Waterbrush pens are a fun and interesting way to add some flair and depth to your writing and sketching. These tools are constructed of either a bristled brush or foam tip and can be used for lettering, ink washes, or as a complement to a fountain pen when drawing or sketching. The Museum Aquarelle waterbrushes from Caran d’Ache are one such example. Available in three sizes, these pens can be used with water, ink, or a combination of both. Read on to learn more about them and see some examples of their uses, as well as checking out the video above to see them in action!
These pens feature a special filling mechanism that is a bit unique from other water brush pens. In order to fill, you must remove the brush tip and then submerge the pen in a cup of water or bottle of ink and suck up the liquid using the plunger mechanism. Once the pen body is filled, you can screw the tip back on and you’re ready to write. If you do not want to write with the plunger fully extended, be sure to hold the pen with the filling end upwards and push the plunger in to expel the air bubble at the top.
When you are ready to clean the pen, simply press in the rubber button on the side of the pen repeatedly to squeeze all of the water out of the pen and flush through the tip. You can also depress the plunger to flush water through the tip. Placing the tip of the pen on a paper towel will help wick the ink and water out of the pen during cleaning.
These brush pens are a fun and distinct way to add some flair and excitement to your inky artwork. One of the most popular ways to use them around the GPC office is for ink washes. Whether you fill the pen with ink or dip the tip in the ink, you will find these brushes ideal for layering on color and creating a subtle background for your artwork or handlettering projects.
To create an ink wash:
- Fill the water brush pen with water, ink, or a combination of the two
- Test the color on a paper towel make sure it is the desired shade if using ink/ water mixture. Add more ink to darken color or more water to lighten.
- Fill in desired area of ink wash
- Let dry and admire!
Using a waterbrush pen for lettering can produce gorgeous, juicy letters that really make a statement. These pens, especially the foam tipped option, provide more control and accuracy than a paint brush but are much more fluid and free form than a conventional fountain pen.
Using the brush pen for lettering:
- Fill water brush pen with ink
- Be sure to hold the pen at a 45 degree angle to allow you as much use of the pen for line variation as possible
- If you want to achieve a color- change effect, you can fill the body with one color and dip the tip in another ink. As you write, the ink will gradually change from color 2 to color 1.
Another popular way around our office to utilize these great pens is to draw. This technique involves either utilizing water to soften lines and spread ink across the page when sketching or laying on more and more color to create a drawing with lots of depth and dimension.
Creating a drawing with a brush pen:
- If you are altering or softening an existing drawing, fill your brush pen with water and spread the crisp lines drawn by your fountain pen. This technique will cause water-soluble inks to spread out and lighten up, creating a beautiful shading effect.
- If using a water-resistant ink, use water to dilute the ink color within the pen and fill your drawing in using this ink/water combo in the pen reservoir.
- You can also use this effect of softened ink colors to build up layers of color within the drawing you are aiming to create. This will allow you to create light and shadow in the desired places until your subject takes shape. You can check out some examples of this in various Monday Matchup blogs in our library.
Have you ever used a waterbrush pen? Let us know what you thought in the comments below!
The Goulet Pen Company Team