I love to shop. I love to buy things as much as the next person. Hence my expanding stash. Ever ever expanding.
But I am also pretty hard on products for the mixed media market. I'm kind of a manufacturer's design team nightmare, but the one who takes me on and gives me good product will love me forever.
I've actually got more formal training than I'd like to discuss, and I tend to compare crafter's products to the things I used in school - and usually they do ok.
But in the case of pens, they often come up short. Pens, what gives?
Wanna know the *only* pens that get me hot and bothered?
1. Uni Posca. Good luck finding these babies, but when you can get them in a 1 mm tell me you're not in love.
2. Uniball signo white. But it was a bad ro-mo-ma-ha-ha because it has gummed up on a dry ground that had a tiny bit of watercolor crayon in the mix. ET TU SIGNO???
3. PITT - but generally for lick your finger and intentionally smear that stuff applications only.
I don't like seeing people caught up in the hype of product wasting money over and over. OK I'll speak for myself - I feel like I did, when it came to pens which are either not archival at all (sharpies, gelly rolls I have doubts over) OR they're just cranky and terrible to use and you go through a hundred nibs. (Sharpies! A million sharpie carcasses ALL OVER. Copic likes to die a seven dollar death over any kind of paint or medium. Coloring stamps has to be the ONLY great use for a Copic, or under watercolor or something really transparent and inky and washy and too pretty for me to have made, ha!)
Like a lot of art journalers, I'm often on the quest for a better pen.
One that won't dry out. One that won't gum up and make you cry the second it might touch wet paint. One that you don't have to shake like a maniac. One that covers. You hear me pens? COVERS.
One that is KIND to my left handed chicken scratch inscrutable handwriting. Blah.
Control is terrific - if you're a lefty like me, you have to watch out for smearing, but other than that, your line quality gets 1000 times more interesting in just one easy installment, ha.
The white ink (how I love it) allows you to mix opaque pretty colors with great coverage - and you can get the exact shade you need without having to run out and get another six dollar pen that is only going to die the second it encounters gesso (I'm looking at YOU Copic!)
Honestly, don't be intimidated by brush and pen and ink - really. The simple speedball set which comes with a tiny crowquill pen is the way to go, for me, but I'm probably going to want some calligraphy tips too. The sets are about 9 bucks, and the ink is about 20 in a primary color plus brown black and white set - but the life that you get from this setup seems MUCH longer than a lot of the journaling pens I've collected, all of which disappoint me except for Uni Posca.
What do you think? Have you played with traditional pen and ink? Any mileage with the liquitex inks?