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Artwyrd's avatar

August Mandala 2

By Artwyrd
Approx 12cm in diameter.
Unipin pens, Zig art and graphic twins with water wash and metallic gold watercolour paint on acid-free bristol board.
Image details
Image size
1469x1468px 3.44 MB
LiDE 20
© 2013 - 2021 Artwyrd
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ZIM402's avatar
just ... breathtaking!
Artwyrd's avatar
nerrinb's avatar
like an exotic glass plate!
Artwyrd's avatar
cybelemoon's avatar
I love that.  How do you get the fade without causing the pen ink to run?  :?
Artwyrd's avatar
Thanks Pam.  I use water resistant pens - Unipin by Uniball or Sakura Micron pens.  With the zig art and graphic twins, I dab them onto a plastic palette, use a wet brush and apply them like watercolour, but you don't get the powdery grittiness you get with watercolour paints so the pens can draw on top of the colour when it's dry without them clogging and dying on me.
cybelemoon's avatar
And when you say zigzag art and graphic twins, which ones are those?  
Artwyrd's avatar
Their water based felt pens with a brush tip and a fineliner tip.  They're made by Kuretake and here's a link to their website -->….

I use them by dabbing ink from the brush tip onto a plastic palette and then add water and use them a bit like watercolours.  I've also used them to colour in the end of a shape and then used a wet brush to dilute the colour on the paper and spread it in a gradient, sometimes into a second colour further along ... 
cybelemoon's avatar
Awe, so THAT is how you do it!  :)   Okay... now I get it!  :)
Artwyrd's avatar
;) Phew!  Sometimes I do wonder if I make sense.  Look for Tombow dual brush pens as an alternative.  I don't know if Marvy do something similar as well; I bought some Marvy brush pens a while back but they don't do what I hoped they'd do, but I will find a use for them, maybe - they're all pretty pastel colours, but they were on sale in Hobbycraft so it would be a shame not to get them to try.
cybelemoon's avatar
:lol: I have seen a few options at our Hobby Lobby shop.  I'll have to check into trying them out next time I have a little extra money and the coupon.  
cybelemoon's avatar
I can't get Uni-pins here.  Sakura I can tho.  They are a bit expensive but worth it.  However, the fine line one that I bought the tip sank on me right after I got it and I wasn't pressing hard either.  :(  Maybe I just got a bad one.    When you say, with the zig zag you dab them onto a plastic palette are you saying you dab the pens and use them like water color?
Artwyrd's avatar
Sakura are good pens, usually, but I do prefer the Unipins, but best of all are my Rotring pens, but the ink isn't water resistant in them.  I also find the Sakura tips don't last as long as the Unipin pens.  Have you tried sourcing them on ebay or retailers outside of the USA?  Hang on, have them, here's a link -->….

Yup, I dab the brush end on the pallete to release some of the ink, then either use them as a watercolour by adding water to get the intensity of colour I want, or I use an almost dry brush to add subtle (or not so subtle) tones ... they do work just like water colours this way. Also, once they've dried on the palette, just add water and they're ready to go again!  They mix like watercolours, though I tend to mix them on the paper.
cybelemoon's avatar
yeah, the ZIG® Art & Graphic Twin are only found in the UK (can buy them on Ebay but they all ship from UK) and they are way too pricey for me.  And the Uni-pins come from only the UK and Hong Kong.  They are about the same price and the Microns so I'm stuck with them instead.  Sad.  :(   Now understand what you are talking about tho!  Thank you! :)
Artwyrd's avatar
Can you get Tombow pens in America?  I believe they are very similar to the Zig pens ... I've read somewhere you can use them in the same way.

I'm quite astounded that you can't get all the goodies I have access to in the UK over the pond.  

I use for many of my art pens, and I've just looked at their website and they charge £10 for post and packing to America Shocked. As it would cost me £8.80 to send an piece of art to America, plus the cost of the packaging, £10 is very fair of them.

I'd look for tombow pens which look more or less just like my Zig pens!

As an alternative to the Sakura pens have a look at the copic multiliners -…  They're pricey BUT replacement nibs/ink for them make them cheaper in the long run.  They're on my list to get when I get the signing on fees for the artwork ;).

