to a surface, I use a clipboard because my lap is basically the only work space I get… you can use anything hard really. This is an important step because the paper is going to warp once water is applied and when it warps it becomes very difficult to control the pigment.

Watercolor paper is important because it is made for this technique. Try it with other materials and your results will vary.

Then I make a sketch using a Bic mechanical pencil. Why is Bic so important you may wonder? Well definitely no one is paying me… the truth is graphite is nice and soft and it rubs away without leaving a trace so long as you’re not too heavy handed. I have tried many mechanical pencils in my time and the graphite is never as soft and perfect for drawing with… I’ve sworn by them since I was a teenager. (That’s a lot of years)

Next it’s time to dip the pen in the india ink and trace the whole drawing. India ink is another product that is very specific to this type of work because once it dries you can pour a bucket of water on that paper and the ink will NOT run. It’s a perfect, deep, crisp black and it’s permanent.

Let the ink dry for a few minutes (it’s pretty fast) and then you can use a big eraser to get rid of all the extra pencil lines.

Then It’s time to start applying color. I’ve been experimenting with different ways of doing this, but generally each section is the same, use the Arteza pens to outline where you want the color to go, then use water to moisten the pen strokes and draw the pigment out onto the rest of the paper. So after some patient water application the photo above, becomes the photo below.

Surprisingly cool result right? You can do it just once for a light wash effect or build up layers.

After I’m finished wetting sections I like to sometimes apply salt to the paper (backgrounds mostly) to break up the pigments even further. The salt grinder is perfect for this as the chunks of salt that come out are randomly sized and they fall randomly as well, for very cool results. It’s really important that if you are using salt you do not touch the paper at all while it is drying, even if you think nothing is happening.

Lastly, after all of your layers are down, and everything is 100% dry you can remove the tape, always pulling the tape slowly and carefully away from the picture just in case it decides to take a bit of paper with it.

And there it is.

Below are a few more I’ve completed this week, just click for larger images. I’ve also been posting a lot of my recent work on Instagram @Stuwaha

I know people often prefer videos, but as much as I’d like to make more of them, I just don’t have the space or the opportunity to create them right now. Happy to answer any questions you may have though!

Also, in all seriousness, if anyone wants to randomly send me the set of 48 pens, I promise to make awesome things with them. :)







From → Arty Crafty

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