Today’s picture was a real experiment. I’ve bought some Tombow pens, a pack of 18 mixed colours, after hearing about fellow bloggers enjoying using them. It’s been about 35 years since I handled felt-tips in earnest, so I did a few preliminary doodles to try to understand a little about how these watercolour brush pens perform. The colours in my selection are quite vivid, lurid even, compared to those I usually work with. As a change is as good as a rest, I decided I’d better find something equally striking to test them out on.
After my run this morning, I noticed that since my running shoes are pretty bright (as is the way with these things) they would be perfect for trialling the Tombows. I got ready with my 300gsm paper, pens and a water brush.
I was going for a graphic, illustrative feel, rather than trying to imitate watercolour faithfully (which I think would probably be setting myself up for a huge fall). You can still see the pen strokes as I’ve not blended them out entirely (I don’t even know if that would be possible). I think the effect is a bit too scribbly for my liking; perhaps next time I’d spend more time trying to get a smoother effect. I only used the brush tips in this picture, not the finer ends. Different colours seem to ‘travel’ differently in the water and have variable solubility. That’s not so great – I don’t know if anyone else has noticed this? It does make it tricky to predict how a colour will behave.
I’m not at all sure what I think of this picture. Bits of it are appealing, but the subject matter and my execution of it do remind me of long-ago A level art assignments, and that’s not necessarily a good thing! On the up-side, it’s lovely to have a record of these shoes, as I’ve worn them almost to destruction and they have helped me through many miles of road and trails.
My current thought is that I’ll be saving the Tombows for adding touches of colour to outdoor sketches of buildings. But I reserve the right to change my mind at a moment’s notice…