September 6, 2008

Finding the Right Art Materials #1: Permanent Markers

Let's muse a bit on materials. Ones that work and ones that don't.

How frustrating is it to create a beautiful ATC or altered book or collage or greeting card, reach for a "gold foil" pen and the result is a huge blob of goldish paint right in the middle of your creation?

I love gold and silver pens, but some I've bought went right into the trash. Others consistently work. My problem is keeping track of which is which and remembering when I'm in Hobby Lobby or shopping at Dick Blick or Jo Ann Fabric!

I am thinking about materials because I recently paid many bucks for Micron Archival Ink Acid-free pens. One set of black in various widths and one set of colored. Turns out, I love them. They were worth the price.

I usually draw with fine and extra fine Sharpies. I love the bold colors, the layering of colors, the ease, convenience and portability. In my perfect world there would be 256 colors of Sharpies.

My son, Jesse, introduced me to Poster Paint markers, and the white has been a good addition to my marker box.

But, back to the Microns, the .005 size, in particular. A drawing done in extra-fine Sharpie looks good, but the same drawing done in .005 Micron looks much more sophisticated. Suddenly, my drawing looks hip, looks Wow, looks...I don't know...more professional. I really like the results I'm getting, and nothing about me has changed! Only my tools. How great is that.

Here are some examples:
Here is a drawing I did this week of Tyler, guarding his birthday bone. It is with the Micron pen.

Next, we have a drawing I did last year with Sharpie Extra-Fine markers. I call it Tiny Dancer. You'll see the difference between the two pens.

Here is another drawing of Jackie done with Sharpie markers.

Next, we have two drawings I did this pasat week with Micron .005 black and colored markers. "Tyler and Jackie Dancing" and "Farley's Treat Yes! #2." These are also Artist Trading Card (ATC) size, which is 3.5 x 2.5.

Now, one would hope my technique and skill would improve over time, but the Microns just seem to make things easier.

Do you have any pens or markers that are particular favorites? What gold and silver pens have you found work best?


Anonymous said...

My favorite pictures of yours are the "Jackie" series, and the the "Jackie-Tee Shirt" I got from is treasured.

Scott Cornell said...

Janice - Amy and I enjoyed meeting you this weekend at the art show in Athens. Your art is beautiful! Also, thanks for the .005 marker! I can't believe what a difference it makes. As soon as I got home, I tried it out, loved it, and then went to Michael's and purchased a complete set! I look forward to trying different techniques, and referring back to your blog for additional learning! Thanks again! Scott

Janice Phelps Williams said...

Thank you, Scott, for visiting my site. Readers, check out Scott's work at He has great abstract, colorful art with beautiful lines and shapes.

I also want to point out the GOLD and SILVER pens I found that DO work well. They are Sailor Brand. "Rolling Ball Pens" 0.7 pt. made by Sailor Corp of America, Fayetteville, GA.


Keanan said...

Best quality of art material I found from Dick Blick...

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