First of all what is a dip pen?
A dip pen is usually a metal nib with channels that fits on a metal, plastic or wood handle. Also known as a "nib pen", they do not carry their own ink as with a fountain pen, you must dip the nib into the ink to use. The channel absorbs the ink to allow you to write or draw before needing to dip again.
I personally use a dip pen for most of my drawings that are labeled "ink and watercolor" I also should point out that I do use permanent India ink so that the watercolor wash I use afterwards does not smear it. I have found this video that better explains how to use these awesome pens. Video called DIP PENS 101.
I much prefer the dip pen for most of my artwork as you can control the thickness of your lines by simply adding or taking away pressure. They are affordable and fun to use.
When I first started out, I was watching Youtube videos on using various art mediums. At the time I was more of a pencil drawer than a painter, but I really took a liking to the dip pen drawings and then washing them with watercolor. Alan Owen was my favorite artist to watch in action on Youtube. He is a British artist and I found his videos calming! He referred to the process as "pen and wash".
You can get as detailed as you want. I found the dip pen perfect for anything that didn't need super refined lines. I loved that I could adjust the pressure, but it can also blob a little here and there which can add to the painting but if that is not the plan for your painting, these might not be the best idea. In which case you should consider a fine permanent artist marker. I loved how these dip pens could make my work slightly more rustic.
But for me personally, these are perfect for my artwork, my ink and watercolor paintings that I sell in my store.
Permanent Dip Pen Ink - Lots of Colors!
I personally prefer the black ink for my artwork but you can get these is so many colors online. When I first started out using this process of a dip pen and ink, I didn't want to spend too much money. I found one in a garage sale and played with it for a while. But then I discovered many of these products are online for quite a lot cheaper than my local art store.
I am not saying you should bypass a good art supply store, but if you are just starting out and are not sure if this is the medium you wish to use, check out Amazon. Click any of these links to find out more.
You Need: Nibs, Handle, Ink - Give it a Try! It Doesn't Hurt to Try Something New
Many of these nibs are sold without the handle. So you will need to get a handle or some artists just use the nib in their hands. I prefer to have a handle. You can then change out the nibs as you need them for different styles of lines.
This particular handle is the same brand as the nibs above and are quite often sold together. Just remember that unless you get a kit, the nibs and the handles are usually sold separately. This particular brand of nibs and handle has the highest feedback on the Amazon site compared to some of the other brands and kits. So for under 20 bucks you can get a quality dip pen to change up your art style, medium or maybe get into calligraphy.
Specialized Cleaner to Keep Your Dip Pen Nibs Clean and to Last Longer
Keep the Nibs Clean!
This is so important, and something I was not the best at in the beginning. I would simply wipe them clean and then I would find the next time I went to use it, it was clogged. In the beginning I simply used soap and water which works, but really it is best to get a dedicated cleaner that works even better and extends the life of the nibs.
This solution cleans brushes, technical pens and dip pens. This too is affordable. If you order all your supplies in one go you can save on shipping. It will keep the channels clear and stop blobbing on your work.
I Use a Dip Pen in All My Ink and Watercolor Paintings
I hope I was able to explain the dip pen and its uses. Yes you can get fountain pens that contain ink cartridges, but there is something about the dip pen that adds tons of character to your drawings, and letter art.
I will continue to use this style of pen. I have always used black but I may venture into other colors of ink now that I have grown totally comfortable with the process. If it blobs I work it into the drawing.
To some this is an old fashioned way to create, but for me it is the perfect way to create as I just feel like I have more control.
Practice, Practice, Practice!
This is something different and fun to try. If you are used to markers, then give this a try. Have some scrap paper around and just let yourself go and try different pressures and have fun. Once you get the hang of it, you will enjoy it!
I am really enjoying working with the bright colours of watercolors but for this cat I used acrylics to create the bright red background.
I painted this cat card on canvas paper and then attached it behind this acid free quality 5 x 7 mat. This tiny painting and mat were then affixed permanently to a blank quality Strathmore greeting card that comes with an envelope.
These are a great way to share ACEO art cards that many times just end up in a drawer or maybe an album. I love the idea of sharing them as gifts with your sentiments written inside. This 5 x 7 card can then be framed in a standard frame or one that will hold a 5 x 7.
This idea makes them really the perfect gift for anyone who has everything and you just don't know what to get them. I have signed the back of the card.
ACEO art cards are traditionally 2.5 x 3.5 inches (same size as baseball and trading cards) It was always a great way to afford artist's paintings! They are still quite popular today.
I have been experimenting once again with little tiny paintings also known as ACEO art cards. (art card editions and originals)
These are pieces of artwork that traditionally measure 2.5 x 3.5 inches and can be any type of artwork. As you all know I love to paint, so mine are miniature paintings.
Since they are so tiny, I have decided to mat them using a quality acid free black mat with white inner accent to really accent the color of my abstract art card. The paintings are done using watercolor pens and the background is acrylic midnight blue paint. I have signed the back of the card.
