I have never studied art, painting or drawing. Everything I do I learned on my own by either experimenting, through books or the good ol’ internet. I’m a classic self-taught artist, if you will. So there are tons of new techniques, tools out there which I have never experimented with. One of these is the brush pen.

Ever since I saw a tutorial on urban sketching I was mesmerized by this new (to me) tool. I was intrigued to try it, because it seemed like it would bring a new and exciting element into my world. The endless possibilities of using it as is or wetting it down, the variety of the strokes and that element of calligraphy it promised were all tickling my fancy. As I have recently received a set of watercolor brush pens, I thought there are no more excuses, I will have to give them a go!

Padstow quay
Experimenting with watercolor brush pens
Padstow quay at high tide

I have to confess, I have an Instagram crush, Kate Whiston. She lives and works in Padstow  (one of the dreamiest places I know and which has repeatedly crept into my artworks) and takes the most amazing photos of her home town. I love all her pictures! So there was no question that I would use one of her recent ones as an inspiration to experiment with my brushes.

The brush pens are so beautiful! The colors are incredibly vibrant and come off onto the page true to color. For a very first, shy little sketch I am happy with the outcome. But what I have realized very quickly into my first little experiment is, that this is a completely new tool, medium, and I cannot (should not) use it as any old marker. The pliability of the brush head, the quality of the pigments are all calling for it to be used as a true watercolor (hence the name). I will have to experiment a bit more with adding water and blending, washing out the colors. And for that this sunny weekend, and Kate’s new posts are all providing me with the most incredible inspiration.