I received an actual letter from Leah a week or so ago. She asked lots of different questions about pens and tools so I thought I’d include some of my answers here as well as in a letter to her.
What pen/nib did you use for the titles of your 12 Days of Inkmas?
The secret is that I didn’t use a pen at all. I used a brush!
I got the idea to use a brush from seeing some ink “swabs” on European Paper. They were using a brush to create a lovely little ink swab. I like that a brush was easy to clean and I wasn’t creating a landfill full of q-tips in sampling inks each month.
I’ve used several different brushes that I’ve accumulated over the years to not only create “swabs” but also to create a more interesting header for the 12 Days of Inkmas. I’ve tried to keep up the habit for future ink samples and reviews as I can see the range of shading with the inks this way.
EDIT: The word “Wide Strokes” was done with the Scharff FINELINE 3000 #3, not the #6. Oops!
I’ve acquired brushes over the years from friends, yard sales and various art supply stores. I’m stunned to see how expensive the Scharff #6 brush is ($67)! I’ll definitely take better care of it. I’m confident that any good quality round brush recommended for watercolor, acrylic or oil would make a perfect tool for “swabs” and ink tests. Visit your local art supply or craft shop to pick up a couple.
Just remember to wash out your brushes in water, squeeze dry and reshape the tip to dry. Don’t scrub them and make the bristles flair out or you risk breaking the fibers and/or hairs. Always dry your brushes with the tip up and don’t leave them sit indefinitely in your wash water or the bristles will bend at a weird angle. If you let them cake with inks or paints, try The Masters brush cleaner. It will save just about all your brushes!