Flowers with a brush pen

I’ve really been enjoying using a brush pen. It just feels great to draw with. But it didn’t seem like it would be the right tool for sketching flowers. Delicate petals and subtle nuances of colour drawn with a thick black line? Would it work? I tried it out in a smallish Stillman & Birn Beta sketchbook (my favourite of their books), added a bit of watercolour, and I have to admit, it came out better than I expected. The thing about the brush pen is that it has an expressive line because you can add and release pressure while you draw. That’s probably why I like it so much, in fact. Give it a try and let me know what you think.


30 Comments on “Flowers with a brush pen”

  1. Alison says:

    (Yippee, I get to post the first comment.) I love what you’ve done here. I will give the brush pen a try. But I think it’s not so much the brush pen, as the person whose hand it is in. I love how you’ve given the delicate freesia so much spunk!

    • And I took so long to respond to your first comment. Sorry about that! Needed to get grading and taxes done… I do hope you try the brush pen Alison. I think you may like it.

  2. Jean says:

    What type or brand of brush pen did you use here? Great combo!

  3. joantav says:

    This looks great! Who would think a brush pen would work for flowers. I’ll have to give it a try.

  4. Susan says:

    My brush pen was a disappointment from the word go. I’ll get it out again, but I think Alison is probably right about the person whose hand it is in.
    I am just back from South Carolina, but I drove so still have everything I went with. I had another look at your post “Lost and found”, and I would imagine that you have probably never had so many ‘comments’. All your followers came out of the woodwork over your lost luggage! It made for a suspenseful week and a great story.
    I’m sure you are over the moon to have everything back.
    I love it when your posts appear in my inbox. Thanks, Shari.

    • Hi Susan. I’m happy to hear that you came back from South Carolina with all your possessions. Personally, I was never so happy to unpack as when that bag came back last week. And yes, there were so many comments, it took me hours to answer everyone… But I was so appreciative of all the good wishes. And I have a feeling that the bag came back because of someone reading my posts all week. She told a friend who works at Delta and that friend went to the lost and found and talked to a guy who talked to the guy who found my bag. I am not absolutely sure of that but almost sure. So all my complaining worked in the end… Glad to hear that you’re enjoying the posts!

  5. Tony says:

    My brush pen is the first thing I’d save if the house caught fire! Beautifully expressive for quick life drawing poses etc… but sadly (in my hands at least) too big for 8″ x 5″ urban sketches.

    • I am just getting to love this pen that I bought years ago and never really tried. What brand do you use Tony? Is it a Pentel like me? Some people use a Kuretake.

      • TonyU says:

        Mine’s a Pentel too. Bought it, tried it, loved it so I’ve never tried anything else …. particularly when the sable version of the Kuretake costs about 10 times as much.

  6. Judy Sopher says:

    I’ve also been trying using a brush pen of late. It isn’t easy but I also like the effect–at times. Just like so many new things, it can be refreshing to try something new. I still am astonished at your getting your luggage back. What a relief.

    • Judy, it is refreshing to use this pen. I find that my hand loosens up when I am holding the brush pen, whereas when I’m holding pen I can sometimes draw too tightly. As for the luggage, I am still astonished that it made its way back to me.

  7. Marisa says:

    I really like how gestural this piece is. You’ve captured the energy of spring blooms.
    Could you please give more info about the brush pen? Brand, price and where one can get one.

  8. Barbara Beynon says:

    Your sketch encourages me to get out my brush pen and become more familiar with what it does. A friend gave me a beautiful one for my birthday last fall and I have used it several time but not enough for me to feel confident with the process. I’m going to give it another try and add some watercolor this time, too. Thanks, Shari, for the push!

  9. I LOVE the brushpen- so much that I can get carried away with it and totally overdo it.

  10. rosjenke says:

    I love the brush pen but it bleeds through the paper in my current journal. I’m looking forward to using it in a new one, but it probably won’t work the magic for me like it does for you.

    • This brand (Pentel) doesn’t seem to bleed through anything. What type of paper are you using? It must be quite thin Ros. I was using the Beta paper which is very thick but I’ve tried it in a Moleskine and it was fine.

  11. Anders says:

    Looks like a pentel,which gives a dry brush effect.i like the pilot as well even though you can’t refill it…bummer

    • That’s correct Anders. It is a Pentel which can get a bit dry, but I guess that’s why I like it. I’ve never tried the Pilot but just looked it up online. It seems like a harder line, from what I can see.

  12. Beautiful drawing, am inspired to find a brush pen and give it a whirl. Thank you for the encouragement.

  13. I’ve nmever really got to grips with brush pens but I’ll try again after seeing this. Wonderful painting, nice and relaxed!

  14. I bought a Pentel brushpen few weeks ago, and I love it. It’s the only way to loosen up my sketches, normally my lines are way too accurate and all lines look the same.

  15. I’ve been exploring a brush pen with water-soluble ink (not really a fan) and with a mixed grey waterproof ink (more to my liking). I am using a Kuretake #40 weasel, which is lovely, but the nicest I have used was the Platinum genuine weasel. I sold it at a workshop but I think I’ll get another – with platinum carbon ink is was exquisite. Happy sketching. The flowers are lovely 🙂

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