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Getting Started with Pen, Ink & Markers

Lesson 3 of 8

Demo: Pen Tools & Paper Surfaces

Mary Jane Begin

Getting Started with Pen, Ink & Markers

Mary Jane Begin

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Lesson Info

3. Demo: Pen Tools & Paper Surfaces


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1 Class Introduction Duration:06:19
2 Demo: Pen Tools Duration:06:15
7 Demo: Marker Tonality Duration:06:28

Lesson Info

Demo: Pen Tools & Paper Surfaces

This is a kind of textured Canson paper and I wanted to test these different tools, the same thing, the PITT pen, and see how they reacted to different paper surfaces. This is called Canson pastel paper and it's a beautiful paper, works really well with the brush pen, and it holds the color nicely, and it still allows for variation of line weight. So it's a good surface for that. For the Micron pen, same. It's nice to have a color to work with when you're just working with black and white. I really like it. Again, your Micron pen doesn't vary in line weight, but it's a super clean line and what you can do is get different sizes of that Micron tip. They come in all different sizes. This is 0.5, but it comes in a range. So if you get a range of Micron pens, then you get your line variation weight. It doesn't happen in the pen itself. So this is a really nice tool. Works well on this surface, the Canson paper. But let's test the Crow Quill. Now it works pretty well, I can get the line wei...

