Sunday, August 30, 2020

Finding my way back...

...I've wandered off in some strange directions, and although I'd like to blame it on COVID, in all honesty I know it's been much longer than that.  My "dry spell" with my journal and art has been long and very strange.

Happy to say I seem to be finding my way back, new inspirations, more interest, more of a simple urge to document, to observe, to respond...

Recently, it was sparked by new tools, as it often is.  A new tool, a new medium, a new technique, and suddenly we NEED to try it...

My ever-so-creative friend Elizabeth Lifa Metz (check out her Etsy Shop, Conifer Crow, for some wonderful journals, classes, zines and other goodies!) posted about her new fountain brush pens, and my creative ears perked up!  They're made not unlike TWSBI fountain pens, but with a strong Lamy-like clip, and they are CHEAP.  As in 3 for $15.95.  Had to give it a try...

These were the "Wing Sung 3009 Piston-Filled Flexible Brush Tip Fountain Pen, Fine to Broad For Sketching, Drawing, Scrapbooking and Calligraphy Painting," (brand appears to be Lanxivi) on Amazon, though I'm sure they're probably available elsewhere.  

The pen works a lot like a TWSBI, with a piston fill, which I really like.  So far, I was just playing with one pen and Rose Mary, at the cabin.  To get darker values, I layered.

When I got home I filled another pen with black and punched up my sketch a bit.

This are the three values I'm using now...Noodler's Lexington Grey, De Atramentis Document Black, and the same ink diluted. 


S0 far my sticky labels aren't staying stuck.  They all look pretty much the same in the pen, so I'll have to come up with something.  Even though I just had the grey and black, I could see this was going to work!

I loved that you can get such a range of line width with a brush that you can't with a pen.  Yummy, textures!


I added just a bit of linework and that 2nd grey when I got home.  Nice that you can do less or more detail with these tools...

Look at the variety of line widths and effects possible! 

You could fill the pens with watercolors, as they show in their Amazon listing, but I chose three values of ink for sketching--as noted, De Atramentis Document Black, and the same diluted with their proprietary dilution solution, and Noodler's Lexington Grey. 

So maybe the moral of the story is if you're in a dry spell, just consider trying something new, kick back, play, get out in nature and enjoy yourself!



  1. I love the idea of just playing. I get so afraid of not doing a "great" drawing that I avoid doing anything.
    I try to remember watching a woman in an art class just smiling and painting away and she looked so happy.
    Play like a child and use a bunch of paper having fun.

  2. Try washi tape around the barrels. Or scotch tape or masking tape. Or dip ends in paint ?!

  3. I love that rock shelf image.. It's so very evocative.. Have fun with yor paintbrush.. looks like a handy addition :)

  4. Love your rendition of your rock wall. You've either extended the length or reduced the height to improve its form. Always the artist, Kate.

    I've been using 3009s with fountain pen nibs almost exclusively for the last 6-8 months. I love them. They never have starting problems and NEVER run out of ink :-) I've got XFine nibs in mine and with the huge ink reservoir I've only had to refill mine once. I've gotten mine via eBay for almost no money. I like the idea of having brush pen versions and will hunt some of those down.

    1. That is COOL. I just saw this, sorry, life's been crazy...

      I may have to invest in the one with the nibs, I'm pretty impressed with performance.

    2. You can't go wrong Kate. I've got three of them now, just so I'll have backups. At $3 per pen, they are a bargain for a pen that holds a pile of ink (same amount as your brush pen) and that seals well enough that it doesn't go dry on you. Perfect field pen and if you lose it, it's not a big deal.

      BTW, I got a couple of the brush pens and have one filled with dilute ink. Great addition to field sketching kit, if I ever get to field sketch again :-)

    3. JUST got mine in the mail this week, Larry, thank you! I'm really impressed...I couldn't believe the price, and they seem really dependable so far!

  5. I am not sure I understand. Is this pen something you fill then with your own ink? And if so, what ink are you using?

    1. Sorry, just saw this! Yes, you fill with your own...Noodler's Lexington Grey, De Atramentis Document Black, and the same ink diluted.

  6. Dry spells can be very empty and depressing. So happy to see you working again. ❤️


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