Monday, December 31, 2012

December Miscellany: Brush Pens, Goals, Cacti

It's probably already 2013 for some of you reading this, but for me, it's still the final day of 2012 - which means that it's time for my final monthly miscellany of the year:

  • A comparison review of four different brush pens.  I love the idea of brush pens and would like to use them more often, but I don't really know how to use them.  Any tips?
  • An entertaining review of the Quo Vadis Habana notebook.  I haven't started stockpiling notebooks yet, partly because I haven't yet decided what my all-time favourite notebook is, but the Habana is definitely one that I would consider stockpiling.  I have also recently reviewed the large-sized Habana.
  • A very useful post on the differences betweens goals, resolutions, projects, and tasks.  I've been going through my yearly review over the last week or so, and part of that involves both looking at what I have accomplished over the past year, and clarifying my goals and plans for the year to come.  Reading this post, I can see where I've gotten my goals and tasks confused in the past, and I think that keeping them in two separate categories will help me a lot in 2013.
  • And now that you know what goals are, check out these 5 steps to achieving your goals (and creating the life you want).  I think I do most of these things already without really thinking about it, but I definitely have room for improvement.  Especially in the "action" part... I really enjoy planning, but sometimes actually taking action on my plans can be more difficult.
  • If you're not really into goals or resolutions, try choosing a word of the year.  I did that for 2012, and it really worked well for me (my word was "open").
  • Five things NOT to say to a writer.  I don't think I've had anyone say any of these things to me yet, but they already make me cringe just reading them.
  • This is not related to paper at all, but I love these polymer clay cacti.  For some reason, cacti are the one kind of plant that I have never had much luck growing (and I always end up getting their spines in my hands).  These look like they might be more my style.

That's all for this month, and for this year.  Stay tuned for new posts and reviews coming up in January, and have a happy new year everyone!


  1. Hi there, I have a Pentel Brush Pen - I use mine where I want a livelier line than a fineliner can produce. The Pentel is also pretty good at filling in shadow.

    Some of mine (all Instagram links)

    Hopefully, those show the line variation - the trick, it seems to me, is to watch out for that - on the hiker sketch, the thick line at the top of his arm was unintentional, and looks out of place!

    The Pentel uses waterproof ink, so it will handle a watercolour or ink wash over the top too.

    1. Thanks for sharing your artwork, John! The part I have the most trouble with is controlling the line variation. I have a Faber-Castell brush pen right now, and it doesn't seem too bad, but I'd love to try some other brush pens as well. Probably I just need more practice with it!

    2. I think the plus of the Pentel is that it's a "proper" brush (I think the Faber Castell pens are too, aren't they?) The key seems to be rotating the pen to keep the point, and a light touch.

      Some Brush Pens are a sort of soft felt tip - more controllable, but not as interesting, I think. Platinum make one of those, (the CFTR250) and they're inexpensive to try (mine was around £3). I've yet to ink mine though.

    3. A light touch - that is what I'm lacking, I think! I do tend to use a bit more pressure than I need when writing or drawing. My Faber-Castell brush pen is a felt tip one, but it might be interesting to try one of the other kinds as well.


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