ght, I can get some nice shapes out of it. It has a little too much tooth for this. I can feel it like almost wanting to grab the fibers. Notice when I use the Crow Quill I'm always, always, always drawing away from me. And the reason why is 'cause if you drag it towards you you're pulling the two little, there's two little metal pieces that come together at the base of this tip and you're kind of spreading them apart as you pull them toward you. It's just the way these pens were designed to be used. So I always am pushing the tonality, the ink mark, the line away from me. And again, it'll last just so long before I have to dip it into the ink again. I have this like waterproof ink. I like to use waterproof, because if I wanna color on it I don't want that ink line to move. Okay, so that's Canson paper. Again, I will rinse that ink out and blot it. If you don't rinse the ink out of your nibs they cake in the little, there's like a little hole in between. And I'll show you, I've actually drawn it out for you to see. And if that gets filled then the nib doesn't work. So what I've done here, I've pre-drawn this, just because I wanted you to see this. And we don't have to actually recreate it, because I have it here. But I wanted you to see with the Crow Quill pen how it's different from the other pens is there's all these variety of marks, because the nibs can be changed on this tip. And I've actually drawn it, so you can see it a little more clearly. The bowl pen actually has this little, they all have a little hole in the middle, which helps to hold the ink on this nib. And this is the tip. There's actually a line between, because there's two pieces of metal that are coming together almost like a fork with the tines coming tight together. Now this is called, there, Hunt is the brand, but it's a globe bowl pointed, holds a lot of ink, and you can see, it makes a pretty fat, thick, and varied mark. This is a slightly finer, it's called Hunt extra fine bowl and it makes just a little bit more refined tinier mark than that larger size. You can get away with just these four and you could get a lot accomplished in terms of pen and ink and scratchboard. So this is an extra fine point, it's what I'm using here. This is a number 22 or they call it a round point. And this tiny, tiny, tiny one is a number 56 round point. I don't know why they call it a round point. It's pointed, there's nothing round about it, but it's just the name. So the reason why I want you to see this is you can see the variation of line weight and marks that each of these nibs create. And even though I'm only gonna be using this one nib for the work that I'm showing you, I want you to know that you should have a variation if you're gonna test and play with this. And I encourage you to do it, because it's a beautiful medium to use. It takes a little more control than the markers and a little more control than the Micron, but it's all good. So this is another surface that I tested on and I'll tell you truthfully, it works pretty well. This is an Arches watercolor paper and it's rough, which means it's super toothy. Tooth meaning texture. So when I put this brush pen on here you can almost see it looks like dry brush. It's picking up the texture of that surface and you're either gonna love that or not like it at all. But I found it to be really quite fascinating. And it's kind of, it's just a neat surface to work on. If I crosshatch, let me go in this direction. It has a sort of softness about it, like almost like you're drawing on a paper towel, which may not sound very nice to do. But this has, it's a really nice paper, Arches paper is great. But it creates a texture that as you lift your pen it just makes it more textural. So that's kind of interesting. The Micron pen also, usually you don't use pens on rough watercolor paper, but I just wanna test it and see. It's almost like a ballpoint pen. Again, it's creating this really delicate, broken up texture that it's not a perfect, clean, smooth line. It has a lot of like white specks in it, because it's the bumpiness of the surface of the paper. But I found it to be really interesting if you were doing super small, delicate work this would be really fun to build up tonalities on, because the tooth gives it a kind of, I would say, edginess. A kind of activity to the line. I would say the Crow Quill was the least successful on the surface, because it is so toothy, I will show you, it's so textured, blot it, that when dragging it across, again, this is just me, but it feels like fingernails on the scratch board. It's so rough. It's resisting the movement of this nib across the surface it's, the pen doesn't seem to be happy to wanna do this. It's also catching little fibers. So it's not the most wonderful surface for the Crow Quill pen. You tend to want to have a smooth surface, like a claybord, for this tool. I mean, you can still get some great marks, but it's just, it's a feel thing, it's not a visual thing. These two are kind of interesting and they feel pretty good as you brush them across the top of the surface of this paper. And this is Arches watercolor paper from a watercolor block. I'm gonna rinse my nib again. And we're gonna move onto another surface that I tested, which I thought was kind of interesting. This is probably, I'd say one of the best surfaces, and these two are really, really similar. These are illustration board and a vellum Bristol. They both have a super smooth surface, so the tones, here I have a Micron pen and the PITT pen. And you can see that it just looks really, really clean. It has a very different look from this. Now it's not better or worse, it's just this has a dry brush look to it and this is really, really clean and smooth and allows that variation of line weight. But it's clean to look at. So if we test the Micron pen, same thing. It just glides across the surface in a wonderful way really, really easily. There's no resistance from the surface or the tooth of the paper. So it's probably the reason why most people who use pens and even markers love the smooth surfaces. This is vellum Bristol and there's smooth Bristol or regular Bristol, this is regular. But the surface is very, very, it's just smooth to the touch. So the pen, and of the pens, even the Crow Quill, let's test the Crow Quill, should glide across this. It's what I use to create, two of these images I used Bristol paper, because it was smooth instead of scratchboard. You can hear a little bit of a sound. It feels a little bit like it's catching, but it's actually, it's pretty smooth. And you can create wonderful lines with this. So if you're not gonna use a scratchboard, I'll show you that in a second, or a claybord, this is a nice surface to work on. And even nicer still would be this really smooth Crescent illustration board. And what's nice about this is it has heft to it, weight, so you can press on it and you're not gonna have any, you don't feel anything below the paper. So I'm gonna show you a few marks. I can get really thick. There's a little hair on the end of this. I can get little tiny hatch lines. I can go from thick to thin. Remember to move it away from me. But this is a really, I think one of the best surfaces is the illustration, really smooth illustration board, surface, for pen and ink, for PITT pens, for Microns, it's all good. And here I'll show you, glides like butter across the surface. And it's very crisp. The mark is not fuzzy, it's very, very crisp. It almost sits on the surface of this before it sinks in and that's what's creating this sort of clean reaction. So really, it depends on what you wanna make. It depends on the kind of, if you want soft textured mark making, using a rough or cold press watercolor paper. If you want something that is really, really clean for the Microns or for the Crow Quill or for the PITT pen you're gonna want something like this smooth illustration board.

Class Description

Are you interested in drawing with pen, ink, and markers but not sure how to get started? In this course artist and illustrator, Mary Jane Begin will introduce you to pen, ink, and markers. This class is perfect for beginners looking to learn the basics of the medium in order to begin a drawing practice. By the end of this course you will be equipped with the know-how to start experimenting and drawing with pen, ink, and markers!

In this class you’ll learn:

  • All about the different types of pen, ink, and markers and how they work
  • Which supplies and papers to use when working with pen, ink, and markers
  • How to begin making simple marks and shapes to familiarize yourself with the medium

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Donna K. Fitch

A great overview class for those who know nothing of the variety of pens, markers and papers available. Mary Jane is an accomplished teacher, and I look forward to putting her teaching in action.