“Kill Your Artist Block” Series Lesson 3 – Drawing Materials & Pens


Hello and welcome back. In this lesson, I’m going to talk about the kinds of pens I love and use often and where to get them. I’ll talk about fine point pens, liquid ink type pens, and much more.


These pens are just like drawing and writing pens of the past. They are excellent at getting the finest point you can, and they are often better at not smearing than pens that come with their own ink and say they are permanent.

I like to sketch a picture with a pencil, write over it with one of these pens, let it dry, then paint on it with watercolor. These pens are perfect for that. They use just about any kind of tip you want to put on them, and you just pull on the tip that is already in them. This makes the tip come right out very easily.

What you don’t want to do with these is push too hard on the tip while drawing or writing. Some of the finer tips have a split down the middle to allow them to hold more ink. If you push too hard and make that split too large, the pen won’t hold ink for even a few seconds. After awhile, they start to split anyway but if you can use them gingerly you’ll get a lot of use out of them.

These pens use inks like these. You dip the tip of the pen in the bottle, then wipe the tip against the mouth of the bottle to keep from getting too much ink.

I always have a scrap piece of paper nearby to test the pen before I touch my drawing with it. This is to make sure it doesn’t blot the ink or make a mess. These pens are usually really good at making very fine lines.

As you can see, when I buy a bunch of pen tips I like to keep them in an old medicine bottle so I don’t have to chase them down. They are easily lost.


The bottle in the left foreground is called Speedball pen cleaner. When I clean these kinds of pens, I first run hot water over the tip of the pen in a sink. I then wash the tip with my hands and some Ivory soap or other soap without residue. Rinse it once more, then I dip it in this pen cleaner.

Almost all my brushes and pens are cleaned using just my fingers with a gentle movement so as not to ruin them. I’ve had most of my paintbrushes and pens for over a decade, and they’re still good.

In this picture, you can see there are all kinds of colors of inks. I mostly use black, but I love the indigo blue (rear left of the photo).

I’ve gotten all of these at one place online I really have to stay away from if I want to have any money in the bank. bigsmileemoji

[Jetpens.com] Jetpens sells a lot of fine Japanese art supplies, and I’m nuts about their selection and pricing. Boy, do they ever have pens for artists and just pen nuts like myself.


One set of pens I always get from Jetpens is the Hi-Tec-C Pilot pens. They’re black and come in several point sizes. I like the .5 and .25 sizes very much. These are very, very fine point pens and are permanent. Great for writing and drawing. [Jetpens.com]


If I’m looking for pens that do all kinds of colors, I like pens like these. They’re also permanent. The Gel pens on the back right have all kinds of sparkly effects, and I love them! [Amazon.com]

The Arteza pens are like watercolor brush pens and make some really beautiful paintings. [Amazon.com]

The Hi-Tech-C Maica colored pens on the right in the foreground were a Jetpens purchase and are also very fine points with permanent ink. [Jetpens.com]

The pile of pens you see in the foreground on the left are various kinds of gel pens and fine points with different colors. [Amazon.com]


These pens are painting pens and dry permanet. They come in large, medium, and small point. I’ve actually painted my dragons on a car with these, believe it or not. They great for painting shoes, surfboards, skateboards, and other hard surfaces. I hear they’re not great for painting t-shirts and other soft clothing. [Jetpens.com]


I painted an art car once with these for a Day of the Dead parade in Albuquerque in 2014. It took me about 9 months to do it. After having it clearcoated by a professional, it lasted to this day. A friend tells me she still sees it driving around town!

The car was a dedication to veterans.

I’ll stop here and pick this back up tomorrow, when we’ll talk about art materials like watercolor pencils and crayons for paintings.

Thanks again for joining me. I hope this series helps you as much as it’s helping me. The key to doing art is doing it. Every single day. We will talk about that a lot more in the days to come. I hope you’ll spend a whole year with me on this. I want to see you succeed.

See you soon!