Color Brush Pens in a Hurry.

A self-commission on a deadline.  My niece’s birthday was this weekend, and a personal gift was in order, but I only had an hour.  I picked one of her favorite characters: “Coraline”, from the great recent stop-motion animation movie of the same name.  (All rights reserved for “Coraline” by their owners).  This was a personal gift for my niece, which is “fair use”.  Also fair, the fact that I wanted to try out my new color brush pens!

Here’s the process, more or less.  I found a suitable reference, and drew a rough of Coraline’s face using the classic construction lines, testing proportions, and playing with the lines.

I tried the new brush pen colors separately, and realized I didn’t have blue for the hair, so I settled with grey.  I picked a clean page from my sketchbook, and drew a larger, and lighter version of the rough.  When I was happy with that, I inked the outlines in dark grey, and cleaned the stray pencil markings.

As I started inking with colors, I realized the way I used the brown pen brush was a mistake.  The eyes turned out too dark.  This is something I could have avoided if I tested the colors more carefully.  I later found out that all I needed was a lighter touch.  Yellow worked fine for the raincoat.  Light grey was a fair substitute for the blue on her hair.

Lessons learned here?  (some of these I already knew, but they bear repetition.)  (1) Deadlines can be a great motivator to get things done.  (2) You can make do, even if you don’t have the right colors.  (3) Rushing a job is dangerous.  Getting the eyes right would have been easy if I wasn’t in such a hurry.  (4) I need to get more brush pens in different colors.  They’re so cool to use.  (5) Brush pens vary noticeably in quality, depending on the manufacturer.  These new ones were a bit difficult if I wanted to get varying line-widths.  (6) I love the speed you can use with brush pens vs with brushes.  The great Tom Beland recently told me at the PR Comic Con that drawing with a pencil is like hanging with the guys.  Rough play, and all that.  And that inking with brushes was more like dancing with a woman.  You need to be cool, have grace, and move with style.  I kind of stepped on my partner’s toes a bit, so to speak.

I hope you enjoyed this fun little experiment.  I know I did.

Oh yeah… almost forgot.  My niece liked it very much.  She wasn’t expecting it.

Thanks for visiting.  Have a great art time!

Published in: Uncategorized on May 3, 2010 at 11:55 pm  Comments (7)  

7 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. That looks great!!
    You’re improving quickly!

  2. Thank you Laura… trying to “get back on the horse” so to speak. And I have some minor art “toys” to try out.

  3. Hello hello! What a lovely idea and it turned out nice too! The pens look so cool too! I need to get myself more too haha happy creating!

    • Thanks TJ. I’m finding that a self-imposed deadline usually gets me to produce. Then, when I do it, I end up thinking … what if I had more time to do it? So … the grass is always greener.
      Pen brushes, I may start collecting them, until I get myself a water brush to do watercolors… which is intriguing at this time. (next type of toy I hope).
      Thanks for visiting.
      By the way… this was for @patsuki’s younger sister. 🙂

      • The grass is always greener indeed! Ooooh do start with watercolors ^_^! I always thought “oh noo watercolors :|”…but it’s the type of medium I prefer to color with. I usually color with pens in more abstract way of drawing. To get quick ideas down. If I get too much detail with pens, I tend to mess it all up. Need to practice this!

        For Patsuki’s younger sister! How lovely! I wished my uncle still gave drawings as a present haha! I might bug him for my next bday 😀

  4. Thanks for sharing so much of your process!
    FYI, my favorite brush pens to work with are penwa tombow, which come in a fantastic line of colors. However, be warned- I haven’t found any that don’t fade radically and quickly when exposed to sunlight.

    • Thank you so much for your tips. I enjoy sharing my learning experience, and even more, learning tips and techniques from experienced artists. Penwa Tombow, eh? I’ll look them up! I had no idea. The limited colors I have seem to be cheap! I think I’ll test them in the sunlight too. Thanks for the tip! And thanks for the visit!

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