I love to draw and paint, but since we moved and downsized, I don’t have the studio space I once did.  I used to use all kinds of little bottles of paint, had loads of brushes, and many old plastic cups for water and washing brushes, and pallets everwhere.

But since we moved, I decided it was time to try some new things.  I got back into drawing with a pencil which is fairly easy to travel with, but lately have added more watercolour to my artistic ventures.

It is good to spice it up and try different medias, it can help you get out of an artistic rut which I was in for a while.  It gets that imagination going, and so who wants to stop and organize your supplies?

After much practice I decided I really loved the idea of pen and wash as well as water colour, but this meant you had to have a cup of water to add to either the water colours or paint pencils.  So, along with me would come brushes, cups for water, and then the paints, and it became a pain if you loved to draw or paint in different spots.

This is when I truly discovered the water brush pen.  It is simply a good artist’s brush that comes in different sizes, but the handle part of the brush is actually filled with water.  You can do this before you set out on any painting trip or even just hanging out in your backyard.  Just fill the stalk with clean water put the cap on and off you go.

Pentel Aquash Water Brush

Pentel Arts Aquash Water Brush Assorted Tips, Pack of 3 (FRHBFMBP3)
Amazon Price: $22.20 $12.70 Buy Now
(price as of Apr 17, 2016)

Pentel Aquash Water Brush

You get assorted tips, so for fine work or thicker work.  The only downside to these is they don’t work quite as well on larger areas, but are perfect for detail work.  They work with the paint pencils as well as with watercolour paints.  You could even fill them with specialized inks or paints you have mixed in advance.  But they work best in my opinion with simply clean water in them.

You give them a slight squeeze when you want more water out.  This set has assorted tips, so you could fill each one with water before you head out.  Practice with it first to get used to the way it works. 

Check out the video below on ways to use the water brush pen.  They are easy to clean as well, and just make working remotely less cumbersome when it comes to getting creative.  The less you have to carry the better.  I find because you use them like a pen, they are more exacting then a simply brush dipped in water.

Watercolour Paper

Canson Watercolor Paper Pad, 30-Sheet, 9-Inch by 12-Inch, X-Large
Amazon Price: $10.80 $5.75 Buy Now
(price as of Apr 17, 2016)

Make sure to use the right type of paper that can absorb water and not roll up into a ball or stay permanently wrinkled.  This particular brand is my favourite.  They also carry a line of papers for heavy acrylics and oils as well as lighter weight for pencil and charcoal.  I have 3 different sizes of these books of paper. 

If you create a masterpiece that you feel is worthy of framing or selling, then the paper will neatly tear out as it is scored just inside the book.  The cover of this book of watercolour paper is heavier, so you can keep it in a knapsack without worry of the pages bending.  I truly love this brand of XL paper by Canson.

Water Soluble Pencils

Watercolour Pencil Set

If like me, you are trying to venture into different mediums or styles, and love to hold a pencil when you draw, then you will want to try these.  You simply colour with them and draw and then if you want a paint effect you touch your lines with the water brush pen.  You can do a little or a lot, or simply leave the drawing done in the colour pencils.  You have a lot of leeway with a coloured pencil that is water soluable. 

Practice first to see just how magnificent these special pencils can become when used with some water, especially the water brush pen that can help you be more exacting.

Water Paint

Watercolour Paint Set

I have used the pencils and love them but I also wanted to get into the more muted tones of a pen and wash for my latest projects.  I used a dip pen (looks like an old fashioned fountain pen) with some permanent black ink or sometimes called India ink, and drew my picture and once dry I used coloured pencils and the water pen to create a wash look, but also ventured into the portable set of water paints, and these work well with the water pen as well.

Dip Pen

Dip Pen and Ink

If you want to try something different you could use a dip pen and permanent ink to outline your picture and then using the water brush or pen to add colour once the ink is dry.  This has an awesome effect and is really fun to use. 

If you are traveling you can also get permanent pens that do not smear when touched with water, for a quicker effect.  There is so much you can do with these brush pens.

Once you have filled them with water and put on their caps they are safe to travel anywhere with you.  You don’t have to carry water bottles and old cups, just fill and go.

There are so many cool affordable products on the market for artists or any person who loves to get creative, but hates the idea of tons of mess or complicated to use.  This is such a user friendly way to go, and makes adding to your art journals more fun.  It is much easier to carry a pack of pencils or a watercolour paint set, compared to loads of little bottles.  I think I will stick with this for a long time to come!