Category Archives: gel pens





2012_oct_j_k_l Part of the ongoing alphabet swaps-J,K,L -I have been using Strathmore 500 series 100% cotton 140lb hotpress watercolor paper. I love it for mixed media. i put some color in the backgrounds now, let it dry, then draw with the micron pens. Because of the texture and absorbency of this paper, I can get nice details using an 02, 03, or 05 micron pen. I have been experimenting with color more. I have some pan watercolors and a small set of cheap watercolor in tubes, but I still love using markers and ink from Stampin‘ Up. I am using blender pens for much of the coloring, especially fine areas. In larger areas, I have also been using a paint brush. Directly applying color leads to a very deep color. I think it is due to the absorbency of the paper. I’ve also been trying out ideas from the book Zenspirations by Joann Fink. I’ve been lightly adding a little sparkle gel pen for highlights, but that doesn’t show up well on the scans.

I get the paper from Amazon. I usually add it to my wish list, and if the price goes down, which it usually does, if I wait, I order several packages. i try to get the free shipping, but it isn’t always available on the paper. If the price is low enough, it is worth paying for the shipping.

so far, I have purchased all of my Zentangle, doodle, and other books from Amazon using the Super Saver Shipping. I did the 30 day trial for Amazon prime, and it is a great deal if you order frequently, or if you use a Kindle or other e reader. I have to wait on getting the year-long membership, but I did the trial over the holiday season, and it saved a fortune. I can order almost anything from Amazon, and I usually get great deals. I do most of my shopping online because I am medically retired, so My brick and mortar shopping is limited. I’m looking into getting a mobility scooter this year.



ZIA ATC masks


One of the swaps I joined this month was for ZIA masks. It took me a while to decide what to draw. I looked up all types of masks and sketched out quite a few in my sketchbook before deciding on these. I drew a few that I did not use for the swap because I wasn’t completely happy with them. I saved them because they aren’t that bad, but I drew 5 and only needed 3. I used card stock, several types of marker, and micron pens. I tried out Bic markers in fine point and ultra fine point. They give a rich color and cover the area quickly, but bleed a little on card stock. The areas I outlined in Sakura Micron Pens first, didn’t bleed. The larger areas did show through on the back a little. I think if I tried the markers on a less porous paper like Bristol board, the wouldn’t bleed and soak though as much. I also used watercolor markers and a blending pen.

Feb 2012 ZIQA mask swap

Bird Mask 2

Bird One

Steampunk Mask

I tried a mask in Steampunk style. I had to use a little acrylic paint to get the metallic look. I also used touches of sparkly gel pens. I found some old gray scalemarkers and some of them still work. I used them for the background. I liked the effect, but I wish I hadn’t been as heavy-handed with the gray markers.

Steampunk Heart Twinchie


I made this twinchie (a 2″ X 2″ square) on watercolor paper. It is for a ZIA challenge. I am so grateful for challenges because it makes me try to create art in ways I might not normally try. I tried something new, besides the 2X2 size. I used pastels with a blender pen. It is a little more challenging with this small size. I went over a few areas with gel pens. I decided I would like to find some more gel pen colors. A black gel pen would be nice for tiny areas that have too much of another medium on them. I sketched out the basic design in pencil and then did the line drawing in Micron pen. I had to go back over some areas with the micron pens.  I wanted to try using a Steampunk style for a long time and this idea just came to me after drawing a couple of flowery hearts that did not feel special. An especially awful flowery heart is on the back of this one because I didn’t feel like getting the watercolor paper out and cutting a little piece of it. I had the idea in my head and wanted to get it down on paper. I do like this one.

Matryoshka Sewing doll


I made this on a 2 1/2 x 3 1/2 Bristol Board. I used pencil, micron pen, marker, water-color, and gel pen. I chose some tangle designs that reminded me of quilting or sewing.

Matryoshka Swap paisley


I made this on 2 1/2  x 3 1/2 Bristol board with pencil, micron pen, and gel pens. I had to go over this one three times to get the colors I liked. I am happy with it now. This is Joni’s favorite.

ATC Happy Flower


ATC Happy Flower

For FAce to Face ATC Swap. I used a picture of myself when I was 4 or 5. I drew the tangles around it in micron pen, and colored it with markers and water-color.