Hey Chickadee! Pen & Ink/Watercolor

Hi friends! Tonight we are going to do a simple sketch in ink and watercolor.


It is a fun way to make a cool painting, learn how in today’s video:

Dip Pens
India Ink
Watercolor paints (Grumbacher transparent watercolor pan set of 12)
Brushes: 1″ wash, #8 round, #4 round
Watercolor paper
Reference photo by Rodney Campbell

I use Grumbacher transparent watercolor pans for this tutorial. I also used this paint set on my magnolia painting here.
These are not my favorite paints but they did the trick on the painting. They conform to ASTM and have a toxicity rating of 0 with no known harmful chemicals. To me these seem like a childrens paint. The retail price for the 12 set of colors is $35 and for 24 colors it is $53. This seems too expensive for this quality of paint which feels more like a childrens tempera cake type of paint. A better buy at around the same price would be Cotman watercolors.However if it was all you could find or if you got a good deal on it it would do. That said if this set was $10 I would consider it a good buy because there is a lot of paint in the pans it seems.

Nice colors-plenty of mixing opportunities
Includes a brush and the palette has a nice mixing area.

Note: Grumbacher makes fine paints, but for me this set fell short and seems more like kids set. I recommend trying their Academy (student grade tubes) or Finest watercolor (tubes) for a better quality product.

Price: Retail $28 seems high for the quality
The colors can be hard to liquefy but you can spray the palette 5 minutes before painting to help the paint liquefy.

I hope you try this fun technique, I definitely want to play with my dip pens more. If there is a product you would like to see me review please let me know in the comments below and I will see what I can do:) Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

9 Responses

  1. Oh I love this…I love pen and ink watercoloring…all of my paintings have it….I think it just makes a painting….and I just started Calligraphy..just basic…but my instructor said wash your nibs with soap and water and then coat them with gum arabic…why…I don’t know…but that is what she suggested…hope that helps…love this…thanks for sharing…


  2. I loved this tutorial! You’ve given me the courage to try and draw a chick-a-dee! I have an image I made of a chick-a-dee in my Camilla bush I think I’ll try using my Turner Watercolor set that you used on a painting awhile ago. I had only a Cotman travel set at that time I saw the video then I bought the Turner 18 tube set and like it very much. I’ve used up a couple tubes and have purchased a second set!

    BTW- I live in Northern California: San Francisco Bay Area and sometimes I loath to tell people to come visit too because there are so many people here already, but it’s beautiful so come! Just be nice! Rude tourist are the worst! Really would you want rude tourist visiting your country and area? NO! So don’t be that tourist here! It’s simple right?🙂

    I also just received my Jerry’s Artorama Catalog the other day and I too sat on the couch turning almost every page oohing, and aahhing, and wanting so much stuff! Top of the list…a mop brush- squirrel or mimik squirrel…I think it will work better than the 1″ flat Simmons I have now will!


  3. I love this little painting and I love pen/ink together with watercolor! I also love your talking…don’t stop the chatter…it actually makes it feel like I’m listening to a friend…so much more personal than so many others I’ve watched…hate those videos that have the music!


  4. As always, love your work, and you just keep talking. It’s never too much.


  5. I really like how you created this piece, showing us how to use our nibs and ink, along with some watercolor play. Nice job! I will have to create something similar and give it to my daughter’s in-laws this summer. I can hardly wait to come see Maine and stay in Cape Elizabeth, come August. Not only are my hubby and I joining our daughter and son-in-law and staying with family friends and the terrific and fun in-laws, we will be checking the area out, for a possible relocation because if the kids move back to his family area, we may follow, …getting to be “that age” and all.. I am going to go fetch a lobster or two and volunteer at the B2B event.
    I am always looking forward to what you share with all of us, in the days to come. I always love hearing your cheerful voice.


  6. Dear Lindsay! You didn’t know this, but 3/6 was my 71st birthday, and I love this medium. Great Tutorial. And Thank You for this ‘accidental’ gift!!! pqh


  7. I’m new to watercolor and I love it. I did just purchase the 24 set of Grumbacher pan. I used my Staples Rewards and only paid $2.00 for the $53.00 set. Like you, I don’t love the set, but I’m using it while I slowly build a palette of quality tube paints. I just got two tubes of Schmincke paints (burnt umber and translucent orange) and they are delightful! I love the chickadee.


  8. Absolutely love this!!!


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