This weeks materials Рpens , acrylic and tea 

I have been playing with materials lately – particularly pens and pencils working out what works layering on top of things – I thought I had a lot of ‘stuff’ before …….

This moments ‘weapons of choice’ (it’s worrying me that I used a violent metaphor to describe my drawing equipment – I think it’s one of the things a parent must have said when I was growing up …..) 

Anyway from left to right 

A selection of permanent markers – for some reason cheap pens work better over layers of water resistant / plastic based stuff and my thin sharpie is much more forgiving than a thick one ….. 

I try and buy pens when they are on sale,or on offer and I am trying out fountain pens and things that can refill so that I cut down on my plastic recycling. 

Back to my list 

Signo pigment ink in bronze – because of the contrast this colour has with the turquoise / teal/ blue palette I am working with at the moment. 

Uniball eye permanent ink and water soluble – in turquoise and green – I like to mix up water soluble and permanent when tea dipping so that you get colours running.

Posca 3mm bullet pen in blue – I love these type of pens when they work but I do not like the flooding ….. 

Cheap Childs felt pen in blue – soluble ink 

Uni chalk marker light blue 1.5-2.5 bullet  – this is nice for highlights 

Pentel wet eraser chisel – contrasting shape to above 

Paint brush with resovoir – I haven’t tried this with waterproof ink yet – it’s an ink guzzler but fun l. 

Cheap Korean gelato – lovely – semi permanent effects 

White Stabillo pencil for glass , metal , paper and plastic  – it says it’s water proof but it’s not. 

Faber Castro Polychromos in Cobalt green permanent. 

Cheap biro – my favourite mixed media implement at the moment 

Distress Marker bought in the sale at Hobby Craft – with a damaged tip – I love the brush end – I wish it was permanent 

The type of thing I have been using them on 

This one is teadipped and has clear gesso drawn on in spirals at some stage …. 

This one uses biro, acrylic , powdered pigment , and several of the above swirled through before and after tea dipping. I say several because looking at the image I can’t remember what exactly ( lol) 

If I use termeric in the tea dipping – I get a nice dark colour but it leaves a residue that needs to be sealed before I can work on top , or it tends to ruin pens – which is not cost affective 

I have found a PVA at the local DIY shop that seems to work when applied with a credit card and it just adds a sheen to the paper. 

The above image was made using :

1)  a fabric diolly print in acrylic

2)  drawn swirls with distress pen , and chalk 


3) tea dipped 

4) PVA 

5) printed on with acrylic through a stencil 

6) doodle flower in permanent marker 

7) biro grid 

I have found if I cheat with the tea and add a squirt of  brown acrylic I can deepen the tones. However, I prefer the effect that you get when you dip the paper several times- printer paper is particularly nice but is very fragile.

Below shows three pieces with different shades of brown – the top one has been dipped once the back one 3 times   

A journalling page process 

I decided to write in a bit more detail about one of my journalling pages from my last post. 

This was produced in response to a journalling prompt from Shelley Klammer based around the ideas of enjoying the little things 

We had to only work from one magazine and choose things that we liked or appealed to us. I worked very quickly – this probably took about 20 mins. Scanning through magazines and cutting out images and text is a thing I do – I didn’t enjoy being restricted to one magazine – but I like what I chose and the end result 


I chose images that appealed to me for various reasons: 

1) top right – Game of thrones 

2) bottom left Bowie died recently – so there are images of him everywhere, I liked the direct ness of his gaze and his Aladdin Sane make up 

3)  The pattern and colours used in the comic , ( top left) even though I didn’t really appreciate the subject matter 

4) The technique of the child drawing mid: top right 

5) The pose the man from The 1975 

6) I chose the text because either because liked the font or lettering style or the words 

7) ‘Things we like ‘ fulfiled both thesubject matter and I liked the font and the colours

I started by layering the larger images onto the page – then it is  a case of balance and form – 

I work quite quickly and cover each layer with glue as well as sticking the first layer down- I use a diluted cheap PVA . 

Working in this way means that the paper doesn’t buckle so much and the layers don’t peel off as easily – also cheap PVA dries Matt and you can draw and paint in a variety of pens and pencils afterwards 

When I talk about balance and form – I always like to have small , medium and large elements in a picture, and a sense of some foreground, medium ground and background 

So the man from 1975 is infront of the boy looking out of the window and the text ‘list for life ‘, but behind the ‘Radar ‘ and ‘Gobsmacked’ 

I should divide my page up into 3rds according to the ‘Golden Rules’ but there is no ‘should’ in art journalling so I regularly find I divide the page almost but not quite equally 

Bowie’s eyes seem to focus the bottom left section and allow everything else to float about a bit – I think that’s another reason I chose to put the ‘things we like ‘lettering at the top because it looks like bubbles floating 

I work very fast – this took about 20 mins from start to finish- I become completely absorbed and don’t really analyse the process as I do it. 

I didn’t lay the images out before glueing or really think about what I was doing at the time – all the analysis happened  after I had finished just to explain to you