Tuesday, February 11, 2020

My Favorite Writing/Drawing/Coloring Tools


Kohinoor .35 Rapidosketch pen-The tiny black handwriting you see on my pages? That's this pen. Writing, drawing, detail mark making. This is my favorite, go to black permanent pen. It writes on everything.

These pens have been around for a long time. Out of all of the refillable pens on the market, this one of is my most favorite. I love the black India ink that comes with the pen (yes, I have used other inks with the pen as well. I do prefer some inks over others and it mainly depends on the colors I want and the ink consistency). The .35 is my favorite tip size. It's a fine, detailed line. 

When you Google the pen, the first thing that comes up is cleaning it after every use. I never clean mine but I make sure to use it every couple of days (and more so when it's hot out.) 

I keep the pen stored flat. 

There is a ton of information on the web about the care and upkeep of this pen (cleaning it often, being careful not to drop it, care of the tip, don't take the little wire out, etc...) that I'm not going to get into here. Google the pens and you'll find it. 

What I love about the pen though is the consistency of the line, the thin detail writing, sketching and drawing I can achieve with it. It doesn't skip and it hasn't failed me yet. I love using it with a good permanent, waterproof ink. If you use it filled with a good ink, you can write on dried acrylic paint with it! It's my favorite pen and I rarely leave home without it. 

Well worth the money. Look around because I've seen it in all price ranges from $25 to half the price. Beware of buying it on Amazon as some vendors sell imitation brands for less money. But it from a reputable source.

Some Tips on the Rapidosketch:
1. Make sure that you only fill the pen a 1/3 of the way. 

2. Do NOT press hard on the tip or else you will break it! Write normal and the ink should flow.

3. Have a rag handy. Fill the well only 1/3rd of the way. Sometimes (especially after refilling it) you may need to wipe the top of the pen off with an old rag.

4. Keep the pen flat when not in use. 

5. When you need to screw the cap back on (or the other bits of the pen after filling it), gently twist and screw it back together until you can't twist anymore. Don't force it or over twist it or else it can crack.

6. I can't stress enough that you have to be careful with the tip. If you have a heavy hand, practice and be gentle with it. The ink should flow from the pen.

7. I never clean mine. I just make sure that I use it a lot (every few days.) I've had the same pen for years and have never had a problem.

8. Have a piece of uncoated scratch paper nearby to test the pen if it gives you problems. Sometimes just gently rolling the tip around as you write on scratch paper helps. 

9. The Rapidosketch ink works on paper, dried acrylics and acrylic mediums, tape, transparencies and more.  

10. If I could only recommend one black pen, this is it.

 STABILO All Marking Pencil
Stabilo Aquarellable Pencils-Swoon. I love these especially in black. The inky black lines you see on my pages? That's them. They're water soluble when wet. They're NOT permanent. As I don't seal my pages, these are always one of the last things that I use. Or, I'll use them in layers and then just add more pencil work on top of any earlier layers. To use: some folks dip the tip in water. I prefer to use the pencil on the surface (I tend to be heavy handed only with these pencils) and then use a water brush pen to move the ink around.  

Water-based Paint Markers:

Posca in ANY size (extra fine for writing/drawing/mark making, and the larger tips for coloring/mark making, painting, etc...) Hands down, the BEST paint marker on the market.
Sharpie (extra fine is my favorite) Their extra fine pastels are among my favorite paint markers to use.

Holbein (6mm is my favorite size, which are filled with their Acrylic Ink line. Their super opaque white is my favorite white paint marker, followed by Posca)

Molotow (only in a 1.5, 2mm or larger. I won't buy their tech tips anymore as no matter how well you clean them, they stop working very quickly) I buy them in the colors that Posca doesn't have. Posca has an incredible array of colors but they have yet to sell a red that's like the Molotow red.

Paint Markers 411:

1. When you first buy them (or ANY time you go up in a plane with them or from low altitude to high altitude), put them upright, and press down once on the nib. It's called "burping the pen". It will help with the air that is inside the pen and makes them last longer. Then shake and pump the pen like the directions say... From low altitude to high altitude, cover the entire tip with a paper towel or rag first BEFORE pressing on the tip upright. TRUST me on this.

2. If you have problems writing with the pens and the ink isn't as intense as it was when you first used the pen, make sure you shake and pump the pen!

3. Store the markers flat and keep the caps on when not in use. Keep them in a cool, dry place. 

4. Molotow and Holbein are refillable. Posca and Sharpie are not.

5. All other paint markers (as of February 2020) on the market are not worth your money. Trust me on this. I've tried them. 

Earlier posts on favorite art supplies can be found here. 

Keep in mind, I write on dried acrylic paint (ALWAYS make sure that your page/surface is DRY to the touch or else you WILL ruin your markers/pens writing on/into wet paint!) I've tried MANY pens and markers over the years, these are the ones that I've found work best for ME.

What's your favorite pen and/or marker?

Revised 2020:
What's in My Art Toolbox 
Vol 1 (painting tools)
Vol 2 neutral acrylics
Vol 3 acrylics  

Vol 4 paint brushes
Setting up my workspace 

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