Monday, January 14, 2019

Too Many Pens.

Is it possible to have too many pens? Maybe too many crappy pens, but I don't think having an abundance of lovely, well-working, colorful pens is ever something I will feel bad about.

Like I said before, I spent all my birthday money on art supplies and books, and that included quite a few sets of new pens. I also got some pens and notebooks as Christmas gifts, so I'm getting to be pretty well stocked (but by all means, send more if you insist). I'm learning the ins and outs of what makes a pen nice, what makes it good for certain tasks, and what price-point feels like "good enough" for me.

Today another set of brush pens arrived. I have a couple sets of the Tombow Dual Brush Pens that I like quite a lot, but I saw someone on Instagram using the Ecoline Brush Pens and thought I'd order myself a set. At first I did feel a little bit bad for using my Amazon points on more markers, but after using them a little I realized it was just what I needed to learn a few lessons.

1- Every marker or pen has a different hardness, density, and inkiness that makes it write and look different.

2- You cannot know what markers or pens are best for what until you spend time experimenting.

3- I don't think I'll ever get sick of playing with markers and pens.

Never tried a brush pen? Well, here are a few things to know.

A softer brush end makes it harder to use in some ways; you have to be more precise and steady. But it's also easier to use because, if you've been practicing, it gives you a huge range of thickness to thinness in your lines, making it really fun to write with.

The inkiness of the pen really matters. It will give a different look with different amounts of pressure, and it can affect the sharpness of your edges (that kind of depends on the paper you are using too).

There will be a lot of trial and error going on, probably forever. I bought my first set of brush pens about 3 years ago, and while I was using them frequently for the first 6-ish months, they've just been used on and off for most of the last 2 years. Over the last several months, I've been getting more into that craft again and I'm having a ton of fun, but I'm still honing my skills and there are still a million things to learn.

You can learn a lot from watching other people letter, reading or listening to what they have to say about their likes and dislikes of certain products, but at some point you really just have to jump in and start. You can store up a lot of knowledge, but it will only really help you when you start making mistakes and are able to apply that knowledge to what happens.

Lastly, paying good attention to detail is a skill you MUST gain. It's just pivotal in art. Otherwise, it will take you ages to learn things, and you'll just have to hope that someone points things out to you, or writes about them. Being able to notice subtle movement differences, ink and paper combinations, and techniques in stokes and methods are all going to be most helpful if you can figure out how to connect the dots without being told directly.

Honestly, I think paying attention to detail probably comes more naturally to some than others, but it's something worth striving to grow in. It will make you a valuable asset in whatever role you function during your days and in whatever job you might get down the road.

I hope this has been a fun little insightful post. Let me know if you have questions about lettering or pens - I love to talk about what I'm learning!

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