I’ve been trying to sketch a lot more recently, particularly out and about rather than from my sofa, a limited vista! This has involved trips to the local cafe with some friends from our village art group.

I like colour, and whilst sketching with a pencil or biro is great practice for the hand and the eye, I really wanted to get some colour in. One of our group suggested watercolour brush pens. I’ve heard of these but had been sceptical, but I decided to give them a go So I bought a set of three Derwent brush pens, which comprises three different sizes, two round and one flat.

Waterbrushes To use the pen the transparent body unscrews from the black lid and can be filled with water. A second pull-off cap reveals the brush itself. Once you put the pen back together you can gently squeeze the body to allow water to flow through the brush. Paint the brush onto some colour in the palette and then get painting!

Things I like:

  • I find it far more practical than trying to use a jar of water and brushes with my paint, not least because you don’t need to replace the water in the brush pens, which stays clean.
  • It feels quick and intuitive, like drawing with a felt-tipped pen, good for gestural work

I don’t have a wide range of brush sizes and types, but that’s fine for my little sketch pad trying to capture people. Landscape might require wider brushes.

Sketch of lady on cafe







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