Warning: this post is really boring. But no one is reading this anyway, so I guess it doesn’t matter. 😛
In my previous post, I talked about my problems trying to use cheap Bristol board and the ink smudging I was having.
Since then, I ordered my old standby Strathmore Bristol online and tried it.
I had the same problem. o_O
The Strathmore Bristol I had been using up to this point was the leftover from the last time I was regularly drawing, which was probably around 2011-2012. On the old Bristol, the ink soaks right in and drys almost instantly. On the new Bristol, the ink just sits on top of the paper until it air-dries. It sucks.
Anyway, this new Bristol board (I have 50 sheets of this stuff to use up) has a really slick, almost hard finish to it. I came up with the idea to douse the paper in rubbing alcohol to take the finish off of it, and this works beautifully. I just use 91% alcohol, squirt on a big blob, and then use a cotton ball to push it all over the paper. Let it dry for about 5 minutes, and it’s ready to go.
The only thing is that this is a real pain in the ass and not really something I should have to do to expensive paper. So I visited Jetpens and got a couple of new pens with quick-drying ink to try.
I mostly like the Zebra Sarasa Dry in .7. I also got the .4 and .5 to try, but they are extremely scratchy on the Bristol. They are all really nice and juicy on regular notebook paper, but they’re not meant for use on illustration board. I do like the .5 for using with a ruler because it doesn’t smudge, but other than that they’re no good. The Sarasa Dry in .7 gives a pretty nice line on the Bristol, but it’s not 100% consistent; lots of skips when I go around curves or try to draw quickly, so no go. It also does not play well with lighter-colored Copics.
The other pen I tried was the Pilot Multiball. I got the fine and the medium. The medium is less reliable than the Sarasa Dry .7 so it won’t work. I do really like the fine one for crosshatching, though. Also, these pens don’t like Copics at all.
I’ve always used two pens for my drawing; one larger point for the “main” outlines and a finer one for details, text, and drawing panel lines. So now I am using a combination of all of these pens plus the Pilot Precise pens I’ve been using forever. I just wish they came in a sliiiightly bigger size. The V5 and V7 are basically interchangeable to me.
So I guess the main problem is that I draw too fast. 😛 This causes the ink skips and the smudges. But the line loses its spontaneity if I go slower and then it just doesn’t look right to me.
So I decided to try technical pens again. I had to use tech pens when I took art classes and hated them because the angle at which I hold the pen isn’t ideal for pens with tech pen nibs. I end up wearing them way down on one side and they stop working really quickly. I tried the Staedtler and the Sakura Microns, and had bad experiences with both. I have some Copic Multiliners (some refillable, some not), and they are a little better but not ideal. But since everything on JetPens is inexpensive and cool and from Japan and just generally superior, I figured it couldn’t hurt to try a few new pens to see if anything else would be an improvement. We’ll see what happens. 😛