I have attached them behind this quality mat with permanent adhesive and then attached the matted artwork to a blank Strathmore greeting card. You can write your sentiment inside and send with the envelope (included) and it can stand as a card or be popped into a standard 5 x 7 inch frame to frame as original artwork.
Little trading cards are fun, but I love the idea that they can be art cards to frame and display on a wall or anywhere to add a tiny bit of color! ENJOY!
I think I will take many of my present little ACEO original art cards and I will mat them too with these quality black mats and put them on here.. So watch out for some changes to my ACEO category coming soon...
I painted this little thatched roof cottage, as this is my "one day dream" cottage. Something cute with a little garden to tend and a place to do all my creating! Check it out.
It is matted to fit a Standard 11 x 14 inch Frame.
***frame is not included...just to give you an idea of what it would look like!***
It will be shipped matted using an acid free white mat and includes a backing board.
-I love to draw and paint, and lately I have been enjoying abstract art.
With life sometimes getting quite overwhelming, it takes me away a bit to draw and paint something that doesn't have to be seen to be drawn. Check out my new section.
I love to draw circles and can do so for hours. But in the painting pictured I added watercolor to the circles, and let them blend on their own, not totally knowing what the result would be. Dream in Color.
This type of painting inspires me to remember that when life seems overwhelming, take time out to dream and de-stress.
Click on the above pictures to find out more, or click here to go the Abstract Watercolor section or simply click on the "store" at top of page and check out the section yourself. I hope you enjoy my new additions to the store.
These ink and watercolor paintings are done on Canson 140 watercolor paper using permanent ink, a dip pen and then a wash of watercolor in just the right spots.
They are matted to 11 x 14 inches to fit a Standard Frame. So no need to buy specialized sizes.
Before I grew my paintings and started this Website, I used to... and still do, create handmade cards on Etsy.
I have made quite a few sales there, and thought it would be nice to share these cards on this website. I create everything from Pet Sympathy cards, birthday cards, thank you cards, all the way to 5 x 7 matted paintings that are attached to a blank card and can also be framed as an original piece of artwork. Check it out.. Click the picture below and you can peruse my Homemade Cards by Diane shop. Have a wonderful day!
The above collage is but a sample of many of the cards I make and sell. Just click the pictures or the link to go directly to my store.
If you just happen to like my art, but would like something a little smaller to share, then getting a card is a wonderful idea!
I also created a page on this website that will direct you to the Etsy Shop if a card is more your idea right now.
It is a new year, and I want to extend a belated gift to all my followers!
All my 9 x 12 inch watercolors and my 7 x 10 inch watercolors are matted with a backing board to fit 11 x 14 inch frames and 8 x 10 inch frames respectively. Frames that are a standard size and easy to purchase.
They are ready to frame and trackable shipping is included in this new price ( to USA and CANADA)!
Start the New Year off with a piece of original artwork for your walls. ENJOY
With holidays around the corner, or maybe you have a birthday gift to get or for whatever reason, art can make a great gift.
You don't have to invest in huge framed paintings and break the bank, but you can still offer art in different ways.
Art print greeting cards is just one affordable way. They can enjoy the sentiments you write inside and then enjoy the print on the front, signed and titled by the artist. (ME!)
I created these art print note cards by printing my artwork onto quality Canson watercolor paper and then permanently affixing them to Strathmore blank watercolor cards. I have signed and titled each one.
If You Prefer an Original Piece of Art to Give as a Gift...
Another affordable option is my "two gifts in one". These are matted original watercolors that have been affixed to a Strathmore card. You can write your note inside and then it can be displayed as a card or quickly popped into a 5 x 7 inch frame to hang on wall.
A nice card with sentiments that is also a gift of art to frame.
There are many different ways to give art as gifts. I hope you enjoy shopping in my store for some ideas for the people on your list this year or for yourself. There are many different price ranged ideas.
Hand Painted Mixed Media Bookmarks
This is another affordable option to give art as a gift. These are original mixed media piece of art that are protected in a plastic bookmark sleeve. If you have an avid reader on your list this year, give them something original to remember you by.
These bookmarks are fun and whimsical and a great stocking stuffer or gift idea. Just click on the picture to see more.
If They Collect ACEO Art Cards..
This is another option that is literally under 10 bucks! Original little art trading cards that measure 2.5 x 3.5 inches. Many art lovers collect these cards to save in albums or to display in frames. They are an affordable way to enjoy original pieces of art and are shipped in protected card sleeves.
Enjoy art in many forms, it doesn't just have to be a frame on the wall and a lot of money. There are so many different ways to give art as a gift. ENJOY!
After a lot of requests, I am pleased to announce that I have started creating my own art print cards.
These are prints of my own watercolor paintings, that I have printed onto quality Canson watercolor paper and then affixed to a Strathmore 5 x 7 inch watercolor card. These cards include matching envelopes and I have signed and titled each card.
Would make a great gift for the art lover!
The card is blank inside ready for your own inspiring words. Could also be framed in a standard 5 x 7 inch frame.
