Water-brush Pens - Art Tutorial

This is a re-post of my article for Brighter Craft - original post



How to use Waterbrush Pens to create beautiful artwork

By Lena Mistry


Hello all! My name is Lena and I am a watercolour artist based in London, UK. Today I am going to show you how to make the best use of waterbrush pens to help you create beautiful artwork.

Let’s start with the supplies you will need. For beginners, I would recommend getting the Zenacolor waterbrush set which also comes with a free aqua brush! There are 24 beautiful and highly pigmented colours in this set and this is the first set I used when starting out with waterbrush pens. For today’s tutorial, I have used a 20 colour set from Mozart Supplies – these are very good as well, there is a lot of water in the ink and the colours are mostly bright, however, I believe for beginners, the Zenacolor set have a better range of colours. You can also purchase separately a set of Mozart Supplies aqua brushes (I have the set of 4) – these come in different brush sizes and depends on the kind of paintings you want to do. I am using one of the smaller round brushes.

Now you’ve got your brushes and pens, you will need good quality paper for these waterbrushes to be more effective. For this tutorial, I have used 300gsm watercolour paper from Cass Art. There are many sizes of paper pads you can get. Another good brand is Daler & Rowney or Fluid. To be honest, any 300 gsm, cold-pressed paper should be decent! Claire Fontaine is also a really good quality brand for watercolour paper – however, they are of the more expensive variety.


Supplies list:




The first thing you should do is ‘swatches’ with your waterbrush pens. You can create a grid for this or do it without. Colour in a square and then drag the colour down using your aqua brush to create a gradient keeping a square or rectangle shape on your paper (if no water comes out of your aqua brush, give it a small squeeze). Do this for all colours in your set. If your pens have names or numbers on them, you can write them down below each corresponding swatch. Once you have completed this, you can keep the swatches in front of you so when you are painting you can easily choose which colours you want to use. Here is what mine looks like when I swatched my Zenacolor pens: (apologies for poor quality photo!)





Finally, you are now prepared to start painting!

Here are 3 of my favourite ways on how to use waterbrush pens:

Tutorial 1 – Florals

Florals are the simplest and most relaxing things to paint. They are dainty, pretty and can be used for bullet journals and scrapbooking. Here’s how to create pretty florals:


Tutorial 2 – loose roses

Loose roses are equally as fun and therapeutic as the florals – it’s a different technique which involves allowing yourself to let go and be spontaneous in your bush strokes to create a loose rose shape. It can be done over and over again across the page, even in different colours. Add leaves and other foliage to create diversity in your artwork. Here’s how you can do it:



Tutorial 3 – Mini landscape discs

These are mini because if you do them too large the ink from the pens can dry too quickly and then it will be hard to create a proper gradient between colours even with lots of water (try to avoid waterlogging your paper). I absolutely love doing these little landscape skylines – and I love how I can do them in all colours. The effect the aqua brush can give is beautiful and I think the silhouette of trees or mountains is really atmospheric. Here is how you can do your own mini landscape:



These are only 3 of many things you can do with waterbrush pens. I am still discovering what the boundaries are, and I am learning how to make my artwork more defined and clear. The best thing for me about waterbrush pens are that you can carry them around with you as they are lightweight, they are not messy, and are easy and very therapeutic to use. I am very glad that I have discovered these pens and I am excited to see what else I can do these amazing things!


Thank you very much for reading my blog post and I hope my tutorials have inspired you to be creative! To see more of my artwork, here are my links:

ART BY LENA SHOP





18 Comments

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  2. You've created some really cute pictures!! I might have to give this a go myself after reading this post xx

    ReplyDelete
  3. I've always wanted to give waterbrush pens ago but always worried that I didn't have any skill or talent to be able to use them. However after reading this post and seeing what you creative I think I would definitely try them out myself!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I love your artwork Lena! I've never actually heard of waterbrush pens - it's been YEARS since I did any art but when I was in school, I worked with watercolour paints a lot. It was my favorite medium to work with (could never get the hang of acrylics). I love the dainty flowers in the first picture!

    Jenny
    http://www.jennyinneverland.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. awe thanks Jenny - these pens are good to experiment with :)
      -L
      x

      Delete
  5. Waterbursh pens seem like such a dream compared to a regular paint + paint brush - especially love the pigmentation. Bullet Journaling! I didn’t even think to use it for bullet journaling - I absolute love the first floral tutorial, seems like spring in a paining!

    I love the mini landscape - I’ve seen so many similar things on Pinterest for bullet journaling and always wondered how there aren’t marker-marks, forgot all about watercoloring haha!

    It seems the best thing is that they aren’t at all messy compared to traditional painting which is great - may have to get these for my bullet journal!

    Sahara
    https://saharas-dreams.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  6. Watercolour pens are honestly such an amazing tool I loved them when I was doing my art degree! Thanks for sharing these tips x

    Kayleigh Zara 🌟 http://www.kayleighzaraa.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes they are really helpful!! so cool you did an art degree - wish I had done so.
      -L
      x

      Delete
  7. Lena! I love this so much! I have wanted to get some of these water-brush pens.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. you should get some! so fun to play with :D
      -L
      x

      Delete
  8. Thanks for sharing this, Lena! Your artwork is so beautiful and the tutorials are perfect for beginners. hopefully one day I'll be able to try water brush pens.

    Loren | plaidandsugar.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  9. I love this post so much I've bookmarked it and will be revisiting it again to create some artwork of my own. I have these pens but have absolutely 0 confidence when it comes to using them. This has given me some great ideas, thank you!

    Louisa | www.fatcatsandgoodbooks.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  10. I've never tried using waterbrush pens, but this post has definitely inspired me! Look at all those pretty colours *all the heart eyes!* You artwork is fantastic, Lena! Thank you for sharing your tips and advice. Painting seems like such a relaxing thing to do and your work always looks beautiful! <3 xx

    Bexa | www.hellobexa.com

    ReplyDelete

♥ Hello! Please leave a message if you liked what you have read ♥

Search This Blog