I’ve used my watercolor brush pens a lot. But I’ve used them primarily as markers until now. I would apply some water here and there, but very rarely. So when I decided to use it in a watercolor painting I made sure to test it thoroughly.

I first let the color dry on paper to see if the color would budge. Then tested how much time had to lapse before it became hard or even unwilling to blend. I was able to judge pretty well how it would behave and was very pleased that I did not find any signs that it would bleed.

And then this happened.

I am thinking I made the mistake of only testing it with plain water because once it got in contact with the watercolor pigment it took on a life of its own. It suddenly started bleeding in some spots, or having a downright smoky effect on other. Like some late 19th century factory was belching filth onto this tranquil little beach. I started whistling Deep Purple’s Smoke on the water out of frustration.

I now know I should have tested the brush pen under all circumstances and will do that in the future. Until then I’ll just prepare a new watercolor paper and will humbly hum on.