Thursday, May 10, 2012

Urban Sketchers’ Manifesto No. 5

5/5/12, fountain pen, Tombow colorless blender
Urban Sketchers’ Manifesto No. 5: We use any kind of media and cherish our individual styles.

My current favorite grab-and-go sketching medium is water-soluble brush pens used with a waterbrush for light washes. The Tombow brand of brush markers includes a colorless blender, which has the purpose of blending smoother transitions between colors and eliminating the streaky “marker” look.

I haven’t been using brush pens to color solid areas, so I haven’t tried the blender pen as described. But lately I’ve been experimenting with using the Tombow colorless blender as a wash mechanism with interesting results. (More on this later.)

5/5/12, fountain pen, Tombow colorless blender
I’ve also lately been experimenting with an old Mont Blanc fountain pen that I used briefly decades ago as a writing pen but never really warmed to. As a sketching pen, I like it much better, so I took it out one day at a coffee shop. Giving water-soluble fountain pen ink a wash with water is a popular sketching technique, so I started wondering what would happen if I used the Tombow blender instead of water. Since the blender pen is not as wet as a brush with water, I can’t get the elegant feathery washes that are (usually accidentally) possible with water. But conversely, the solid Tombow marker tip makes it possible to control the wash to a finer degree, which makes shading easier to control.

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