Old shoes, new tricks

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.

Running shoes tombowAfter 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…

6 thoughts on “Old shoes, new tricks

  1. I really like it! Great treatment of a very colorful and tough subject. I sometimes become frustrated trying to blend with the Tombows, too. I haven’t really noticed differences from one color to the next though, but it may just be me not paying enough attention. I have the bright palette, which lends itself more to fun and play vs serious artwork, IMO. So I think of them as something for my art journal, usually. Or some kind of play with cheaper WC paper, dripping clear water and watching the colors run together, that type of thing. But I’ve seen practiced artists familiar with the medium creating beautiful works of art with them! I’ll be curious what you discover. Really like this one, though Rebecca!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks! The shoes are New Balance, and have been good for 2 years, but are wearing out now. I’ve been running for about 3 years, usually three times a week, but have never done more than 10k. My normal loop is 6k on road and farm trail. I feel really lucky to have a pretty car-free route – much more pleasant on the lungs. How about you?

      Liked by 1 person

      • That sounds like a great route especially car-free and its a nice chunk of km to build up each week. I have to say it is sad when a favourite pair of shoes are in need of replacing but also fun to go hunt for a new pair 😉 I used to run, haven’t been able to get back after doing my knees in, but I’m still a big fan of barefoot shoes (Merrell do a great design). Hope you have a great run next time you are out and about.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’m really sorry to hear that your knees are problematic. I have a few twinges, but they haven’t stopped me long. I will have my next run for you! I’ve never tried the barefoot shoes – I do quite like a bit of a spring in my step. I’m saving up at the moment, hopefully I’ll be sporting some lovely new shoes come the autumn :).

        Liked by 1 person

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