Friday, August 29, 2014

Skinny nibs make me uncomfortable

Pen/marker... tomāto/tomäto...

 I have to be honest, I just don't like skinny nibs. There's something about a needle-thin pen nib digging into a writing surface that sends my skin crawling. On the other hand, I just can't ever seem to get enough of a thick, smooth continuous scribble or line of ink.

Up until the day I discovered that art journaling was actually a thing, my mark-makers of choice were the good old universal sharpie, charcoal pencils and my dads prisma colored pencils. Since then, ohhh how my horizons have broadened. After my discovery, of course, I would spend endless hours on YouTube watching videos in order to "educate" myself on art materials. I would literally sit there with two web pages open: YouTube and If the item the artist was using looked interesting, I would pause the video, search and put it on my wishlist. Gift giving, since this amazing revelation, has never been so easy for my friends and family.

I now, perpetually experiment with combinations of different media- and it can be anything from gel sticks to acrylic paint, watercolor to melted silicone. I love dimension and texture. To me, the way it feels is as important as how it looks. (I don't know why that is. I'm pretty quirky.) But because of this love for texture I have had a bit of frustration writing and doodling on my pages.

So lets get back to the nibs. Lately, I have been on this kick to actually journal or write words on some of my pages and I've hit this huge hurdle. I keep killing my pens. And wasting money. I can't tell you how many blogs I have read where fellow artists dish on their favorite pens saying they're the bees knees and it turns out to be crap. Case in point: the Pentel white permanent marker where the nib almost immediately went to crap after leaving a sort of watery cum stain on my paper. (I am sorry for my crass language, but honestly that is what it looks like and nobody wants that!)

Then there's the Koh-i-noor Rapidosketch pen. I got it in .5mm, which it said on the packaging but don't be fooled as I was,  it's like half that size. Its like no pen I've ever used before. The tip is metal... and hollow. It's a refillable pen. Which I thought might be really cool, especially after all the kudos it got in other artists' blogs. I was lead to believe that nothing could stop this pen, that it would write on any surface but I was wrong. Once I finally did get it to actually write, it only lasted for about ten minutes. I am pretty sure the tip is now clogged... or at least I hope its just clogged and that taking it apart and running it through some warm water will fix it. It was pretty pricey for a lowly churl such as myself coming in at almost $18 not including shipping on amazon.

And so the quest for the perfect pen has begun!

I have heard that the folks over at The Scarlet Lime found it in the Permaball Pilot pen, but unfortunately for us late bloomers it's out of stock. I thought I would be cute and try to find it elsewhere but it turned out to be impossible, at least for those of us living in the United States. After much research I did find it at a few different office supply chains. Office Depot, for example carries it... if you live in Canada. And of course they won't even entertain the notion of shipping it south. For the most part though, since they're manufactured in Japan this pen is only available in Australia and the south pacific. Eventually, I ended up emailing the folks at The Scarlet Lime to find out when it would be in again. I got an email that directed me to their FAQ's which informed that out of stock items can take up to two weeks to arrive. And so I wait, patiently for that grand day to come when I too can own one of these pens.

Update on the permaball pilot pen: almost 2 months later and its still out of stock.

In the mean time I will be testing other pens and markers. I'm going to start this quest at Jet Pens. Have you been to this store? Its Planner/Journal lovers paradise. They sell mostly pens- for decent prices, and have just about any pen you can think of. The only thing is, they don't really sell by the box, it's more like the single pen, but at least they're priced well. Hence, the reason I am starting here. I will be starting with the Ohto-Fude-Ball-Pen. I heard about this pen from Dina Wakely. The tip is 1.5 mm! (Nice and fat like I like them... ohh that doesn't sound right. *Blush*) It has a black body with black ink. The best part is that it only goes for $2.50 on Jet Pens, whereas its $6.52 on Amazon and $3.99 + shipping pretty much everywhere else.

On a side note: while the pens at Jet Pens are priced economically, they get you in shipping, which starts at $7.00. So if you go there, you might as well make it worth your while and get more than one or two pens. And no I don't work for any of these companies. I am just a poor mixed-media artist who wants to share what I have learned and possibly save you a few bucks in the process. On another note, I also wanted to mention that they carry the Uni-ball Signo in white and just about every other color you may or may not know they came in. Plus, you can order a box of 10 of these pens here for $23.50.

I will be sure to post as soon as I get my order. I am new to blogging so please bear with me. Until then I may post about this or that pertaining to the world of mixed-media, crafts and art journaling. I hope you enJoy!
My favorite blue pen: Papermate InkJoy 700RT 1.0 

Fudeball 1.5

Pictured above is a test page from my art journal (Canson XL 98 lb/160 g mi media paper).

My consensus:

This pen is awesome. It writes on anything. I'm a mixed media artist as you know. I bought two of these pens on amazon. First off, I have to say they're pretty cheap as pens go. The ball is huge which is why nothing can stop it. I have had this pen for a little over a month and I use it all the time. The ink is flowing sweetly.

So I now have two staple ball point pens. The search continues for a felt tip pen (back in the day we called these markers but whatever). I want something similar to my plain old black dual tipped sharpie. ...I know what you're thinking... why don't I just use my sharpie water-based paint markers, right? It's just not the same.

Honestly, my favorite black felt tipped markers are the faber-castell pit pens. I love the way they write and blend however, they just can't hang. I have destroyed 2 sets of the smaller pens and 1 of the big brush pens. I store all my markers horizontally because it keeps ink from solidifying and the wrong end and messing up the nib.

I definitely also need to mention that the white big brush pen is a must have for any art journaler. Once you get one, I can promise you, you will never be able to live without it again. Also, this pen, unlike the black version seems to handle heavy use a lot better.

Until the next great pen, ciao for now!