When people see my art for the first time I often hear questions like "how do you get such clean lines?" and "what kind of paint do you use?" I always receive a look of disbelief when I respond that I use paint pens, while some larger paintings are mixed media, many of my paintings and all of my skateboard and vinyl paintings are 100% paint pen. While I am not the first artist to use paint pens as their medium, I am happy to pass along tips and tricks to other artists wishing to try their hand at paint pens.
I use Zig Posterman Pens from Kuretake, they come in a variety colors and tip sizes and they blend really well! A great surface to start with is gesso board, they super light and portable, they come in a variety of sizes and there's no prep needed, just unwrap and you're ready to paint.
Here's a step by step look at the latest painting I'm working on:
|I start of with a light, rough sketch. Very little detail just the basics. |
This will be a sun just above the horizon as seen through the curl of a wave.
|I'll start out with lighter sections of the painting, as its easier to cover up the light sections than the dark if I need to.|
For the sunbeams I', going to blend from Red to Orange to Yellow to White.
|Using Posterman Medium tip Pins I add a section of Red and a section of Orange.|
|I then use the Orange pen to pull out the red and blend the colors. |
The trick to paint pens is you have to work fast as they dry quickly.
|Next I add some Yellow.|
|Then I use the Yellow to pull out the Orange and blend the colors.|
If you need you can go back with the Orange to adjust you blend.
|For the next section of the blend I start with the White at the edge of the yellow and work outwards to get a gradual fade to white. For this I used a chisel tip Posteman, but a medium tip would work here as well.|
|I wet back with a fine tip red to the add a narrower end.|
There you have your basic blend: Red to Orange to Yellow to White.
|Working in small sections to prevent the paint from drying before I can blend it I add two more sunbeams. |
For the alternate beams I will work backward with the same color blend, just starting with the red at the large end.
|Near the horizon I add a thin line of purple with my chisel tip marker.|
|Just above that a thin line of red.|
|Then using short stroked I use the red to blend the two.|
|Wipe off any access purple still on the marker tip (I use the back of my left hand) and add to the red area.|
|Again, same technique, working my blend from dark to light. I add a section of Orange...|
|A little Yellow...|
|... and blend.|
|and finishing it off with the chisel White, I also used a fine point to get into the smaller spaces.|
|I don't worry about getting the lines between perfect, I will go back later and do my outline work. |
Right now I'm just laying out the color
Next up I'll start painting the waves using light and dark blue green and purple.