I see red

These drawings contain evidence of my even newer, newest art ‘toy’, paint markers. I am testing a Liquitex Paint Marker, which is a water-based acrylic paint in a marker-style tube. I have the smaller nib version 2-4 mm, but a larger 8-15mm is also available.

It started like this. I dropped by the art supply shop, just before lunchtime on Friday and as I was the only customer there I took the opportunity to ask the staff to give me their views on the range of marker pens that have become so popular lately, particularly for cartooning and graphic art. I haven’t used a felt pen since primary school and at a general starting price of about $10 per pen it’s not the sort of thing I’m going to buy to try ‘on spec’ (‘speculation’ for the non-Aussies out there). I was pleased that I struck two knowledgeable people who could walk me through what was on offer. One of them suggested that apart from the Copic type of marker I should also consider paint markers. Even better, the supplier had given them a whole stack of these pens to test. So they sent me home with my own cadmium red paint marker to play with.

En route I dropped in to the local mall, where I spotted just the right type of sign – red!

In the Mall, ink and paint marker, 14 March 2014.

In the Mall, ink and paint marker, 14 March 2014.

I did also manage to get in a practice sketch of a some people, without even using the marker pen.

People studies, ink, 14 March 2014.

People studies, ink, 14 March 2014.

Today I had another chance to use it. Our favourite bakery cafe has been re-decorated, as has the wall on the other side of the road.

Graffiti outside the cafe, ink, pencil  and paint marker, 15 March 2014.

Graffiti outside the cafe, ink, pencil and paint marker, 15 March 2014.

The paint marker has a chisel point so it can make quite fine lines as well as thicker marks. It will also give good flat coverage, should you want to do that as well. There are 50 colours available and packets of replacement nibs can also be purchased. My thinking is that I would like get a few colours, and one or two greys, based on what I normally paint with, in the smaller tubes so I can add them to my ‘field’ sketch kit. The bigger tubes are just way too jumbo-sized to consider taking them with my regular sketching setup.

Has anyone else used these paint markers? I’d be interested in your thoughts. I see from their website that Liquitex has been offering a free sample to European and American customers, although UK, US and Canadian requests have apparently outstripped currently available supplies. Anyway keep an eye out for them or ask if your local art shop has some samples you can try.

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