Two of my best cyberbuddies (Katherine of Making a Mark and Robyn of Have Dogs, Will Travel, to be precise) have asked me to tell more about the brushpens I used in my little portraits of the king and queen. Their wishes are my commands.
First, I had so much fun with Barbara and Ferdinand, I decided to add Queen Maria Amelia (after Mengs) to their numbers and here she is:
This shows how juicy and brash and fun my new pens are. I use Schmincke paints normally and they are bright and saturated , but, wow, look at that cheek color! And though I normally paint pretty loosely, these pens encourage even more looseness, as you can see.
The pens are Akashiya Sai Watercolor pens. I got the 20 pen set from Jetpens. Click on this link and you'll find lots of great information about them, with many illustrations, too. Jetpens is a fabulous company with the widest array of drawing pens that I've seen anywhere. Their prices are among the lowest, too.
Here's my set:
I made three quick sketches of the same subjects using Pentel Colorbrush pens, Tombow brushpens, and Sai watercolor pens. You may not be able to tell the differences among them ( I had to severely limit my palette because I have very few Pentel colorbrushes), but there are big differences. Sai pens have a very flexible nib, resulting in lovely fluid lines. Pentel have that same flexibility, but the nibs are longer and wider, so it's a bit harder to get really delicate lines. Tombow nibs are more rigid. The resulting drawings, both in terms of line quality and color, look more like those done with traditional markers. Pentels are filled with watersoluble ink (as are Tombows.) You can get decent washes with both, though Pentels are more saturated. Sai are filled with watercolor paint, so there's the possibility for greater subtlety and the flow quality is off the charts. I drew each pen with its own type of pen, so you could get some idea of how they perform dry.
I don't know about the lightfastness of the pigments in Sai pens. If you're interested you can email the nice people at Jetpens. So, Katherine and Robyn, there you are!