It’s been a very short and very busy 2017 for me, hence my lengthy absence – I could barely find time to paint here and there, writing about it too seemed so out of my reach that I didn’t even tried.
But now – Happy New 2018! They say is going to be the Year of the Dog and, as someone who loves dogs more than most people, this can only mean it will be a very good year indeed.
And when the start is with new art supplies to try out and write about – what can I say, any doubt I might have had about the goodness of this year is absolutely gone!
So now we will talk about a new discovery – the “Vibrant Jungle” 20 watercolour brush pens (plus a clear water brush for blending) set. As an avid sketcher, I was long seduced by the convenience of the watercolour pens, so I tried EVERYTHING – pencils, markers, brushes, the lot. I have my favourites of course, but show me an artist who’s not addicted to try all the art supplies on the market …!
They came in a very nice transparent pack together with a pad of lovely A5 pad of 20 pages 180 gsm smooth paper.
But, since all my trials in the “watercolour pen” division happened on a particular type of paper – i.e. my Seawhite 20x20cm sketchbook (120gsm paper) – I thought it would be only fair to do the same with these ones.
First, I did a set of colour swatches – on the provided smooth pad – and I was particularly pleased of their interaction with water. Many of the pens I tried tend to stain the paper too much and even after applying water, the original marks are still visible on the paper – in this case, the staining is minimal and the blending with water is beautiful and very close to the watercolour paints.
The only negative point I found is the colour choices – two almost identical oranges (lucky me, because is my favourite colour!), two very similar reds, but just one brown. The pens are also not marked with the colour’s name – which might be a problem if they decide to sell them separately too.
P.S.: I only just noticed (on the swatch I did a day before) that it actually had two browns (AND a burnt sienna, my second favourite) – is just positioned on the other side of the spectrum (next to the pink) instead of next to the other brown. (!)
I was very curious how will they behave while interacting with one another – blending with water is one thing, blending with other colour might mean a completely new experience.
And of course it was. I was very pleased to notice that once you apply a new colour over an existing one (even if dried), they start blending immediately – a bit of water and brushwork will create a brand new colour, which was exactly what I wanted!
Below you’ll notice on this detail that I applied two colours on to the base of brown (smoothed out with water). Shadows (darker area) with cobalt blue (I never use black for shadows) and highlights with the second orange. Everything was then blended nicely with the waterbrush and it looks just like any other watercolour painting detail, you have to admit.
The other thing I noticed is that the colour can be partially lifted – the brown spots on the white area above are made just by using the waterbrush after I blended the three colours described above – so I was able to transfer a bit of colour. I also tried to remove the colour – this was only partially successful, but not surprising. The type of pigment watercolour brushpens use (non-toxic water based ink actually) is different from the watercolour paints and we all know there are many watercolour paints described as ‘staining’ (meaning they cannot be lifted completely after application).
Bottom line, my experience with “Vibrant Jungle” watercolour brushpens was really enjoyable and I will probably take them with me on my next ‘on location’ sketch.
You can purchase them here https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B075R9NNRV/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
IMPORTANT UPDATE: Vibrant Jungle just let me know that the first 30 sets will receive a 10% discount using the code MishuB10 at the checkout (from 2am tonight onwards). How amazing is this? I am a discount code!! Use the link above for purchase and please let me know how you get on with them! I would love to hear about it.
In the meantime, here is the final sketch – made in ink pen and these lovely watercolour brushes.