Check out my store under the category "Art Cards". Stay tuned as I will start to add more. If you are looking for cards that are a little different, then you will like these ones.
As with all my art I offer free shipping.
Great works of art have been started at kitchen tables!
You do not need a huge studio (although it would be nice) to get creative! But you do need to get creative to make your small space art studio..
After downsizing to a smaller house, I had to get creative with my own art space. It all depends on your craft of course, but for me it is painting with acrylics and watercolor and the only space available was in our bedroom..
Try to Decide on your Favourite type of Art
This is hard for any creative person, but if you want to stay organized, try sticking to a particular type of art to get the most out of your studio. For me this is painting. I don't create large pieces of work, but I still need a place for my paints and other supplies. I did invest in a couple of storage items by following these steps, and was able to fit everything I needed in a part of my bedroom underneath the window from a huge basement studio!
Step 1 - Collect all your Supplies - From around the house in boxes, and gather them in the same room as the space you have decided on. Remember the space doesn't have to be big, it can be a corner of the kitchen, but once allocated, you can get to work.
Step 2 - Sort Your Supplies - There is no point in trying to store dried paints, broken items, or things you will never use. At this point, create 3 separate piles. One for Donation, one for garbage and one for Keeping. You will feel so much better for getting rid of garbage and donations. Value Village took many of my supplies, as well as a friend in a garage sale. Now you can see just what you are working with. Why store things you won't use?
Step 3 - Utilize Vertical Space - Meaning if you don't have much floor space, try and use as much wall space as you can or tall dressers or tall drawers on wheels. Minimize how much floor space you use and go up.
By getting your paints off the desk, table or floor, you not only make room for your artwork but you have neat storage where you can see every bottle. (Note: Most 2 ounce bottles of paint have the color on the lid, but if not quickly dab some on as you put them away)
This one will hold 81 bottles. You could hang a second one on the wall beside it or above it if you have the room. This is easy to use and great storage for less than 60 bucks. Check the current price online to see if this would work for you.
Step 4 - Make Every Bit of Space Count - I invested in a tall set of drawers on wheels. This was perfect for all my smaller bits and pieces, pens, stamps, pictures etc. I made one of the drawers my "idea drawer" rather than leave my ideas on scraps of paper all over the place. I decided everything has to count "double time" So what I do like about this set of drawers is that the top is usable space as well. I have used this space many times for my photos of cards I paint and sell on ETSY.
You can get these at many art supply stores, but I did find good deals online and usually free delivery, so check this one out. I have a similar one in my art studio. What I really like about this unit is that it takes up very little floor space. You can get double width ones, but I needed it to rise vertically instead of taking up horizontal space on the floor if that makes any sense? They can fit a lot and easy access to your supplies.
Step 5 - Your Art Desk or Work Surface - Maybe you use a small desk or even a kitchen table, you need to make it work double time for you. Meaning it can somehow or other house accessible storage. I prefer to keep things off the work surface but you can get bins from the dollar store that stack on one end of your table.
I use the dollar store all the time for small bins and containers for brushes, pens and pencils. I then use online for the larger pieces. I got this adjustable table similar to the one below last year for my birthday. I love this especially for my drawings as I can adjust the surface with some storage underneath.
Step 6 - Admire your Small Art Studio Organization! - It is amazing just how much you can fit into a small space art studio, especially once you have had a good clean out. If you take the day and really look at your supplies. The one thing I noticed, is that you tend to collect many things as an artist or crafter, many things that you really don't need. Remember go LEAN AND CLEAN!
Go Lean and Utilize the Dollar Store - The dollar stores have become my best friends because they have so many storage containers especially clear ones so that you can see what is inside. I have a few book shelves that I use clear plastic tubs I got from the dollar store to store things I don't use all the time but don't want to throw out. If you take the time to label these containers you will not be tearing apart your little studio looking for them.
Once a Month Have a Clean Out - The best part about having an organized small art studio is that you will take a bit more effort to keep it clean, especially if it is part of a family room. After a session of creating, if you have garbage or recycling, deal with it now. This keeps your little studio humming along.
Portable Art Studio
Another idea I came across for anyone who literally has no room for storing supplies.
The case on each end of these pictures is on wheels. So that you can set yourself up for your crafts anywhere and then keep everything you need tucked away and place in a closet or out of sight when not in use. They hold a ton of supplies, and perfect for art classes too.
Organizing a Small Art Studio may seem stressful at first, but I felt really good for having a good clean out and organizing. I had a full basement in my last house which made it easier to spread out all over the place. I have adjusted to a much tinier space quite comfortably.
My small space art studio is always a work in progress. I was lucky enough to have a little nook of book shelves that housed a lot of my supplies. I still have to get better at clean up after a creative session, but at least I keep my desk clean!
Don't let a small space stop you from being creative. For many including me, having a creative spot to play easily makes me a better person. Make your small art studio easy to use, everything accessible and have a place for everything!
Hi there! My name is Diane Palmer, and I love to draw and paint. I love to try new things, and in this blog and my website you will see the results of my artistic endeavors!