Rotring do Tikky pens which are similar, though I find they aren't as water resistant as the Unipins (the Sakuras aren't all that water resistant, though they are supposed to be).  Staedtler do pigment liners, which have allegedly permanent ink in them;perhaps it's because I've used them on gummed watercolour paper that they've run with water. Their tips are pretty tough.  Pilot do a DR drawing pen which I've used a long time ago but I can't remember how I fared with them.

Faber Castell also do drawing pens, but again the points don't seem to last long.

Of the lot, apart from my Rotring rapidographs, the Unipins are my favourites, the nibs last, the ink is waterproof (except when I put it on top of watercolour pencils BEFORE using water on the pencils...then they bleed terribly).

I hope you can find something as an alternative to the Microns.  Sharpie do some very fine-point pens now, though the ink tends to bleed easily on the paper, which is a drawback for me generally.

cybelemoon's avatar
I use Pilot's Precise v5 and they bleed with water, I have tried sharpie and their tips try up very quickly and they do bleed into the paper too much.  I was also frustrated with the fact that they don't like to write on some services, where as the Precise write on just about anything, just not very waterproof.   I've tried Pilot G2, they bleed badly with water!  The Uniball Signo is one that bleeds the least.  Of course all of these it depends on what paper I'm using.  

I have three small journals two are 3x5 in. and one 4x6 in. and each one has a different kind of paper and take the pens and watercolor differently and are not really made for wet media.  I use a lot of colored markers in them.  I tried Sharpie colored markers and hate them, they bleed into the paper too much. Bic Mark-it markers have been the best but the store I was buying them from stopped selling them so I will have to order them online next time.  I have several larger journals also, one is a moleskin which I love but they are so expensive so I'm reserved at using it.  lol  - pointless I know.  Some of my journals I've not worked in because they are so pretty, again pointless to have them if I don't use them.  

I have 4 journals that I've completed.  I work in usually two or more at a time because while one is drying I can work in another, or if I get blocked on what I want to do with one I've started I can swap over to another one for a break.  Sometimes I lay down a watercolor wash or background them play with that as a starting point.  My work never looks as good as yours, you have been an inspiration to me for quite a while, I've use some of your methods in my stuff a lot.  

I found a set of Sakura's for a reasonable price… and I get free shipping with that one!  :)  I may order them next week.  Usually 6 pens would run around $15 when purchased individually.  :D   

Sadly if the cost goes over $2 a pen, its way to expensive for me.  Oh... and another little tid-bit - I looked at what the exchange rate is between £1 and $1 and well for every £1 it is $1.56 for me.  Which speaks loudly when it comes to these things.  The dual tip pens run $3 to $3.50 USD  (If my jewelry would sell, then I'd be able to get more!  LOL)  
Artwyrd's avatar
I agree with Sharpies, and I've tried the Spectrum noir markers too, but they bleed and the colours are always 'dirty' looking to my eye, though the greys are useful for shadows on just black and white drawings.

I've also tried various rollerball pens and needlepoint pens for drawing, but they are useless if I want to use water on the pencils or paints with them.  

I've also done the painting the background colour before drawing on it thing, and it's fun and once fully dry you can get away with using lots of different kinds of pens.

I've also used humble ballpoint pens to draw the outlines in the past; they're interesting as the colours they produce are much more muted than gel pens or pigment pens.  They can mute any paint added, but it's so subtle it actually makes the colours feel 'antique'.

I have one Moleskine journal a friend bought for me for my 40th birthday 10 years ago now.  I'd just started exploring my artistic side them, and the journal went with me on my 40th birthday exploration of Santiago de Compostella for the wonderful Romanesque architecture and sculpture there (a bit of a passion of mine).  It's not been with me anywhere else, yet, it's such a special book and I want to keep it for special things ...

Trying to find good deals on art supplies is always a problem here too.  ebay isn't always the best place; I've found artist supply shops that are a lot cheaper!  It's all a question of shopping around.  Hobbycraft is most definitely not the cheapest, although I've found bargains there from time to time when they have a stock clearance.  They wanted well over £70 for a set of 36 polychromos pencils; I managed to find a set for around £30 on ebay, with free p&p and the usual stockists I try couldn't match that. I will be getting more of them as they are my favourite coloured pencils of all time, worth every penny and an investment.

Oh, it's taken me a long time to do my best not to compare my work to other people's who I think do better than me.  Your work is great, it's your expression of you and that is the most important thing about anyone's art ... I'm humbled to find I'm an inspiration, I really am, but I love the way that your art is yours :hugs:
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