Free Art For All - Basics of Watercolor - Pen and Ink part 1

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Lesson 84 Basics of Watercolor Pen and Ink Part 1


We are still working with pen and ink while creating art.  The ink is permanent and allows us to use water based colors on top of it.  This is a legitimate form of art.  Pen and ink allows the artist to control the amount of contrast in the artwork.  By adding color you can also add more visual interest.  If you do not have brush pens refer to “making Mother’s Day card” for information on how to use markers like watercolors.


  1. Strathmore Series 400 watercolor paper
  2. Arteza Marker Brush Pens
  3. Water
  4. Salt
  5. Sakura Micron 05 Archival Ink Pen (permanent marker)
  6. Painters tape


  1. Tape off your work area with blue painters paint.  This step can be skipped if plan on using the entire piece of paper. 
  2. We will be drawing lollipops and balloons.  These are all circles.  I encourage you to not use a pencil.  We all know the shape of a circle.  It starts and ends on the same point.  Take a chance and draw it with your permanent pen.  It doesn’t have to be perfect.
  3. You will need 4 lollipops and 4 balloons.  The bottom of the lollipop is a stick, the closer the lollipop is to the front the wider the stick.  The balloons have a bottom part that the string attaches to.  Once again, you are encouraged to not draw this in pencil first.  On the strings we are trying to draw curlycues in it.  
  4. Pick 2 colors of the markers.  I used pink and purple and explain why those colors were chosen.  For more information on colors check out The Color Wheel or other color theory lessons within Gazing through glass.
  5. In the Arteza 48 pen set you will find a brush pen that is empty.  Fill this with water.  Each circle will have a different method of “filling” the color in.
  6. We will be working with only colors from the brush pens, color brush pens dipped in water first, brush pens on wet paper and brush pens on other brush pens.  We will also be putting salt on 2 circles in different stages of drying.
  7. Using orange we are putting in the lollipop stick.  The video explains how we are able to use orange next to the purple without making mud.  
  8. Finish your picture by using the brush pens to color some grassy spots.  
  9. Remove the tape.  

Using the pen brushes lets you get the feeling of using watercolors.  When you use regular markers you have as much control as if you were using a crayon.  The brush pens are a cross between the 2 methods.  We used several of the methods about watercolor that we have previously covered.  Please refer to Throwing Paint , Scribble Art in Watercolor  II, and Scribble Art in Watercolor.  

This image gives a little more detail to the different techniques used in this video.